Virtual Realities - Immersive Documentary Encounters

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Computer Science

Abstract

This project explores the application of Virtual Reality (VR) technology to documentary content. Thirty years since the term virtual reality was coined, and nearly fifty years since Ivan Sutherland's first experiments with a "head mounted three dimensional display", developments in hardware and software now make VR viable as a mass-market consumer proposition, and 2016 sees a variety of devices coming to market. While cinema offers an optical illusion of movement, 360 experiences offer a new generation of illusion - a powerful sense of "being there" within the scene portrayed known as presence. To date, consumer VR has been associated with gaming. However, the potential audience appeal promised by presence has led to considerable interest in the video market - notably among producers of non-fiction content. 2015 saw VR projects commissioned by the New York Times, Vice News and the UN for example, the latter winning the Innovation Award at the Sheffield DocFest - one of the world's major non-fiction markets.
We hypothesise that Virtual Reality documentary has significant potential to inform public debate - offering new directions and in particular novel forms of witnessing enabled by 360 perspectives, but that the powerful sense of presence offered by immersion also gives rise to ethical challenges; does the feeling of "being there" offer genuine insight or a new form of voyeurism? do unmanned 360 camera rigs feel like surveillance to subjects? a user in an immersive headset experience is likely to be paying attention to the world depicted, but what does that mean for their presence where they are standing?
The project will approach these questions through six case studies created by industry partners - examining production and user experience. Producers will share their approaches to storytelling in this new 360 medium. With an audience group who we will follow from their first exposure to VR, we will investigate engagement, attention, understanding and emotional reaction, as experienced on contrasting VR platforms, and compare these with 2D and 3D experiences delivered without headsets. The first three case studies will address the theme of migration - one of the big global challenges that has been a notable subject of VR non-fiction to date.
The research will explore the implications of exposure to powerful documentary content within immersive experiences, probe issues around isolation and sociality that relate to the use of headsets. The project will also consider the point-of-view of the subjects of media, asking for example whether particular issues around privacy arise in the context of 3D filming and immersive display. Drawing on findings from the case studies, and from workshops with industry and community partners, we will define key themes which will be explored in the production of three path finding prototypes. These will illustrate research findings and suggest future directions for Virtual Reality documentary.
Producers are eager to engage with the potentials of VR documentary, but face challenges around language, technology and audience insight. Through a process of investigation, dialogue, and shared findings, the research will stage a timely engagement with this emerging medium, supporting the development of this new production sector, while keeping the interest of audience and subjects to the fore.

Planned Impact

The work undertaken in this proposal seeks to create both economic and societal impact.

Creative Industries are now worth £84 billion according to the UK's government economic estimates (January 2016), with significant emphasis placed on VR with a current market estimated at $6.7 billion and VR hardware sales expected to reach $70 billion by 2020 (Re/code). VR experiences are moving into the mainstream, with entry points to VR available at every level of consumer interest, from Google Cardboard to high end consumer experience such as Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

Therefore an investigation into the opportunities and challenges of VR for documentary content creation and user experience is timely and pertinent. The project will support the digital and creative economy by providing much needed evaluation, critical reflection and guidance to this fast-growing new market including VR technology creators and documentary producers, from large corporations through to small independents. This intelligence is critical to understand the affordances of VR for documentary in order for the UK to emerge as leaders in documentary content creation and consumption of this new medium. It also has potential impact for creators of content within the wider field where Virtual Reality technology is being applied to non-fiction - museums, galleries, marketing, music videos and other forms of factual entertainment, as well as those exploring VR for journalism. While the domain of the research is VR, the findings also have relevance and potential impact more widely for creators of virtual experiences such as the emerging Augmented Reality (AR) market.

These impacts will emerge from a number of aspects of the research:
- investigation into and assessment of best creative practice to date.
- investigation into and assessment of audience experience.
- networking during the course of the project and dialogue between major industry players and SMEs at the forefront of creative work in the field.
-the advancement of a common language for this new medium between makers, creators, technologists and audiences.
- the demonstration of future directions for VR non-fiction through co-production of prototypes with SMEs.
- the development of guidelines for ethical practice.

Industry will be reached through panels and workshops at the VR World Congress, Virtual Reality Summit, Sheffield DocFest, the International Journalism Festival, Perugia, IDFA Doc Lab, Tribeca Interactive and Sundance Festival.

Dissemination on social media will be key for reach so the project will develop not only a project website but also a presence on twitter and facebook, as well as targeting and working with groups with established social media followings such as i-Docs and Women in VR.

