Figment Productions has been nominated for two awards at this year’s 26th Annual Raindance Film Festival in London.
Its cinematic VR Experience, Kinch And The Double World, has been nominated for both ‘Best British Experience’ and ‘Best Cinematic VR Experience’ at the 2018 festival to be held this September.
The digital media production specialist has worked with VR and 360 video for over a decade. In that time it has delivered visitor attractions and VR to nearly 4m visitors at attractions worldwide.
In June this year it announced their latest VR venture, Project Helix, combining full-motion, free-roaming VR with tactile props and sets, physical 4D effects, and multi-user and a realistic avatar system, due to open in Q1 2019.
After being shortlisted from over 400 applicants for the VR Theatre at the 2018 SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Conference in Vancouver earlier this month, Kinch and the Double World will have its world premier in London this September at the Raindance’s Gallery of Immersive Stories and Interactive Worlds. The experience will be shown in the OXO Tower, on London’s Southbank.
The story tells of a young street urchin named Kinch, living in Victorian London, he steals a loaf of bread and is pursued by a policeman. Taking refuge in an old Vaudeville theatre, he meets a magician who saves him from the attentions of the police by transporting him to a parallel universe where magic is real. Viewers will wear the Oculus Go to watch the story reveal itself in immersive VR theatre.
Kinch & The Double world was created as a test bed for new cinematic VR production techniques including the use of lightfields. The 360 film, elements, captured using a mix of camera rigs including Google Jump and Nokia OZO, was filmed across four Victorian-period locations in the UK. The final piece features a mixture of 360 video filmed on location with live actors, CGI environments and visual effects, lightfield shots, LIDAR scanned environments and real-time interactive elements.
Simon Reveley, CEO of Figment said: “Kinch and the Double World is an original cinematic VR experience but it has an unusual origin story of its own. Its primary purpose was to be the test case for a government funded research project called ‘Alive’. With government funding from Innovate UK we worked with technology partners (Foundry and the University of Surrey) whose tasks were to develop the core tech and the toolchain that would facilitate next generation production techniques particularly around 360 video and lightfields.” He continued: “Our role was to generate the real-world demands of an actual production rather than just a series of test scenarios so we decided to create the VR equivalent of a short film. Our production team worked on Kinch the same way they would on a commercial project and that allowed us to place plenty of unreasonable demands on our technology partners!”
“The UK creative industries are incredibly active in developing immersive entertainment: VR, AR, MR and 360. There’s a really strong culture here around innovating with new forms of media and that’s what the ALIVE project was all about. It was an honour to work as the production partner alongside Foundry and the University of Surrey.”