XR Stories funds six Storylab projects

XR Stories has awarded funding to six Storylab projects developed from our Bradford XR FilmMakers masterclass, delivered in partnership with immersive specialists BRiGHTBLACK

The research and development projects support diverse, early-career individuals in the Leeds City region and aim to develop the storytellers’ skills by enabling them to deliver new immersive and interactive storytelling experiences.

The first project, ‘A Carnival Comes to Town’ by Bernie Cullen and Mike Leigh Cooper, brings together poetry and video games in an XR experience. Aiming to inspire the next generation of arts creators, the experience will use play to increase confidence, have fun with language and see the world from different perspectives.  

A second project, ‘Vital Stories’ by Tanya Vital and Urban Conceptz Theatre, is a live-streamed interactive short film. Building on the storytelling styles of Swamp Motel and Artificial:Next, the project aims to take passive visual storytelling into an immersive experience for a digital audience. Through Twitch widgets and polls, users can choose, change and affect the drama and ambiance onscreen in real time.

‘Into-Visible’, created by Jin Craven is an open-world interactive game set on a chance-based virtual board. Built with Unity Games Engine and Playmaker visual scripting, the project will enable audiences to explore structural gender inequalities by following critical milestones in a woman’s life course. 

The fourth project, ‘NDEVR’ by Kate Wellham and Michaela French, is inspired by the life-changing and multi-sensory nature of near-death experiences through a fulldome concept. A fulldome is an immersive dome-based video projection environment. The project will create a proof of concept visual and audio piece that will be based on real people’s stories of coming close to death, visualising the intangible narration of survivors.

‘Think Twice’, undertaken by Hollie Bryan and Emma Nuttall, will create an audience experience exploring the nature of the echo chamber, a tool for developing critical thinking and our own processes in unconscious decision making. The project aims to investigate the depths of where individuals’ perspectives come from and the processes that lead to strong opinions. 

The final project, ‘The Interview’ by Imran Azam, Joe Hird, Mike Leigh Cooper and Kate Wellham, is set in the world of fictionalised elite organisations and institutions. The project aims to explore discrimination, micro aggressions and prejudice by putting the audience in the position of experiencing these challenges first-hand. Real-life stories will be dramatised and players will have to try to make it in a world where they are made to feel as if they don’t belong.

All projects are in the early stages of development and will run until September 2021.

Published on 16 June 2021

Filed under: Funding news, R&D Projects, XR Stories