Documentary, journalism and factual media play a significant role in informing and encouraging public debate. The project therefore also anticipates societal impact in supporting the development of meaningful and ethical forms of VR non-fiction practice which can reflect and critique "our shared world" (Nichols). It will also have potential impact on the video practices of the public as they engage with 360 media, to date as viewers but in the future increasingly also as amateur producers.
 
Title Love & Seawater 
Description Love and Seawater is the first VR work created by filmmaker Lisa Harewood and creative technologist Ewan Cass-Kavanagh. This work addresses the legacy of the separations between parents and children that have been a feature of Caribbean economic migration, and takes a participatory approach to production, involving those affected by this theme in developing a VR treatment of this previously invisible aspect of global migrant culture. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact The prototype of Love & Seawater was experienced by attendees at the Showcase event in June 2019. The artists have further plans to develop the piece further and the artists have sought further funding where opportunity has arisen eg at IDFA Doclab. Possible ideas for future which have been suggested by the artists include the possibility to incorporate the VR piece as one element of a larger exhibition about separation of child and parent as a result of economic caribbean migration. 
 
Title The Waiting Room: VR 
Description The Waiting Room, from Bafta Award winner Victoria Mapplebeck tells the story of her own breast cancer from diagnosis through treatment to recovery. Her first exploration of VR; this project explores the cultural myths and language of chronic illness, asking us to confront what we can and what we can't control when our bodies fail us. A mixture of CGI and 360, the piece has been very successful since its first showing at the Showcase in June 2019. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Premiered at Venice film festival, shortlisted for the linear competition August/Sep 2019 Winner of Digital Storytelling Award at IDFA November 2019. International media coverage. Exhibited in Global Health Film Festival Virtual Reality exhibition December 2019 
 
Title Transplant 
Description Transplant is a new work by producers Oscar Raby and Katy Morrison of the Melbourne based VRTOV studio, whose field-defining VR projects have been shown and celebrated from Sundance to Sheffield DocFest. Set in Chile under the dictatorship of General Pinochet, Transplant centres on the ideas of biologist and philosopher Francisco Varela, as he undergoes a liver transplant, it asks; how do we repair a damaged organism? How do we reorganise a damaged society? Transplant asks us to consider, through interactive VR, the relationship between body and mind. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact A prototype of Transplant was experienced by attendees at the Showcase event in June 2019. The artist has been seeking further funding to develop further. 
 
Description Although we are still early on within the project as a whole through the analysis of some of the work packages initial findings are being raised.

The analysis that has been done from the creation of the VR mediography we are able to detect that there are popular content themes to the pieces of VR that have been created thus far. We are also able to see how the pieces of VR non-fiction have increased in length as the producers are exploring the new medium and the time people are in the VR experience. We have now finished populating the VR mediography with a comprehensive list of non fiction VR pieces until 2018 and therefore have started to conduct a more more thorough analysis looking at different narrative and technological techniques which effect the user's experience. This has led to a paper being accepted to be presented at ACM CHI 2019 and received an honorable mention.

We have completed an "in the wild" audience study involving 12 households recruited locally from as diverse a range as possible. We provided them with an Oculus Go and a selection of VRNF pieces to view over an 8 week period. Within the study participants were asked to reflect on the VR platforms themselves; on individual and communal experiences of VRNF; on their emotional & intellectual responses to VRNF; and on how VRNF might form part of a wider diet of NF media. The data from this study is currently being analysed and will form the basis of two papers.

We have also completed a psychological study with over 100 participants examining how watching the Virtual Reality Nonfiction documentary "Clouds Over Sidra", which shows the life of Syrian Refugees in a refugee camp in Jordan affects participants explicit and implicit attitudes towards Arabs and pro-social behaviour. Participants viewed the documentary on either an Oculus Rift or on a tablet and either as a 360 video or from a fixed view. The data from this study has been written for a Journal paper currently under review.

We have worked in collaboration with the BBC on a psychological study examining the effect of co-presence/synchronised viewing of immersive content on audience response.The data from this study is being written for a journal paper.

We undertook our VR commissioning process, to which we had over 150 applications from around the world including award winning producers and artists. We had two calls, one for experienced VR producers which led to the Transplant VR prototype developed by VRTOV based in Australia and one for experienced nonfiction producers but who have not worked with VR before which led to two pieces: Love and Seawater by Lisa Harewood and Ewan Cass-Kavanagh and Waiting Room:VR by Victoria Mapplebeck. All three prototypes were shown to an invited audience at the project's showcase in June 2019. Waiting Room: VR went on to be selected to premiere at Venice International Film Festival and IDFA DocLab where it won the award for Best Digital Storytelling. All three VR pieces are currently seeking further funding to aid further development as well as showing to other audiences.

