Stage 9
15:00 - 15:30
Immersive Arts
Designing Presence in Immersive Reality

Short thesis

Since in immersive reality set ups we as the viewer are at the center of the action sphere and free to decide where we look or focus our attention and interact with the story, we as writers and directors of immersive stories need to script the viewer's presence. This very special form of relating to a story world is still virgin territory. This presentation is about the attempt of building a coherent methodology to understand and design the viewer's presence into an immersive story world.


Experiencing a film in Virtual Reality is by nature a completely different experience from one viewer to the next since each is free to choose where to look around the 360 scape and how to interact or not. This creates a challenging new dilemma for the VR writer or director: how can their carefully designed story experience unfold as they have envisioned if the viewer is entirely free to catch or ignore the meaningful parts of the 360 environment ?

There are 2 kinds of immersive authors/directors: those who try and force the viewer to see what they want them to see (like in flat films) and those who let go and leave the viewers to their own serendipitous discovery of their story world.But the one thing we all need to learn is how can we include the viewer inside our VR immersive storie s since , like in a game , he/she is at the center of the filmed VR environment and at the heart of its action. How do we script the viewer’s presencesince he/she is an essential part of the narrative flow but in a totally unpredictable way?

This presentation is about my current research in creating a practical methodology that defines presence in an immersive story world. I have found 9 ways of being "here" in VR. There are probably more. Knowing them will help us building coherence in all immersive experiences.