XR Stories at BEYOND Conference 2022

XR Stories’ work was highlighted at BEYOND Conference 2022. Five XR Stories-funded immersive projects were showcased at the conference, held in Cardiff, between 18 and 20 October.

Pilot Theatre showcased Monoliths, which celebrates the stories of three women from the North of England. Tyke Films showcased The Tell-Tale Rooms, in which audiences experience the life of artist Eden Kötting, while Human Studio showcased The Neon Pack, an immersive 360° experience, interpreting three scenes from a short story by Nick Bax. An XR scenographic tool by Megaverse, Block, was also shown. Block is designed to help theatre practitioners and live performance creators co-design spaces and scenes with the help of augmented reality (AR). No-code platform, Charisma, was also present. Charisma creates interactive stories with believable virtual characters (including Steppenwolf) that respond to what you say.

These projects were supported by XR Stories and were set up as interactive installations at BEYOND, enabling audiences to explore them in VR.

Also at BEYOND 2022 was XR Stories and the University of York’s Damian Murphy, hosting a panel on XR Network+ to introduce new R&D opportunities. Damian, along with Declan Keeney, Director of the Ulster Screen Academy (Ulster University), Greg Mothersdale, Research and Development Producer (Clwstwr), and Jane Harris, Professor of Digital Design and Innovation and Director of the Fashion, Textiles and Technology Institute (BFTT / London College of Fashion), introduced the EPSRC funded XR Network+ Virtual Production in the Digital Economy project.

XR Network+ builds a bridge between five current AHRC Creative Industries Cluster Projects and the significant interest that has emerged in supporting R&D in XR technologies as they converge with virtual production. This project aims to provide a ten-year research agenda founded on research collaboration, co-creation and challenge-led innovation. It is designed to build a community of academic research and industry R&D in virtual production.

XR Stories also delivered a panel called ‘Virtual Production: A Pathway for Environmental Sustainability in Film and TV?’, which discussed how virtual production is increasingly seen as a way to work more efficiently, harnessing the power of game engines to create unique locations and sets to offer directors more flexibility, and cut carbon emissions. But while the technologies at the centre of virtual production are not new, their combination into filmmaking pipelines is in its infancy and the field is evolving fast.

This panel included Alexandra Dales, Senior Lecturer (York St John University), Christina Nowak, Director of Virtual Production (Anna Valley), David Gochfeld, Research Fellow (XR Stories), Helen Brook, Project Coordinator (Sustainable Arts in Leeds), and Nina Willment, Research Associate (XR Stories / University of York). Together, they examined the potential of virtual production approaches to make the film and TV industry more environmentally sustainable. Drawing on industry experience and the latest research, panelists explored emerging thought about what virtual production is and can be, and critique claims about how new production tools can enable net zero filmmaking.

BEYOND Conference is a three-day conference where thinkers, makers, investors and researchers across the creative industries come together to explore the relationship between creative research and business innovation.

Check out what’s on at BEYOND 22.

Published on 6 October 2022

Filed under: Conference, Events, R&D Projects, XR Stories