We have commenced a production study which is interviewing a wide range of producers within Virtual Reality Nonfiction to explore current business models, alongside examining the three commissions we produced in detail exploring their production processes.

We have been involved in organising several events regarding the ethics of Virtual Reality Nonfiction, including running an event hosted by the BBC attended by international academics and industry.

We are currently undertaking a psychological study on the Waiting Room: VR piece exploring the effect of posture upon audience response to the immersive experience.
Exploitation Route The VR mediography is openly accessible for both academics and VR producers to explore and give us feedback. http://vrdocumentaryencounters.co.uk/vrmediography/vrmediography/
Sectors Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL http://vrdocumentaryencounters.co.uk/
 
Description EPSRC IAA KTP - Future Ethics in Quantum and VR: developing creative engagement techniques, performances and resources.
Amount £34,428 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 11/2019
 
Title Non-Fiction Documentary VR: A Mediography 
Description "Non-Fiction Documentary VR: A Mediography" is a database of non-fiction documentary VR projects, covering the period 2012-end of 2018. A web-based frontend has also been developed for the database, providing analytics and an interactive timeline. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Since launching in mid January 2018, the Mediography website has attracted 604 page views over 1700+ sessions from 604 unique visitors. 
URL http://vrdocumentaryencounters.co.uk/vrmediography/
 
Description Aardman Animations 
Organisation Aardman Animations Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Aardman Animations are a partner on the project as named in the grant. Representatives of Aardman Animations have attended our workshops where we share our research expertise and findings from the project
Collaborator Contribution Representatives of Aardman Animations attend our workshops and contribute relevant projects and industry expertise which Aardman Animations have amassed working within Virtual Reality.
Impact ongoing
Start Year 2018
 
Description Archers Mark 
Organisation Archer's Mark
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Archers Mark are a partner on the project as named in the grant. Representatives of Archers Mark have attended our workshops where we share our research expertise and findings from the project
Collaborator Contribution Representatives of Archers Mark attend our workshops and contribute relevant industry expertise built up over years of working within Virtual Reality.
Impact ongoing
Start Year 2018
 
Description BBC 
Organisation British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution BBC are a partner on the project as named in the grant. A representative of the BBC R&D team (Maxine Glancy) attends our regular project meetings where we share our research expertise and findings from the project. The BBC hosted the ethics themed workshop which took place in November 2019 and have co-produced a psychological study.
Collaborator Contribution A representative of the BBC R&D team (Maxine Glancy) attends our regular project meetings and contributes relevant findings and research that the BBC are conducting within Virtual Reality nonfiction. The BBC hosted the Ethics workshop in November 2019 at their BBC London site.
Impact ongoing.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Commissioned team 1- VRTOV 
Organisation VRTOV
Country Australia 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The commissioned team have received funding of £50,000 from the research grant to develop a pathfinding prototype for Virtual Reality nonfiction. We have organised several workshops to influence and support the development of this new, bold and distinctive VR documentary. We have set up a communication channel for all three commissioned teams to communicate with the each other as well as with the research team. We are researching their production process to record this nascent medium and understand the challenges they are experiencing and design choices that they are making. We will be collaborating with them to showcase the commissions in suitable forums.
Collaborator Contribution Transplant is a new work by producers Oscar Raby and Katy Morrison of the VRTOV studio, whose field-defining VR projects have been shown and celebrated from Sundance to Sheffield DocFest. Transplant is set in Chile under the dictatorship of General Pinochet. Centring on the ideas of biologist and philosopher Francisco Varela, as he undergoes a liver transplant, it asks; how do we repair a damaged organism? how do we reorganise a damaged society? Transplant asks us to consider, through interactive VR, the relationship between body and mind.
Impact Ongoing
Start Year 2019
 
Description MIT Open Documentary Lab 
Organisation MIT Open Documentary Lab
Sector Learned Society 
PI Contribution MIT Open Documentary Lab are a partner on the project as named in the grant. Representatives of MIT Open Documentary Lab have attended our workshops where we share our research expertise and findings from the project and in 2019 Dr D Green went on a secondment Oct -Nov to MIT to share knowledge.
Collaborator Contribution Representatives of MIT Open Documentary Lab attend our workshops and contribute relevant findings and research that they are conducting within Virtual Reality nonfiction.
Impact ongoing
Start Year 2018
 
