Expert session

Creating Ashes to Ashes, a Fictional Short in VR

Company: JauntVR, Jamille van Wijngaarden, Ligthartschenk

During the first VR Days in 2015, we initiated an experiment with cinematic VR. Over the year this experiment has grown into a full-blown VR production. A team of three directors, Jamille van Wijngaarden (film), Ingejan Ligthard Schenk (theatre) and Steye Hallema (VR) worked closely together to create a touching, exciting and groundbreaking fictional short.

Ashes to Ashes is a short tragicomedy in VR about a dysfunctional family handling the dying wish of the pater familias, written by Anne Barnhoorn. It’s about the line between reality and fiction – which one is really real?

The surreal situation unfolds on the deceased grandfather’s house boat. The family discusses what to do with ‘Grampa Git’’s ashes. Seen from the urn, the film gives a unique point of view on a set of family relationships that are ready to blow. However, this reality turns out to be a fiction, which adds a whole new dimension to the film. VR is a special mix of theatre and film. As a storytelling medium it is in its infancy, and as we have experienced, creating good VR is more than a handfull. That is why we chose to have this film made by different directors from different disciplines: theatre, film and VR. This way, we explore different visual ways of telling a linear dramatic story. Each director will make their own choices on how to bring the story to life. This unique collaboration allows us to take a step forward in the development of cinematic VR.

Ashes to Ashes has been initiated by Benjamin de Wit and Submarine Channel together with (Dutch public broadcaster and producer of international co-productions) AVROTROS and WeMakeVR, in collaboration with Force Field VR (gaming studio specialized in animated VR), Jaunt (international market leader in VR, partner for camera, distribution and tracking software) and Big Orange (sound).


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