- Posted by info 03 May
Have you ever been sat in a darkened theatre, staring up at the cinema screen and thought to yourself, I wish I was in this film? Have you ever wished you could splash around in the wet streets of downtown Chinatown or become part of a revolution? Now you can!
Immersive cinema is redefining the audience experience and helping to change the face of cinema for the 21st century. No longer restricted to the role of passive viewer, audience members can now become an integral part of the cinematic story, with the fictional world being built around them and reacting to their every move; immersive cinema puts creative control firmly in the hands of the audience.
One of the pioneers of these immersive cinema events is Secret Cinema; based in London and described as a “unique participatory social experience”, with over 520,000 people having attended past events. This innovative way of showcasing a narrative acts as a fusion between film, music, theatre and art and puts the audience at the very heart of the story.
Secret Cinema’s most recent production is an ambitious and dramatic retelling of the Ridley Scott classic Blade Runner, set in a secretive location in London—not that you could tell.
The immersive live-action sets, populated with actors and fans alike, make it easy to forget that you’re not actually meandering through the market stalls of Chinatown under the fierce gaze of the ever-watchful LAPD but instead walking through what is essentially an incredibly detailed film set including a giant rain machine (leaving us all gloriously impressed but somewhat soaked!) Neon lights, giant screens, cramped alleyways, and noodle bar-after noodle bar; combined with a constant sense of secrecy.
Not one to miss out on an experience of this magnitude, LoveLove Films went along and checked it out for ourselves. One of our adventurers on his first Secret Cinema experience was our Junior Animator Joe.
“This was my first time at a Secret Cinema event and at first I was really unsure as to what to expect but right from the beginning I felt like I was actually in Blade Runner — one minute I was in downtown LA and the next I was is an LA police cell!”
When asked if he would go to another Secret Cinema event in the future, the answer was an unequivocal “Yes!”—Something that was reiterated by all those in the LoveLove office.
So why do audiences want this new experience?
Firstly, audiences are forever seeking new ways to experience culture and not only does immersive cinema blur the lines between fiction and reality, but it also fills the void left by an oversaturated technological world and takes the audience deeper into the story than ever before. With box office takings for cinemas in the UK and Ireland down, perhaps now is the perfect time for audiences to embrace the next step in the future of film.
Ever since our blog post on the rise of immersive cinema (which you can read HERE), the trend has continued to grow. With bigger budgets and larger-scale productions, immersive is the word on everybody’s lips right now. Secret Cinema alone has had huge success with their renditions of popular films like Star Wars, Back to the Future and The Shawshank Redemption, but they are not the only ones. Theatre production companies have also undergone something of a revolution of late, with the likes of You Me Bum Bum Train and Punchdrunk shows such as Sleep No More in New York and past productions of The Drowned Man in the UK helping to capture audience imaginations with their boundary-pushing immersive shows. It’s clear to see audience’s expectations are changing, making immersive experiences the latest trend. But is it here to stay? The LoveLove Films team sure hope it is!
But why as a business should you take your team to immersive experiences? A great talk on the importance of ‘play’ in the workspace and as a team is Tim Brown’s ‘Tales of creativity and play’.
Tim Brown discusses the powerful relationship between creative thinking, play and its links to innovation in work and Managing Director of LoveLove Films, Georgina Hurcombe, couldn’t agree more.
Georgina says: “I think as a team where clients come to us on a daily basis asking for innovative concepts, narrative, animations, and brand films, it’s really important our team can feel free to express their creative ideas. Taking the team to events which encourage playful activity such as Secret Cinema not only allows the team to have a great day out bonding and adding to our great team culture but it also helps them experience new and diverse experiences as individuals and in turn these kind of experiences are always enjoyed and I have no doubt they help inspire the team on a multitude of levels which is in turn only a positive entity for the organisation.”