The story begins in Fab 2016. I get a phone call from my friend Tal Haring, talented director I worked with for a few years now. He invited me to Steamer Salon Lab, a 12-day Cinema & Technology accelerator program he was organizing. While I wasn't enthusiastic at all to work in VR, as he had suggested, I was having a lot of ideas for an experimental video game floating around for quite a while.
The program was packed with lectures and workshops and meeting with mentors, including net artist Olia Lialina, director Yoni Geva and some prominent Israeli researchers of interactive storytelling and cinema.
I have learned much about the medium of VR. But my project was clearly out of everyone's comfort zone and I was mostly urged to inject a narrative into this abstract philosophical brew. It was at that moment that I understood the project is a strange animal. It is a hybrid between interactive documentary and an art video game - something you would see in a gallery but also in a film festival or even play at home alone.
While adding a narrative was out of the question for me, I did manage to crystallize my ideas in a way: I had visual frames and compositions, locations and architectural elements, and images of abstract interactions, emotions and moments. These were visions of a world. They were abstract, but they were something to follow:
I think that there is nothing like this strange conviction. When you imagine a world, strange as it might be, and you feel it is comprehensive, it has a distinct nature. For me It's a sign that you have something and your role now is to just be loyal to it.
Loyalty inside my sketchbook was one thing though. After 9 days of thinking and learning, it was time to do. Next thing you know I had to form a team, and in three days produce a working prototype. I just heard of Unity for the first time, last time I programmed was with Pascal in high school, and my 3D skills were flaky at best. Well, that's what friends are for, right?
More on my next Post!