Description The Guardian 
Organisation Guardian Media Group
Department Guardian News and Media
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The Guardian are a partner on the project as named in the grant. Representatives of the Guardian have attended our workshops where we share our research expertise and findings from the project. Due to the Guardian closing its VR team The Guardian has not participated in recent events, however, the former lead of the VR team is still engaged with our work.
Collaborator Contribution Representatives of The Guardian attend our workshops and contribute relevant findings and research that the Guardian are conducting within Virtual Reality nonfiction.
Impact ongoing
Start Year 2018
 
Description The Watershed 
Organisation Watershed Media Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We are bringing our underlying research on VR nonfiction production to the commissioning process, as well as research findings.
Collaborator Contribution Watershed are contributing expertise in commissioning and production process.
Impact The Watershed and research team work together on the commissioning aspects of the project. The partnership has so far resulted in the call for commissions, shortlisting and interviewing of the shortlisted candidates and continues to support the commissioned teams while they develop their non fiction pieces via a series of commissions workshops and setting up of communication channels between all parties.
Start Year 2018
 
Description VR City 
Organisation VR City
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution VR City are a partner on the project as named in the grant. Representatives of VR City have attended our workshops where we share our research expertise and findings from the project.
Collaborator Contribution Representatives of VR City attend our workshops and contribute relevant industry expertise built up over years of working within Virtual Reality.
Impact ongoing
Start Year 2018
 
Title A 360 degree video playback, recording and review platform allowing for synchronised playback on multiple VR headsets 
Description Developed for use in one of the studies in 2019 a 360 degree video playback, recording and review platform allowing for synchronised playback on multiple VR headsets. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact The software has facilitated collaborative research. 
 
Title A 360-degree video playback and visualisation platform that provides frame-by-frame analysis and comparison of viewer gaze behaviour. 
Description A 360-degree video playback and visualisation platform that provides frame-by-frame analysis and comparison of viewer gaze behaviour. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Our video player is cross-platform and capable of handling all forms of 360 degree video. It is currently supporting three collaborative user studies across our three project sites. 
 
Title A 360-degree video player with inbuilt head telemetry recording 
Description A 360-degree video player with inbuilt head telemetry recording. Developed for Oculus Rift, GO / Gear VR. Also compatible with tablet playback using the 'magic window' approach. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact This analytics suite is allowing us to examine differences in viewing behaviours across multiple films and types of VR scene. This tool is currently supporting two large collaborative research projects across our three project sites. We are developing the functionality of the tool to ultimately support VR content creators. 
 
Description D Green Guest lecture, University of North Texas, Thursday 24th October 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation given to audience at this event which took place in the Department of Media Arts - MFA Colloquium. This visit also involved some consultancy on curriculum development for the new MFA VR programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description A preliminary opinion survey about audiences of VR non-fiction 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An expert opinion survey of 60+ professional directors, curators and producers of non-fiction VR, asking questions about what we need to know about audiences of non-fiction VR.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://eu.jotform.com/73114258709357
 
Description Art, Research and Creativity Event - Tales from the Field Talk, Danae Stanton Fraser 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Danae Stanton Fraser gave a talk on her interdisciplinary work, co-designing with the creative industry. Tales from the field - Art, Research and Creativity. Hosted by the Arts Council at The Edge. This galvanized relationships with Bath Spa and others leading to an AHRC Creative Clusters bid submission.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Bristol Computer Science lunchtime talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A seminar, half of which was dedicated to communicating the aims of the Virtual Realities project to an audience of peers in the academic community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description C Bevan and S Gray Knowledge Exchange and the Creative Industries Seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact As part of a series of seminars around Knowledge Exchange and the Creative Industries, Chris Bevan and Stuart Gray presented, drawing from experiences of working on this and a related project. The seminars were themed around the theme of future directions for immersivity in the creative industries, with each event exploring collaborations across different creative forms, including cinema, theatre, virtual and augmented reality, music, and audio storytelling.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/knowledge-exchange-and-the-creative-industries-seminar-3-tickets-7601...
 
Description Changing your mind: the ethics of VR Non Fiction workshop held at BBC, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This workshop gathered together a diverse group of people from across industry and academia, and included VR and non fiction makers and producers as well as academics from numerous disciplines. Some very interesting discussions were captured with plans to produce a set of principles for producers working in the field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://vrdocumentaryencounters.co.uk/home/_project-news/changing-your-mind-the-ethics-of-virtual-rea...
 
