August 28

Paul Allen’s Vulcan Partners with Anthony Batt and Luis Blackaller of Wevr to Create Immersive Stories

Last Summer, Paul Allen and his team at Vulcan commissioned Anthony Batt and Luis Blackaller to develop a immersive creative lab and direct a science fiction immersive thrill ride for the Holodome, an immersive reality system inspired by Paul’s vision of the future.

The Holodome turned out to be the perfect match for us. Not only it is the closest you can get today to full immersion without having to wear a headpiece, it’s also an excellent platform to experience spherical cinema —a medium full of potential that almost never gets an opportunity to take the center stage. The Holodome transforms the silver screen into the space around you, and literally lets you take a step inside the moving picture. And most importantly, for the first time you got to inhabit this immersive experience together with other people.

We fell in love with it, and pitched an idea to Paul that eventually became Death Planet Rescue, currently open to the public at the Holodome installation in the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle.

Death Planet Rescue takes advantage of the physical features of the Holodome to simulate a virtual vessel that audiences board when they enter the Holodome, making them feel like they are stepping into the adventure.

Even though Death Planet Rescue is a cinematic experience and it is not interactive, the navigation and communication interfaces in the Pod —and the Pod itself— are designed keeping interactivity in mind. It is a blueprint for an interactive scenario where the whole interface can be used by multiple people at the same time.

How will this change the game? Building along the lines traced by Paul’s vision, we have been working with the team at Vulcan to find answers to this question. Inspired by our collaboration, Paul Allen and Vulcan have trusted us with our own Holodome that we have built in our headquarters at Venice, where we have been running a vibrant creative lab, exploring the boundaries of what’s possible in theatrical performance, narrative storytelling, architectural design, interactive art, music, multi-user interfaces, and every other subject that can expand its potential through the powerful immersive features of the Holodome.