Reggie Watts and Benjamin Dickinson team with Wevr and make some waves with WAVES
WAVES is currently available to view at the Kaleidoscope World Tour 2016!
Director Benjamin Dickinson (First Winter, Creative Control) teamed with comedian, musician and philosopher Reggie Watts (Comedy Bang Bang) and Wevr to create the highly original VR piece WAVES which recently premiered at the 2016 Sundance Festival. Dickinson and Watts, who have collaborated on short films as well as the feature film Creative Control, in theaters this March, recently talked to us about WAVES and making their VR debut.
WATTS: Since I was a little kid I was interested in the idea of immersing myself in a virtual world by simply using the View-Master which was really my first experience at looking at a stereoscopic image, it’s color , it’s analogue, it’s on film discs. It just looks so cool. As a kid I was really interested in that and in dreams and feeling like you’re in another reality. And then you started seeing movies about virtual reality – Lawn Mower Man was one, The Matrix, even the idea of time travel is a form of virtual reality. And what really excites me about VR is that it’s now possible.
DICKINSON: VR was something I was thinking about a lot because I had just made the movie called Creative Control, which Reggie is in, which is about augmented reality. As soon as I heard there was an opportunity to do something with VR, I thought about collaborating with Reggie. He is a musician but he’s also a philosopher and a comedian and a nerd. So I knew we could make something that had a music video aspect to it, but also had a bunch of other elements.
WATTS: I’ve known Ben for a long time. He directed a lot of my videos. We’re really good friends. We made Creative Control and then flash forward a few months and I get a message from Ben saying that he wants me to work with him on a VR project. And I just thought, first of all, this is insane. And secondly, of course. VR is something I have been dreaming about. It totally captivates me.
DICKINSON: The metaphor that works for me is that making a film is more like sharing a dream, because even if they are surreal, dreams tend to have a forward narrative and you are captive in them. And VR is more like making a waking life hallucination. Reggie and I talked about that a lot in regards to VR being a like a parallel reality. We wanted to riff off the concept of virtual reality within a virtual reality piece. I also wanted to do something in VR that was comical because a lot of the work I had seen was very serious.Reggie and I kept talking about Monty Python and Terry Gilliam’s animation.
WATTS: I like this idea of being guided through the experience and also the idea of misdirection. I thought it would be really funny to go inside of a simulation inside of the actual simulation. It was a dream mine and also seemed a very clever way of transitioning to another reality. I knew I liked the idea of being on the street, and a car almost hitting you and me saying here’s a portal and that leading into another reality and a nod to the Matrix, a construct, you’re just in a white rom, and I love the idea of Nathalie Emmanuel (Game Of Thrones, Furious 7) switching the reality with a device and seeing entirely different realities very easily changing. When you do that in VR it’s just shocking and it’s beautiful.
Reggie and Benjamin also had the chance to sit down with Jason Bentley and the KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic Crew during Sundance Film Festival to talk about Waves. Check out their interview here!
Check in with us again for more on WAVES and Reggie Watts VR!