Description Commissioning Workshops for commissioned teams 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Three Commissioning Workshops have been delivered (January 2019 and March 2019 and May 2019). These workshops have brought together the commissioned teams with the research team and Watershed producer to discuss the work each commissioned team are doing and ensure close collaboration and focused attention to the research questions. Bringing the commissioned teams together to relate to each other so they become a cohort has also provided valuable insight and opportunities for exchange of information and ideas.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Commissions publicity 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact PR focusing on the announcement of the three successful commissioned teams commissioned to produce non fiction Virtual Reality documentaries as part of the project. Coordinated approach between University of Bristol press team and those of Bath University and UWE as well as Watershed PR agency Ladbury. Articles appeared on the three University web pages as well as that of Watershed and was sent to industry specific news agencies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2019/march/vr-documentaries.html
 
Description Creation of project website and social media channels 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A public facing website for the "Virtual Realities" project was developed and launched in Jan 2018. The website provides a portal for project related news and events, details of the team members and our external partners. An associated social media channel for the project has also been created on Twitter. As of 9/3/20, our project website has attracted 3422 sessions from 3400 unique users. Our Twitter handle @VRDocsProject has attracted 427 followers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019,2020
URL http://vrdocumentaryencounters.co.uk/
 
Description D Green Guest lecture at Concordia University, Montreal, Department of Communication Studies 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Guest lecture about the project given on Friday 15th November entitled Virtual Realities to an audience of students and academics at Concordia University, Montreal, Department of Communication Studies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description D Green Guest lecture at IDEAS Lab, School of Communication, American University, Washington DC 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dave presented a talk on Wednesday 20th November about the project to an audience of students and academics at IDEAS Lab, School of Communication, American University, Washington DC.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description D Green guest lecture at MIT Open Doc Lab - Autumn Seminar Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dave presented at MIT Open Doc Lab Who Says VR is a good platform for nonfiction? to an in-room audience of 25-30 people and it was also live-streamed and video recorded, linked from MIT Open Doclab website at http://opendoclab.mit.edu/presents/david-green-documentary-maker-interdisciplinary-researcher/.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrqLHoJJoQI
 
Description D Green presentation at MeCCSA, Brighton 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact D Green presented "A very unsociable device in a very sociable household": An empirical study exploring wider audiences for virtual reality nonfiction at the MeCCSA conference, Brighton, January 2020. The MeCCSA conference is an annual presentation for the best work across the full range of MeCCSA interests, and for 2020 its theme was Media Interactions and Environments.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://staff.brighton.ac.uk/ahs/Publicdocs/FULL%20PROGRAMME%20MeCCSA.pdf
 
Description D Green, C Bevan, S Gray, K Cater plus colleagues secured and facilitated TVX Workshop as part of the TVX programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This half-day workshop explored the ethics of Virtual Reality (VR) through conversations framed around design fictions. The workshop was well attended (formed part of the TVX programme) and allowed for participants to bring together diverse scenarios and design fictions created specifically to explore VR ethics, thus facilitating a rich discussion around ethical issues we expect to encounter as VR heads out of the lab and 'into the wild'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://vrdocumentaryencounters.co.uk/home/_project-news/using-design-fiction-to-explore-the-ethics-o...
 
Description D Stanton Fraser Presentation at Audience of the Futures showcase at Digital Catapult 13 February 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This lightening talk about Immersion and VR included details of the project. It took place at Digital Catapult Audience of the Future Event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Danae Stanton Fraser Invited to speak at Facebook London as part of the UX Research Speaker Series 9 October 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Danae Stanton Fraser spoke at Facebook to an internal audience there to highlight the work that is being conducted within the project and start discussions on how they might be involved in future workshops.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Danae Stanton Fraser Keynote speech at VR in Education 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The VR in education conference is detailed at https://www.swansea.ac.uk/vr-in-teaching/vr-conference/ and there is a video of Danae Stanton Fraser keynote speech at the URL below.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm0m97w2TEg
 
Description Danae Stanton Fraser Talk at Mixed Reality lab, University of Nottingham, 31 October 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk at Mixed Reality lab
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/mixedrealitylab/events/2018-10-31-school-seminar-danaë-...
 
