Directing for XR

Directing for XR

Sean Hollands is an associate of Megaverse and a director and practitioner at Frantic Assembly. Sean has been working with our cast in our week-long R&D. Here are some of his thoughts on his experience in the Lab so far using VR/XR in the world of theatre.

The regular conventions of traditional storytelling are completely blown out of the water in this space,
— Sean Hollands

“Wow. What a whirlwind it has been! We are 2 days into this process, and already we have discovered so much about this medium. I always knew in theory that this technology was a new medium, but it no longers feels like just theory. The regular conventions of traditional storytelling are completely blown out of the water in this space, and everything that works in reality, is altered inside the virtual dimension. It’s caused some early headaches, but everyone involved can feel their brains re-wiring into this new way of thinking.

We are still very much in the testing stages of the space. Trying simple content in the space. Some of it functions with stunning impact, some of it has confused us and broken our expectations. What is overwhelming to us all is that simplicity is key. This is of course true for so many other mediums, but ‘simple’ in this spaces feels like an entirely new beast! We constantly need to find ways to utilise the functions of the VR, but the storytelling only comes alive when simplicity works in tandem with this technology. It’s dramaturgy on dimensional levels!

As expected the cast we have assembled have jumped straight into the world. On the first day, many of them had never even tried VR. On the 2nd day we are exploring not only the tools of the world, but the language and process of creating this type of work. We are finding a language and grammar to the world that before felt so unreachable.

We even have to find new ways to rehearse, as we need to work in parallel with the speed of the technology. What is exciting is our relationship to the tech. When we arrived, it felt like the technology was ahead of us, it had more to offer than we could handle. However test by test, we have caught up. We are coming to meet the technology, but just as we do, the technology reinvents itself with a new discovery. It’s symbiotic, each idea spawns a new idea.

We have big dreams for this technology. Not just for creating this project, or shows for ourselves. This is a brand new platform, and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with new audiences, and creatives in both theatre, and technology.

I’m getting ahead of myself but we have taken the first baby steps. We have stepped through the portal and there is a new world ahead!”

Sean Hollands
Associate of Megaverse

Director and theatre maker. Trained at Rose Bruford College in European Theatre Arts. Recipient of the Bryan Forbes Bursary with the National Youth Theatre REP 2016. Theatre Practitioner at Frantic Assembly, Creative Associate at Megaverse.