Scotchegg Visits Flatpack

Experiencing Virtual Mobile Worlds

With Flatpack Film Festival happening right on our doorstep, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to attend and experience what they had on offer. Taking over Minerva Works, the Electric Cinema and many other venues throughout Birmingham, Flatpack brings an eccentric mix of film, performances, workshops, and events to our local streets. From the classics to the new and experimental, there were a few events that we just couldn’t miss.

DVD Bang proved to be a popular attraction. Set up in a desolate old warehouse, DVD Bang was the UK’s one and only East Asian micro-cinema where you can go and watch a DVD with a group of friends in a social place. The space was created to mimic the popular intimate screening rooms in South Korea and made a truly immersive film space that you would never expect to find hidden away in the small streets of Digbeth. From what I remember, speaking with one of Flatpacks team, the DVD’s were all donated by an obsessive DVD collector from Birmingham who had hoarded thousands and thousands of DVD’s and VCR’s throughout his life.

We attended various events throughout the festival from short film screenings to exhibitions to installations at BCU Parkside but one event truly stood out to us as a must see.

In the Doghouse, an immersive virtual film, gave Occulus Rift its first welcome to our city, and we really couldn’t contain our excitement. As we entered the space, we were sat down at a fully set dinner table and told to put on the Occulus Rift Goggles and Headphones. Once in, we had to move our heads to choose our native language before we were all submerged into a three dimension film at the said dinner table.

Occulus Rift - the future of web and film.

Occulus Rift – the future of web and film. (Courtesy of Flatpack Film Fest)

Five people experienced the event at a time, each one taking a different seat around the table to embody a different character from the film. The twenty minute piece then took all the characters on a journey through their individual stories. Set as a family dinner, the audience became the brothers, the parents and the visiting girlfriend. With each character living its own story and coming together at the table, every participants experience was different at the same time as being collective.

The quality of the film was higher than expected, but the travel sickness came in under five minutes of first entering this virtual world which comes as a bit o a disappointment. If we put that to one side, the event really showed what the future of cinema could be and demonstrated the mediums potential to recreate the world of film.