The Mechanics of Immersion

a Digital/Media studio @ RMIT University

Hot’n’Tasty Studio Takeaways

As discussed in our final THINKING session on Wednesday, here are our hot’n’tasty studiotakeaways:

  1. Subjective variability
    There is no guarantee that a viewer/listener/audient will be immersed in your project. Rather, we can use and abuse conventional approaches towards an intended emotional response. Try to shotgun it — aim for the widest possible audience proportion. Think about HOW you are trying to deal with subjective variability. ie. You might be constructing a deeply immersive experience but the exact dimensions of what an immersee will experience might vary wildly from person to person.
  2. Representation vs Mediation
    We can represent something, or we can mediate it. The second approach allows us to heighten or intensify that thing’s qualities/characteristics, or mess with them completely. Consider conventional routes to your destination, then throw in a couple of detours. Consider the costs and benefits of both.
  3. Re-evaluation of the relationship between sound and image
    For many filmmakers, sound is usually an afterthought (Dan considers himself guilty of this, too), leaving the soundtrack/soundscape amateurish, rushed, and ill-considered. The dichotomy between sound and vision is a holdover from old approaches to film analysis, and must be reconsidered. Sound does not just add value, nor should sound and vision be considered in a yin-and-yang type configuration. The cinematic experience should be considered as multiple intersecting streams of information. Whilst we might only attend a few at any given moment, the mesh of all the elements is still processed subconsciously leading to the feel of film.
  4. Complexity / Ambiguity / Creative Boldness / Cohesion
    Your audience should feel as though they are being guided through an experience. There is a balance to be struck here between ambiguity, articulation, and complexity. You don’t want to make your audience feel stupid, but if they do not understand the experience, they should not feel that it’s because you haven’t done your job; they should feel as though they just don’t get it.
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Dan • October 12, 2017

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