Roundtable event for Encounters Film Festival on Immersive Film

During my first year at UWE film, Felix Hodgson, Louis Barron-Forde and I made an interactive film using new and innovative software ‘Stornaway.io’. Stornaway works to mirror interactive films such as Netflix’s ‘Bandersnatch’, and I was really excited to work with new software outside of traditional linear filmmaking. Thus, we birthed ‘Lost and Found’; a film that looks into the human experience and how we react to certain areas in our life- grief, sentimental items and their respective memories, and fantasy.

I was really excited to work with Louis and Felix on this film; not only am I close friends with both of them, but I really like their filmic styles. We all spoke about starting from the same position in the narrative: our amazing actress, Mereida Fajardo, would wake up in a bed and make certain decisions as to how she lives out her day.

Felix looked into a narrative of small fantastical beings living in Mereida’s wall. I really enjoy his take on how we grow up and interact differently with fantastical elements of our lives; he masterfully created this and I loved watching his meticulous production process.

Louis looked into how we deal with grief; Mereida spends this pathway dealing with the death of a loved one and living in a room which consistently reminds her of this loved one. I found Louis’ take on this subject to be touching and endearing; he dealt with such a difficult subject matter beautifully and really brought a personal touch to this part of the film.

I looked into how we interact with sentimental items and how they attach to our memories. In my pathway, Mereida keeps losing sentimental items and looking back on their respective memories. I find the idea of sentimentality really interesting; why as humans do we attach emotional attachments to things involved in our memories, when we can never relive those memories. I really loved exploring this, knowing this idea is very different for each person- Mereida was such a good actress to work with on this, as she brought her own sentimental items to the shoot, which I think helped the whole performance of this pathway.

Not only was the process of making this film very enjoyable, but it also led to it being shown at Encounters film festival. In late August, Kate and Ru from Stornaway.io reached out to us saying they wanted to include our film in their submission to Encounters, under the section of ‘immersive film’. We worked closely with both Kate and Ru through our production, helping to catch errors in their programme, and thus improve the software as a whole. We were delighted when we were offered this opportunity.

I, subsequently, sat down and did a roundtable interview with Kate and other filmmakers who have used Stornaway.io, as well as Dr Roy Hanney and Paul Raschid. It was a fab conversation about our creations, and the future of immersive filmmaking. You can find our interview on this page when it is out on friday:

https://www.encounters.film/immersive-encounters