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“An Interactive and Realistic Amazon Environment”: Directors Milica Zec and Winslow Porter | Tree

Tree

During its development, production or eventual distribution, what specific challenge of communication did, or will your film, face? How did you deal with it, or how are you planning to deal with it?

Tree transports users into the body of a rainforest tree, where they can experience not only its splendor but also its untimely fate. One challenge we faced was how to communicate with our audience without using traditional dialogue – and to keep that message and execution organic while in a CGI landscape. Essentially, to “show,” via real-time experience and interactivity, rather than “tell.” In order to immerse users fully, we placed our virtual forest inside the Unreal video game engine, fostering an interactive and realistic Amazon environment. Then, we created a spatial soundscape and developed wearable haptics that help users physically feel the real-time growth of a tree. Heating elements complete the installation by allowing users to feel the warmth of the rainforest sun, just as a real tree would.

Each element of our process helps to fully immerse viewers into a tree’s point of view. We hope that by going through a tree’s life cycle, both visually and physically, users can begin to rethink their current relationship to nature as human beings – and help transform it into one of mutuality and understanding.

[VIEW THE PIECE: Click here for details.]

Sundance Responses 2017

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