Description Danae Stanton Fraser invited to attend Education Committee session on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the role of education - Tuesday 11 December at 10am 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The inquiry is ongoing to examine the challenges posed and opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Danae took part in the second evidence session as part of the inquiry to look at how best to prepare young people to take advantage of future opportunities by examining the suitability of the school curriculum. It is also looking at the role of lifelong learning and how best to help people climb the ladder of opportunity in the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.fenews.co.uk/press-releases/23133-fw-education-committee-holds-session-on-the-fourth-ind...
 
Description Dave Green Presentation - Storytelling in VR at the MIT Open Doc Lab Wellesley High School Evolutions Visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Dave gave a presentation - Storytelling in VR to high school students and teachers on Wednesday 13th November.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Dave Green organised regular immersion reading group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A regular reading group to discuss developments within the field of non fiction virtual reality.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description H Farmer and C Bevan Project demonstrated at stand at Digital Economies 10 Year Showcase exhibition, March 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact As one of very few projects invited to exhibit, this was an excellent opportunity for us to feed back our work to our funder and catch up with other ESPRC-funded research teams from across the UK. http://vrdocumentaryencounters.co.uk/home/_project-news/vr-docs-project-at-the-epsrc-digital-economy-theme-10-year-showcase
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://epsrc.ukri.org/blog/a-decade-of-success-in-the-digital-economy/
 
Description Harry Farmer - Poster presentation at IEEEVR 2019 on VR and Attentional Synchrony 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Harry Farmer presented a poster on the results of a study investigating attentional synchrony and VR at IEEEVR 2019 in Osaka, Japan
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://ieeevr.org/2019/program/posters.html
 
Description Harry Farmer Interview for BBC World Service 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Dr Harry Farmer was interviewed by BBC World Service for a program on how technology can guide projects to increase cooperation as part of the Crossing Divides series.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csxfhz
 
Description Honorable mention for Paper at CHI ACM 2019, Glasgow 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Honorable mention received for paper Behind the Curtain of the "Ultimate Empathy Machine": On the Composition of Virtual Reality Nonfiction Experiences, Bevan, C., Green, D., Farmer, H., Rose, M., Cater, K., Stanton Fraser, D., & Brown, H, presented at the CHI 2019 conference by C Bevan.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://chi2019.acm.org/web-program.php?search=bevan
 
Description Interview by Mandy Rose on Radio 4 programme - "I Feel for You - Empaths and Empathy" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Radio 4 Producer Jolyon Jenkins read my article - The Immersive Turn - in Studies in Documentary Film special edition on virtual reality. My argument significantly influenced the programme he was developing looking at the contemporary cultural preoccupation with empathy. Jenkins interviewed me and my contribution ran through a ten minute section of the programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0001xsk
 
Description Invited talk at Disself Conference, Porto Portugal 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Harry Farmer gave an invited talk on the use of self plasticity to reduce prejudice in which he outlined project research on whether 360 video could lead to prejudice reduction.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk at Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Harry Farmer gave an invited talk in which he outlined project research on whether 360 video could lead to prejudice reduction.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk at UCL PALS Harry Farmer 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Harry Farmer gave an invited talk on the use of self plasticity to reduce prejudice in which he outlined project research on whether 360 video could lead to prejudice reduction.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description K Cater, C Bevan, S Gray Engagement with public on VR ethics as part of FUTURES European Researchers Night 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact FUTURES (European Researchers' Night) is a Europe-wide event that takes place every year to celebrate cutting-edge research across Europe. The team took part in the "After Hours at We the Curious" event which was extremely popular, where the free tickets for the general public were "sold out" some weeks beforehand, with over 400 members of the public attending on the evening itself. The stand was extremely popular amongst visitors, and it contained posters and information about the project (with a focus on ethics of VR), and interactive timeline as well as areas for the public to post their ideas and thoughts. We provided numerous headsets for the general public to try out pre-loaded VR non fiction content and engaged with them about the topic of VR ethics, gaining some very valuable insights from these interactions.
For more details of the FUTURES event see https://www.bristol.ac.uk/public-engagement/engagement-opportunities/futures/ but also our news item about it at http://vrdocumentaryencounters.co.uk/home/_project-news/vr-documentary-encounters-at-futures-2019-insights-from-the-general-public-on-the-ethics-of-virtual-reality
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://vrdocumentaryencounters.co.uk/home/_project-news/vr-documentary-encounters-at-futures-2019-in...
 
