I wrote a series of blog posts about my experiences during the making of Beach Road. The first post is here.
I am currently compiling notes for a book called Towards a New Cinematography, which is about how the interactions between computers and lenses are changing cinematography. Click here for more info.
PRESS RELEASE for BEACH ROAD, a 360 VR short film
Who: Beach Road is a co-production between Hiverlab and Stephen Black. Hiverlab is a Singaporean company specializing in 360 VR storytelling. https://www.hiverlab.com/ Hiverlab was established in 2012 by a team led by Ender Jiang, an award-winning indie film director, TEDx presenter and the founder of ifcity Stephen Black is an artist/writer experienced with video art as well as network television and movie production. www.blacksteps.tv Black is the author of several books, including I Ate Tiong Bahru. Black is currently working on a book about cinematography in the age of VR and drones.
What: Beach Road is a portrayal of a parking lot attendant who dreams of being a writer. A short film created in 360 VR, Beach Road stars Alps Bethneck and features original music by Bani Haykal and Chen YiQi.
When: As VR is such a new medium, online distribution of Beach Road is now undecided ; it may become an app unto itself.At the moment, it is available on Google Play. Beach Road will also be submitted for consideration by VR distributors such as Samsung’s Gear Indie. A launch party (in Singapore) is now being planned.
A chance meeting between Ender Jiang and Stephen Black resulted in the partnership that led to Beach Road. Both Stephen Black and the member of Hiverlab (Ender’s VR production company) are excited about storytelling in VR. Discussions were held and quickly plans were made.
According to Stephen Black, the team worked with their strengths. “Storytelling in VR is so new that we wanted to go slow. We decided to spend a great amount of time on location hunting, as we wanted scenes that really make the most of the 360 degree format. Although I am an artist/writer who has worked on all kinds of productions, we decided that the script would be written after shooting. We used one actor (Alps Bethneck) who simply walked around and wrote down his thoughts in a notebook. This simple approach allowed us to first create a purely visual experience.In post-production we wrote the script and added dynamics with music and voice over. This was a fantastic learning experience and we hope audiences will enjoy Beach Road”
Ender Jiang, who is well experienced with the creative, financial and technical sides of new media, especially 360 VR, adds,” Beach Road allowed us to refine our technical innovations, like stitching, and further develop 360 VR filmmaking techniques like editing. With VR, the viewer explores a story as well as watches it. This means the VR creators must create visual and audio clues so that the viewer doesn't get lost. The next step for us is to create interactive stories that allow users to trigger the stories by themselves. VR is fresh and new to everyone and we are eager to bring storytelling to a new level. Beach Road will, hopefully be part of a new era of storytelling.”