Film Series Documents The Experiences Of New Yorkers In 3D

Film Series Documents The Experiences Of New Yorkers In 3D
Design

Scatter media studio wants portray unique stories from a New York City subway car using virtual reality

Zack Palm
  • 9 may 2017

Documentaries allow the general population to hear firsthand experiences, or the perspective of expert historians, about historical events from around the world and from the past. These films could see a new format in Virtual Reality. One project, Blackout, allows viewers to stand in a simple New York City subway car to hear the internal monologue of passengers from all walks of life. Blackout started as a Kickstarter project that hit its funding goals in December 2015 and was created by media studio Scatter, but the project continues to grow larger with more people’s stories getting added in.

Blackout_Users_Explore_A_Subway_Car_With_Each_Digital_Person_Having_A_Unique_Story.jpg

The experience starts with a user finding themselves in the middle of a moderately populated subway car with some of the passengers sitting and standing, but there’s enough room for a user to move around. If a user stares at one of the digital passengers long enough a private monologue starts. The monologue varies with each passenger. One may discuss how they’re worried about not having enough food when they get home for their family of five and another could talk about their problems at their high school.

Blackout_Features_Various_People_From_All_Walks_Of_Life.png

The longer a user stares, the more dialogue they get to hear to learn more about the individual. Blackout wants a user to focus in on someone and feel their story, rather than simply hear it in the background. Scatter didn’t populate the subway car with random people and giving them a story. Yasmin Elayat, the co-director of the project, chose distinct individuals to interview to have them stand out, but still have them come across as relatable. Some of these unique individuals include a Vietnam War veteran suffering from PTSD, a woman who had lived in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance, and a minority police officer.

Not every user has the same experience as the digital passengers change over time. The media studio interviewed a variety of people to hear their unique stories. New people continually get interviewed and scanned to go into Blackout to get added in at random.

The end goal of Blackout is for the VR experience to develop into a three-part series with episodes focusing on various political issues.

Blackout

Documentaries allow the general population to hear firsthand experiences, or the perspective of expert historians, about historical events from around the world and from the past. These films could see a new format in Virtual Reality. One project, Blackout, allows viewers to stand in a simple New York City subway car to hear the internal monologue of passengers from all walks of life. Blackout started as a Kickstarter project that hit its funding goals in December 2015 and was created by media studio Scatter, but the project continues to grow larger with more people’s stories getting added in.

+Arts & Culture
+Augmented & Virtual Reality
+Culture
+Design
+NYC
+subway
+Virtual Reality
+VR

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