Glimmer and Symphony
How well can you really know someone? What if you could step inside someone’s mind to experience their perspective? Industry specialists in immersive performance capture Prox & Reverie are developing Glimmer and Symphony, a new XR format exploring the relationship between storyteller and audience.
Glimmer represents the storyteller, unfolding their thoughts and memories into the space around them, inviting the audience directly into their mind. Just as in traditional filmmaking where a point of view shot allows an audience to see what the subject sees, Glimmer acts as a ‘point of view’ for the mind. Glimmer is an interview technique using a mobile volumetric capture rig, that can record and livestream an interview. This allows the sitter’s personal story to be captured in a natural setting which can then be viewed in VR or AR.
Symphony represents the audience, and allows them to become an active participant in the story. What is your part in the story and how do your experiences shape your responses to the storyteller? Symphony engages ‘Fluidic Storypath’ methodology, a new technique developed by Prox & Reverie to explore these ideas. Symphony taps into the natural responses of the audience, as the way in which they experience the story is shaped by their own world view.
The process begins with the interview, with the sitter exploring different aspects of their story, to form a branching narrative with many possible paths. Interviews will focus on life changing moments or experiences, and will engage known cultural figures to explore concepts of identity and the hidden self. The production team will be aiming to locate individuals who hit the perfect balance of being well known but mysterious – you might think you know them, but do you really?
Glimmer and Symphony aims to challenge assumptions, and to push the boundaries of stepping into someone else’s shoes. The experience for the audience will be shaped by how they respond to the sitter, and can be repeated multiple times from different perspectives.
The project is in its early stages and is a new format for storytelling in XR. The goal for the project is to test and explore the potential of this innovative technology and develop Glimmer and Symphony to proof of concept stage, in order to secure funding for further development. The ultimate goal for Prox & Reverie is to establish Glimmer and Symphony as an industry standard for on-location interviews and performance, with future development rounds working the concept up to a fully functional standalone product for virtual productions, indie filmmakers, education and themed attraction entertainment.
Prox & Reverie are supported on this project by academic partners at the University of Leeds, working collaboratively with expert staff and facilities within their Centre for Immersive Technologies. Significant contributions will be made by Dr He Wang (Lecturer in Computer Graphics, School of Computing) and Dr Tom Jackson (Lecturer in Digital Media, and Academic Lead for Cultural Engagement with the Centre for Immersive Technologies). Glimmer & Symphony will be one of the world’s first projects to use Depthkit Studio, a new multi-camera Volumetric system piloted with New York based production partners, Scatter.