Interactive Cinema was set up in 2013 as a research collaboration between the HvA and Dutch Film Academy. The main question underlying the research is ‘What does it mean when cinema and videogames merge’. Within this project, answers to that question seemed to be found within the upcoming field of Virtual Reality.

In 2016, the project was concluded succesfully with the presentation of some final projects: De Pont (The Ferry) and Project Orpheus.

Product: De Pont – Virtual environment

In 2015, Submarine Channel and the Amsterdam Creative Industries Network launched DE PONT – an interactive film and game challenge that revolves around a true Amsterdam icon. DE PONT continued in 2016. It consists of a virtual environment with assets that depict the area behind Amsterdam Central Station, and was part of a research project that explores the storytelling potential of 3D game engines such as Unity for both filmmaking and game development. Storytellers such as game designers and filmmakers worldwide were invited to create a short (interactive) animation or game that takes place on the famous free ferry over the river IJ that connects the center of the capital to the upcoming north district. The virtual environment and the assets are still being used in courses on game design at the HvA.

Event: De Pont – Hackaton

On April 30 2016, industry partner Lava Labs organized a Hackaton named ‘Hack the Pont’, in collaboration with Submarine Channel and Code Academy. Code Academy is an institution that organizes programming courses for refugees in Amsterdam. During one day, participants worked in small groups on De Pont projects, presenting their work to each other and the public that same evening.

Event: De Pont – Eindpresentatie EYE (event)

On July 14 2016, the final presentation of a selection of the best of De Pont projects took place in EYE Filmmuseum, organized in collaboration with Submarine Channel. Both students, Hackaton participants and individual designers were invited to show their interpretation of the De Pont on the big screen.

Product: Project Orpheus – Eindpresentatie VondelCS

Although the VR video Project Orpheuscan be watched as a stand alone production, it was set up as a ‘VR-companion piece’ to accompany the new Dutch television drama series of the same title, that was broadcasted in the Netherlands in the spring of 2016. The project is a collaboration project with students and researchers of HvA, and the national television broadcasting company AVROTROS, the television production company NL Film and the VR production company WeMakeVR. The challenge that the students were confronted with was: ‘Can you create a VR experience that reinforces the impact of a traditional TV-show?’The TV-show Project Orpheuswas used as the starting point for this transmedial storytelling experiment. In this show a group of young doctors and hospital interns experiment with near-death experiments, which leads to all kinds of dramatic events. While the VR production was set up as a student assignment, it also served as a research instrument for the Lectorate, as a demo tool for the VR company and as a publicity generator for the television partners. In february 2016, the project was officially launched on a presentation in VondelCS.

Research papers

Project Orpheus A Research Study into 360° Cinematic VR

Interactive Cinema: Engagement and Interaction

Interaction in surround video: The Effect of Auditory Feedback on Enjoyment