Description Keynote at Creative Industry Conference - Berlin 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Keynote - "Challenges and Opportunities for Virtual Reality in the Creative Industries" at the 4th Conference on Virtual Reality Journalism and Documentary. 50-60 Attendees across industry, academic research and teaching
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.vrconference.info/
 
Description Kirsten Cater live interview on India Today discussing innovation and Virtual Reality in education 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Facebook live on India Today interview with Kirsten Cater regarding innovation and VR in education. Viewed by over 3.3k individuals across the world.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.facebook.com/indiatodaygroupeducation/videos/717574701942905/
 
Description M Rose Talk at Visible Evidence conference, LA July 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Mandy Rose gave a talk as part of the programme at Visible Evidence, the international academic conference on documentary film and media which took place in LA in July 2019. Talk was entitled Love & Seawater - a "path-finding" commission and appeared in the New Directions and Challenges for Virtual Reality Documentary panel chaired by Maria Zalewska (University of Southern California).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.visibleevidence.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/VE_Program-Digital.pdf
 
Description M Rose and Victoria Mapplebeck Panel discussion at Sheffield Docfest 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Part of the Doc/Fest Exchange programme bringing together a specially curated programme of free talks, films and conversations to revolutionise what makes a healthy planet. The panel focused on The Waiting Room (smartphone documentary and the VR piece commissioned through this project) through which director Victoria Mapplebeck explores her breast cancer journey from diagnosis to recovery - from waiting rooms, to ultrasound scans, and chemotherapy sessions. The panel discussion included Mandy Rose, Victoria Mapplebeck, oncologist Dr Anna Rigg and host, design researcher Caroline Ward (Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design) to discuss what nonfiction VR offers to documentary film and health and was supported by Wellcome.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.sheffdocfest.com/sessions/7024
 
Description Mandy Rose podcast November 2019 @Kent Bye Voices of VR Podcast from IDFA Doc lab 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Mandy's podcast appeared on the @Kent Bye Voices of VR Podcast and was released during IDFA Doc lab November 2019. The Voices of VR series consists of episodes featuring creators of projects, technologists and producers as well as researchers in VR. Mandy's podcast is episode 13 and consists of an interview about the project and in particular focusing on some of the ethics work being undertaken therein.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://voicesofvr.com/857-doclab-ethical-lessons-for-vr-from-documentary-studies-with-mandy-r
 
Description Mediography Poster at TVX 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster as part of the projects' presence at TVX 2018 (Note a paper was also delivered at this conference). TVX is the leading international conference into research into online video, TV interaction and user experience. It took place in Seoul and was an excellent opportunity for our team member to show the work to date on the mediography to peers and colleagues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://tvx.acm.org/2018/
 
Description Mediography at Sheffield Docfest, leading UK documentary festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Mediography on display allowing for wider engagement with attendees at Sheffield Docfest and interested members of public.  Non fiction pieces were able to be shown through headsets at the stand. Banner on display showing how the mediography fits with the other strands of the project and promotional materials about the mediography and the project were distributed. This was an excellent opportunity for the mediography to be showcased to its intended audience. There was lots of interest and engagement generated with attendees as well as with members of the general public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://sheffdocfest.com/view/aboutdocfest
 
Description Mediography on display at i-Docs 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Mediography was on display and some non fiction VR pieces able to be accessed in headsets by attendees at i-Docs during the conference. This enabled attendees to have a try at using the mediography, helping them to understand its scope and make suggestions and provide feedback to the team member present.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://i-docs.org/
 
Description Regular Stakeholder newsletters 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Stakeholder newsletters issued to key individuals with an interest in the project keeping them updated with progress and developments as well as important dates for future engagement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
 
Description Showcase event to show commissions to an invited audience 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Showcase of the three immersive and pathfinding documentaries commissioned in the project 'The Waiting Room', 'Love and Seawater' and 'Transplant'. Members of the invited audience experienced the nonfiction prototypes first-hand using a variety of headsets (Oculus Go, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive). The showcase also included panel discussions giving the audience the opportunity to interact with the artists and producers, and included special guest Nonny de la Peña, CEO & Founder of award-winning innovation company Emblematic Group who travelled from America to attend.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2019/june/vr-documentaries-showcase.html
 
Description The Language of VR - Bristol VR Lab - lunchtime seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact One of three invited 20-minute talks at a 90 minute lunchtime seminar. Attended by a mix of industry, academic and third sector attendees. Included a 30 minute public forum.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://bristolvrlab.com/events/28th-feb-2018-bvrl-afternoon-seminars-2-0-establishing-a-vr-storytel...
 
