A NEW PLACE FOR ANIMATED STORYTELLING: ADAPTING MAJOR SHAKESPEARE TEXTS FOR VR
Rall Hannes (Singapore)
1 – Assoc. Prof. Nanyang Technological University Singapore
Hannes Rall (aka Hans-Martin Rall) – Hannes Rall is a tenured Associate Professor at the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He is also a successful director of independent animated short films: His films, primarily animated adaptations of classic literature, have been shown in over 650 film-festivals worldwide and won 69 international awards. His book Animation: From Concept to Production was published 2017 by CRC Press (Taylor & Francis) Hannes has also currently completed the script for the animated feature film Die Nibelungen. In July 2019 his book Adaptation for Animation: Transforming Literature Frame by Frame will be published by CRC Press.
ShakesVRare is a research project that explores narrativity in VR through the animated adaptation of three Shakespeare plays: Macbeth, The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
How does storytelling in VR differ from the approach in traditional screen-based media? Traditionally the spectator is sitting in a fixed position directed towards the screen: The environment is entirely designed to enable him/her to capture every detail of a story.
Not so in virtual reality (VR): Suddenly there is a fully immersive world to explore. Looking in a different direction or choosing to literally walk away from the location where the story takes place will completely alter (or even destroy) the storytelling experience. This presentation investigates the correlation between the requirements of visual storytelling and the design of virtual locations in VR. Our aim to create a sequential narrative within a rich VR world results in multiple related questions: How does the environment need to look like to support a directed gaze of the viewer to follow a linear story? Can spatial limitations help to achieve this? What is the best solution to enable a rich and exciting experience of world discovery at the same time? How can spatial arrangements of sound be applied to enhance the communication of the VR narrative? The paper will propose possible solutions that can add new insights to the ongoing scholarly and practice based debates on storytelling in VR and expanded animation.
Rall Hannes (Singapore)