Are you going to be at the Sundance Film Festival? There are two Vive titles called Gloomy Eyes by Atlas V and Sweet Dreams by Marshmallow Laser Feast that are getting a lot of attention. The story-driven experiences uniquely use VR and even Mixed Reality (MR) for Sweet Dreams. They’ll be showings at the New Frontier at the Ray during Sundance until February 2nd with the Vive Pro.
Gloomy Eyes is a three-part animated series that’s narrated by Colin Farrell. It’s a VR experience where a zombie (Gloomy) meets and falls in love with a girl (Nena). In Wooden City zombies and people exist apart from each other and many try to keep it that way.
During trying times art finds a way to reflect life. Jorge Teresco and Fernando Maldonado directed Gloomy Eyes “so that he could mirror our childhood doubts.” It has themes of societal division and connection despite adversity. Some very parallel themes that the world at large has struggled with and is currently facing.
Their Statement of Intent goes deeper into what the story is all about. It says, “With Gloomy Eyes, we therefore seek to depict a world governed by social injustice, in this case, the town of Woodland City.”
“This is a place where power is at the hands of a minority that have control over the way life unfolds, a world where different beings (humans VS zombies) are unable to cohabit and where the cruelest beings are not necessarily the ones we expect. This is a very conservative world, which resembles the family environment we grew up in.”
The story of Gloomy and Neena is said to be one of optimism and magic too. With the pair defying the norms of their city, art is definitely reflecting the lives of many.
As a location-based VR (LB VR) and multi-sensory experience, Sweet Dreams is a drama that plays with the senses to help the viewer take part in its digitally created world. Experiencers become Lonny, a citizen of Luscious Delicious Land, an all-you-can-eat dessert wonderland with a deeper lesson.
Co-Founder & Director, Robin McNicholas, says; “We’re thrilled to be returning to Sundance, this time with a multi-sensory, untethered VR piece combining sight, sound, taste and touch. What people experience is a kind of Proustian escape room that you have to eat your way out of!”
Guests are treated to an interactive and yummy adventure with real food and drink as the LB VR experience and storyline plays out.
Sweet Dreams storyline warns of the overconsumption and the seemingly endless chase to consume the best and most of what’s offered as well as the restless pursuit that comes with it. Writer, Simon Wroe touches on this, saying, “Our appetite is, despite all efforts to the contrary, essentially destructive.”
“We live in an age of cognitive dissonance: never more conscious of our impact, never more conspicuous in our consumption. A time of sustainability and plastic-wrapped bananas, of food banks and gold-plated burgers. The land of plenty is here, and it’s every bit as joyous and sinister as imagined.”
The current showing of Sweet Dreams is on the shorter side but has plans to “grow into a full blown feature-length theatrical production”, Director Ersin Han Ersin anticipated in a statement.