Description The Waiting Room VR features in an episode of BBC Click TV programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Waiting Room: VR was featured in a BBC Click programme. The piece discussed both The Waiting Room film and the VR piece, with the presenter experiencing the VR piece on screen and asking questions about it to Victoria.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://vimeo.com/359753812
 
Description The Waiting Room: VR included in Global Health Virtual Reality Exhibition 6 and 7 December 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Waiting Room: VR was included in Global Health Virtual Reality Exhibition 6 and 7 December 2019 as part of the Global Health film festival https://hubble-live-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/globalhealthfilm/attachment/file/2/GHFF2019_final_programme_27_November_2019.pdf
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.globalhealthfilm.org/resources/50-the-waiting-room-2019
 
Description The Waiting Room:VR is selected for IDFA 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Waiting Room: VR, one of the commissioned pieces from the project was selected for competition at the prestigious IDFA 2019 festival.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.idfa.nl/en/info/jury-report-idfa-doclab-competition-for-digital-storytelling-2019
 
Description The Waiting Room:VR premiere at Venice film festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Waiting Room VR (commissioned through this project) premiered at the renowned Venice Internationally Film Festival (28 August to 7 September) The oldest film festival in the world and one of the 'big three',The Waiting Room was shown alongside some of the most important works of the year and was included in publicity about the event.

While at Venice, Victoria formed part of a panel focused on VR content coming out of the UK and made reference to having been commissioned through this EPSRC project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2019/august/vr-venice.html
 
Description Virtual Reality taster session for Refugee Women Bristol 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Virtual Reality taster session and recruitment event delivered to refugee families with the help of Refugee Women of Bristol as part of recruitment for the Household Study. Participants were a mix of ages and genders.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Virtual Reality taster sessions delivered at Knowle West Media Centre for local community 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Three VR taster sessions (several hours each) two daytime and one evening workshop delivered in the local community at Knowle West Media Centre as part of recruitment for Household Study.  Participants were wide ranging in age and a mixture of genders.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Work-in-Progress Workshop Virtual Realities Research - in the Lab, in the Wild, in Practice June 26th 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop followed on from the Showcase event the evening before. It was an opportunity for attendees to experience the new prototypes, to hear from the artists, to find out about research underway, outputs so far and initial findings, in panel and round table discussions. Special guest Nonny de la Peña, CEO Emblematic Group gave a demonstration of The REACH platform.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Workshop 1 - What do we need to know? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Our first project workshop What do we need to know? was held on Friday 19th January at the Watershed in Bristol. It was the first of four workshops to be held over the course of the project, providing a framework through which partners and stakeholders can co-design the research.

The workshop introduced the project and staged a dialogue about what immersive non-fiction VR content experiences mean to audiences. We shared our objectives, research questions and initial findings, including an emergent mapping of the field to date, and workshopped areas for investigation. The findings of the workshop will inform the audience study and commissioning of three new pieces of VR work.

Over 60 delegates signed up for the workshop - a mix of creative industry and academics - which ensured we had a balanced discussion from a range of voices, backgrounds and interests. We had four guest speakers throughout the day to help push discussions around the use of VR for non-fiction both the challenges and opportunities.

Dan Archer, Empathetic Media, New York USA
Dan is a thought leader in the VR/AR/interactive storytelling space and founded Empathetic Media in 2015. He is a 2016 fellow at the Tow Center at Columbia University and was a Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow (University of Missouri, 2014) and a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University (2011).

Jane Gauntlett, Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol UK
Jane is a writer for film and theatre. In 2011, Jane founded the internationally recognised empathy project In My Shoes. In My Shoes is an ever-expanding collection of first-person documentary style interactive performances, which guide participants through the beautiful, the challenging, the mundane and the surreal aspects of being human.

Dr. Kate Nash, University of Leeds
Kate is Associate Professor of Media and Communication in the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on the intersections between documentary culture and emerging media platforms and practices.

Prof. Chris Anderson University of Leeds
Chris is Professor of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds. Chris studies journalism, politics, and how the production of public knowledge is being transformed in the digital age.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://vrdocumentaryencounters.co.uk/
 
Description i-Docs Panel discussion and Q and A focused on Immersive documentary encounters. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Members of the research team Mandy Rose and Danae Stanton-Fraser were part of a panel with industry colleagues Karim Ben Khalifa (photographer and artist) and Dan Archer (Director of Empathic Media) discussing Immersive documentary encounters. There were questions from the audience who were very interested in the scope of the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://i-docs.org/2018/07/16/video-immersive-documentary-encounters-i-docs-2018/