At the start of the year, Digital Catapult in conjunction with Arts Council England launched the second CreativeXR programme to foster new and upcoming immersive talent, helping fund their prototypes. 20 projects were then selected to receive £20,000 GBP of funding as well as access to facilities and industry mentors. That has all led up to today, with the launch of the CreativeXR Showcase and Market, where these projects will be put on display for the first time.
Taking place in association with the BFI London Film Festival (LFF), and in partnership with StoryFutures Academy: The National Centre for Immersive Storytelling, the CreativeXR Showcase and Market will enable these projects to reach key immersive industry figures, national and international distributors, commissioners and investors.
The 20 projects being funded by CreativeXR are:
- Interference by Abandon Normal Devices – an immersive audio-visual experience that brings together Jodrell Bank Observatory’s groundbreaking heritage site and world-leading research.
- DAZZLE 2020 by Gibson/Martelli and Peut-Porter – reimagining the 1919 Chelsea Arts Club Dazzle Ball, DAZZLE 2020 embraces participatory forms of theatre and inclusion in XR.
- Invisible Light by 59 Productions – a mixed reality theatrical project that combines live performance, set design, projection mapping, 360-degree sound and augmented reality.
- Therese & Peta: A Tale of Two-Spirits by Queer Media UK – A virtual journey to retrace the story of the most famous photo of the AIDS crisis.
- Rory Mullarkey’s Flood by Megaverse – A VR experience that dives into a gritty, full-body sensory experience anticipating the climate disaster that’s part fantasmagoria, part physical theatre, and totally live.
- BEDLAM by Minky Productions – A virtual reconstruction of Bethlehem Hospital, the world’s first “hospital for lunatics” in the early 17th century.
- Under Attack by Also Known As – A room-scale VR installation that uses spatialised sound, smells and haptic feedback to enhance the sense of immersion and to inspire participants to invest in protecting media freedom.
- Goliath by Anagram – a powerful interactive theatrical documentary following the story of a man who, after spending a decade in psychiatric hospitals battling psychosis, finds redemption and friendship in the world of online games.
- Now Was The Time by imitating the Dog – a mixed reality production that explores new alternative versions of European history.
- The Time Machine by The Old Market (TOMtech & Make Real) – An experience which blurs the world of live performance, XR and gaming. Mixing theatrical storytelling with multi-platformed technology, the project brings us a new form of playable theatre.
- Breathe by Darkfield – A location-based experience in total darkness, which communicably explores conscious dreaming, using speech recognition to deepen the audience’s connection with recorded characters.
- UnDust by Satore Tech – an augmentation of Akram Khan’s Dust for the English National Ballet, tracing form, movement and light to perform scenes from Khan’s piece.
- Basic Tension 3 by Basic Tension and Off World – A mobile-based mixed reality experience intended to challenge social, racial and psychological perceptions of the body.
- What is Normal? By Call & Response – an immersive conversational experience with people with learning disabilities and autism.
- Present by Fight in the Dog – an immersive, augmented reality comedy experience for couples and individuals, guided by stand-up comedian Jordan Brookes.
- Zia Dance Duet by BespokeVR Ltd – a full-body immersive experience, dancing with an artificial intelligence dancer named Zia who responds fluidly to your unique dancing style.
- Through the Wardrobe by Colour My Reality – a mixed reality installation where the user is invited to touch and explore items that unlock the endless possibilities of gender identities and expressions.
- Madrid Noir: The Prologue by No Ghost – an interactive VR detective game for the new immersive era.
- Basilisk: Enter the Fold by Studio Leg – A semi-fictional interactive VR experience, where a mind-reading superintelligence carries out its own product launch.
- Game Over by Blackwatch Entertainment in association with Circa69 – combining AR, audio installations, 360-degree video and live-action, the project creates an audience-led immersive and interactive promenade theatrical experience using multiple performance spaces.
“We are very excited to share the output from this year’s collaboration with Arts Council England. Telling new and compelling stories in new and compelling formats is still an opportunity that virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies offer,” said Jeremy Silver, CEO at Digital Catapult in a statement. “If it were easy to turn these stories into mainstream, popular experiences, then our CreativeXR programme and its accompanying Market would not be necessary, but they are. It’s vital that we encourage both the creative talent to pioneer new formats and encourage commissioners to be confident to invest.”
“As part of Verizon, we pride ourselves on being on the cutting edge of technology, creating next generation experiences for consumers and brands alike. As we move into a 5G world, the true potential of existing technologies like AR, VR, and MR will be unlocked meaning we will have the ability to deliver these experiences to audiences at scale, and in real-time. CreativeXR is an opportunity for us to not only work with the brightest XR creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs, but lend our guidance and experience in the commercial world, connect them with our clients, and help them realise the true power of their work.” adds Mark Melling, Head of RYOT and 5G lead, EMEA at Verizon Media.