The challenges of indie immersive content closed this year’s Venice Production Bridge

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– VENICE 2021: The discussion focused on the questions posed by the moral standards of the platforms, how these can affect artistic expression and the main technical problems encountered in the VR exhibition

On September 8, the Spazio Incontri of the Excelsior hotel organized a panel entitled “Access to digital distribution for independent immersive content”. The event, moderated by an expert consultant in programming and Biennial College Cinema and Director of Studies of College Cinema VR Michel reilhac, took place during this year Venice production bridge (September 2-7).

The speakers of this session were VRrOOmCEO of Louis Cacciuttolo, Tung-yen Chou (Director of In the fog, remote assist from Taiwan), Lucidweb‘s Leen Segers (remotely from Brussels) and Anna abraham (Director of Angels in Amsterdam).

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The need to host this panel, Reihlac said, arose during this year’s selection process. “We have selected works for their very particular voices […] Freedom of speech is the founding value of everything we do. However, several of this content included nudity, politically controversial or overly provocative content, so we ended up removing it from our selection or asked the creators to re-edit their work to remove scenes that did not meet the required moral standards. by platforms, ”he explained.

First, Abraham spoke through his work Amsterdam Angels. His project takes place in the 17e century and revolves around four poor young women who leave the countryside for Amsterdam. The work, entirely in black and white, focuses on power relations, men and women, and the differences between urban and rural spheres. “We used history to talk about these days,” she said, “These women find four different“ solutions ”: one decides to become a man, a black girl runs away from slavery , one becomes a prostitute and one goes into a spiral of panic, accidentally murdering someone and ending up hanged in Dam Square.

Two of the four girls participate in nude scenes, so the team decided not to activate all of their two portraits, but to allow the download of the full version featuring all the characters. Several solutions have been explored, but this one seemed to satisfy both creators and breeders.

Speaking about his work, Chou said it also contains sexually explicit content and explained that virtual reality works “when vision activates the emotions and the senses”, providing a “realistic look”. However, he discovered that his work could not be part of the competition for technical reasons. He warned that “there will be more works that will break these boundaries and we must find a way to ensure the freedom of our expression in virtual reality work. We cannot allow this kind of situation to kill the creativity in our art form, ”he added.

“Many don’t know that we have browsers in most of the VR sets out there, which allows us to display the content in high quality resolution,” Segers said. Lucidweb, in particular, has spent the past two years optimizing players featuring 360 and VR content on Chrome, Safari, Opera, Edge, and on any device. Lucidweb primarily targets companies that can lease their technology on a monthly or annual basis, while publishers retain the power to decide how their monetization models work. Commenting on the price brackets, she revealed that the minimum price to rent technology from Lucidweb is € 3,000 per year, which includes some basic storage, streaming and transcoding options.

Later, Cacciuttolo spoke about their app for playing VR and AR content: “One of the things we did to get no reaction from users was put up a parental disclaimer that says that they could have found mature content. This resulted in it being classified as an adult content app which it was not.

One of the solutions was to use web VR: “This year we made the first attempt at SXSW. The 360 ​​content was hosted by Lucidweb, but via the SXSW online platform. However, several problems arose. One of the most important was that most users were not always well equipped to watch this content, but security breaches were also a major risk. For example, many users were registered with an individual password and could download the content, so creators had to implement a line of code to implement a time-limited viewport. The experience, although it is not entirely satisfactory and results in significant losses (mainly due to the costs incurred in renting the servers for the gigantic amount of data required for multiple high-quality projections), will not prevent Cacciuttolo from moving forward and continuing to search for more feasible solutions. “It’s important to give these creators a platform where they can thrive and not get diluted in other platforms, the majority of which are made for VR games,” he concluded.

The event was closed with a series of questions from the audience.

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