Screen School VR Lab

In 2019, The Screen School VR Lab returned to ASFF. Presented in partnership with London College of Communication, this is a platform for audiences to explore film like never before, offering the opportunity to take viewing experiences into new dimensions and be immersed in some of the world’s most exciting new technologies.

The VR Lab was complemented by a series of panel discussions which truly delve into the making and realisation of VR and 360 film through the lens of ethics, production and storytelling. Questions are asked: What might the cinematic landscape look like in the future? What are the implications of working with immersive film?

360 Cinema

Audiences were invited lose themselves in the magic of 360 filmmaking and delve head first into bold and exciting stories that immerse the viewer in the centre of the action.

360 filmmaking offers the unique opportunity to experience the full potential of cinema, transporting viewers to new worlds and allowing them to consider different perspectives.

The 360 Cinema included five curated screenings, showcasing the most exciting and innovative work from talented practitioners in new technologies, exploring the potential of fascinating documentary, groundbreaking experimental film and awe inspiring narratives.

Viewers we encouraged to journey to the top of Mount Everest, explore a futuristic city scape, play witness to the Warsaw Uprising, journey boldly into space or join the a dreamlike animated adventure.

Immersive Experiences Lab

Bringing viewers ever closer to the action, the Immersive Experience Lab encouraged audiences to step beyond the confides of traditional cinema, allowing viewers to interact with the action.

Viewers bore witness to an epic Viking battle, explored the human stories and vast concrete structures of the Aylesbury Estate, risked life and limb in a Orwellian road race and experienced first hand the growth and life of a tree from sapling to towering giant.

The Immersive Experience Lab grants the opportunity to explore the potential of VR in a celebration of innovation and technical triumph.

VR Discussions

Running alongside the Screen School VR Lab, ASFF welcomed industry professionals and practitioners to share their experiences of working with new technologies. In these relaxed discussions, our guests explored the practicalities and challenges of VR filmmaking, considering practical techniques as well as the potential of VR, its role in the future of cinema and its purpose beyond the realm of filmmaking.

VR Panelists

Alia Sheikh

Senior Development Producer
BBC Research & Development

Alia Sheikh is a director, producer, research scientist and a broadcast research engineer. Her work is focused on ensuring that the world’s oldest national broadcasting organisation understands the narrative potential of future immersive formats.

Ana-Despina Tudor

MA Virtual Reality Course Leader

London College of Communication

Ana is the Course Leader of the VR Master’s Programme at London College of Communication, where she also teaches VR content creation and immersive storytelling. She has a PhD in Human Computer Interaction for VR content design.

Andrew McHugh

Co-Founder & Creative Director

Boom Clap Play

Andrew is a Co-Founder and Creative Director of studio Boom Clap Play. Andrew is an award winning designer with over 12 years of experience working at various studios, finding solutions for top clients including BBC, Channel 4 and Net-A-Porter.

Andy Sandham

Senior Lecturer

York St John University

Andy Sandham is Subject Leader in Game Design at the School of Art, Design & Computer Science at York St John University and is involved in a number of commercial and research based AR/VR and 360 film projects. He is also a Game Developer.

Ben Fredericks

Director Playing God

Ben Fredericks is a visual artist who works predominantly in moving image, producing artworks that are focused on concerns relating to ethics. His work is highly influenced by cinema and narrative structures in storytelling.

Dan Bartlett

Programme Director
London College of Communication

Dan Bartlett is Programme Director for Moving Image & Digital Arts at London College of Communication. Dan is an animation visual development artist exploring the duality of fundamental artistic principles and emergent digital technologies.

Darren Emerson

Director Common Ground

Darren Emerson is a director, producer and co-founder of production company East City Films, and its subsidiary VR City. He is a passionate advocate of VR story-telling and has been invited to speak at VR Labs and conferences around the world.

Elaine Wong

Partnerships Manager
StoryFutures Academy

Elaine is a Programme Advisor for BFI London Film Festival and previews for Sheffield Doc/Fest and Underwire. She co-founded VR Distribution company Other Set in 2017, and currently works at the National Centre for Immersive Storytelling: StoryFutures Academy.

Elliot Graves

Director A Violated Dream: The Colombian No Man’s Land

Elliot leads Atlantic Productions’ Immersive and Digital content through Alchemy Immersive. As an immersive experience Director, he works across all XR technologies including augmented reality and AI empowered experiences.

Hanna Västinsalo

Director Kohtulaulu

Hanna Västinsalo has a Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the University of Helsinki. She is currently directing a virtual reality animation for Helsinki City Museum. Her goal as an artist is to explore what questions yet remain unasked.

Marian Ursu

Professor in Interactive Media

University of York

Marian is the Head of Interactive Media in the Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media at University of York. He is also the Research & Development Co-Director of XR Stories and Co-Director of the Digital Creativity Labs.

Milo Taylor

Course Leader

London College of Communication

Milo Taylor is an artist, musician, producer and researcher, and is Course Leader for the BA Sound Arts and Design course at London College of Communication. He has taught Sound Art and Design for many years from a range of perspectives.

Richard Nockles

Creative Director
Sky VR

Richard Nockles has been at the cutting edge of VR innovation for the last eight years. Currently working as Creative Director at Sky VR, Richard has helped shape and accelerate the broadcaster’s output across sports, documentary and drama.

Sam Pinney

VR Screenwriter

Sam’s credits include being the screenwriter for a Virtual Reality Experience for Ridley Scott Associates / The Viking Planet. Before screenwriting, he was a journalist for over a decade – writing for The Guardian and The Telegraph.

Samantha Kingston

Director Anonymous

Dinosaur Lover. VR Pioneer. Awards Magnet. Samantha Kingston is Virtual Umbrella’s unstoppable CEO. Samantha and her team have been representing and supporting the UK VR industry for the last five years. Anonymous is her first 360 film.

Steve Jelley

Co-Founder & Managing Director Hammerhead VR

Steve Jelley is an award-winning producer and creative entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in content production, distribution and technology innovation. He is co-founder and joint managing director of Hammerhead VR.

In Partnership with London College of Communication

In 2019, for the second year running, we proudly worked in partnership with London College of Communication’s Screen School Programme to bring VR and Immersive experiences to ASFF. Screen School goes beyond traditional academic models, designed instead to bring film and television together with the disciplines of games, animation, sound arts and design and live events.