How to socialize at Sundance 2022 from your living room

For $50 and an internet connection, you can experience a lot more promising aspects of this year’s festival.

With all the talk about the metaverse these days, there’s a silver lining to Sundance completely virtual for the second year in a row: You can see the big step up close. For $50 and a steady internet connection, anyone can access the social opportunities at this year’s Sundance, as well as some of the show’s most ambitious aspects, all from the comfort of their home. their living room.

Again, buyers Festival’s $50 Explorer Card can interact with the festival community from their desktop browser or VR headset. While that cost has doubled from last year, it’s still a worthy investment if you put the effort into using the technology it developed in the first place. These tickets do not sell out, and based on the experiences many online visitors had last year, they are well worth the price of admission.

The Explorer card provides access to short films, often where the festival’s best discoveries are made, along with unpredictable TV experiments in Indie Episodics. When you consider that many outstanding feature films will be released later this year, these two installments offer the most authentic opportunity to experience the festival’s unique programming. Additionally, the pass lets you walk through the festival’s easy-to-use 3D environments, which have expanded their reach since last year. You can also buy single movie tickets to feature the movies on the list for $20 a piece. (For details on how to purchase movie tickets this year, go to here.)

Again, the best social option for Sundance requires you to create a digital avatar, at which point you can use your computer keyboard or VR headset to wander through a series of virtual spaces . On your computer, when your avatar approaches another person, your face will appear as a small video chat window whenever you approach another person. You can find the same avatars in the Movie Party space, where there are various “portals” that will take you to other parties as well as New boundary exhibition room; This year, even those without a VR headset can enter the Cinema House, where live performances will take place.

If you’re a Sundance skeptic about all of this, look, I get it: Nothing can replace the adrenaline of the Sundance experience on the ground, as you rush from movie screenings to movie theaters. party, prepare a party with your colleagues for an hour at a time and meet new people in the process. Equally, however, if that aspect of the festival is truly meaningful to you, it would be a shame to overlook its virtual manifestation – especially now that it has improved over the years. last.

“Strangely, from a user perspective, it will simply be more accessible,” said Shari Frilot, who programmed the part New Frontier that pushes the boundaries of Sundance and leads its virtual space development in second year in a row. While Sundance is seeking a hybrid presence this year, the canceled Park City event does not affect any plans for virtual opportunities. “We’re building it so it can withstand a hairpin turn like this,” Frilot said. “Actually, New Frontier will see more action in a variety of ways.”

By 2021, visits to the New Frontier program had grown from about 30,000 to 40,000, a number that has blossomed in tandem with an estimated half a million views of TV series, miniseries, and TV series. . Now, the festival is leaning on that opportunity with an eye toward even bigger numbers. “We didn’t know how well this would work,” Frilot said. “This year, we are building towards bringing the New Frontier festival and sites into closer communication.”

With all that in mind, here are the key ways you can make the most of your socializing at Sundance in 2022.

Sitting in the Space Garden

Anyone with a festival pass – including accredited press and industry members – automatically has access to the Sundance as well as New Frontier social spaces. The introductory email will include a custom link to the “Space Garden”, a private 3D area where you can create your avatar and access the main virtual spaces. (Again, Sundance recommends using Google Chrome.) Each space can hold up to 100 avatars at a time, but if it reaches capacity, each new person will be put in a “” new version. (Think of it as an overflowing room.) The avatar is a bit like Gumby with a Zoom circle stamped on the head, but if you can get past that inherent disconnect, consider wandering. how easy it is on the Sundance court without getting altitude sickness. and deep freeze.

Movie party

After you’ve created your avatar in the Space Garden, the most logical starting point is to go through the portal to the Film Party. This large, circular environment is the main social area where avatars can meet and organize their plans. Last year, I used to meet filmmakers here under the same conditions that I could catch them IRL: One day I dropped into the Film Party and saw Edgar Wright hanging out at the virtual bar, around As a bunch of fans, this seems to be true. . I have also met young people around the country who are eager to participate in the festival program for the first time and meet new people in the process. It’s a microcosm of how the festival community has evolved in recent years. “Cinema culture is changing online,” says Frilot.

That development is enabled here by a fairly user-friendly interface. When you move your avatar towards someone else, it creates a “bubble” for you to interact with. Anyone inside the bubble can hear each other. (The capacity of the bubble has dropped from six to eight people compared to last year, so the noise isn’t overwhelming.) On the right side of the screen, you’ll see a list of everyone in the room, so you can easily find people you know. Here the festival has added another important function: Text chat. You no longer have to wander around looking for the people you’ve come to see; instead, just send them a DM to follow them. In addition, all the feature films on the list have their own private party space. The festival website will include a blog post listing all the smaller parties to save time. But don’t forget to experience the show itself.

Exploring New Frontiers in Spaceship

The sixteenth edition of Sundance’s New Frontiers is the latest opportunity to browse creative innovation, from interactive digital spaces to multi-faceted storyteller experiences. The spaceship is a large gallery (with a beautiful realistic view of the Earth visible through the window) where portals for each part of the show can be found along with descriptive text. describe. These range from “Atua,” a sculptural AR experience that requires you to download an app on your phone, to “Godwana,” a virtual ecosystem with the world’s oldest rainforest you can have. You can visit multiple times during the festival to witness the impact of climate change. Some programming tips on gamification, including “The Inner World,” a Vegas-created mystery involving AI and human agents as well as an NFT component.

Virtual New Frontier presentation at Sundance 2021

As usual, VR experiences in this lineup require a headset. The release of Oculus Quest 2 (now known as Meta Quest) has brought VR to more households than ever before, so if you’ve invested in one, you’ll be able to access five of the nine. VR at the festival (others require a connected headset). “Interestingly, the XR sector has been very strong and healthy throughout the past year, especially given the larger mainstream of the metaverse,” Frilot said.

Live performance in the cinema

One of the more significant developments over last year’s virtual Sundance experience is the Cinema, a large theater filled with virtual seats and a stage below the screen, now accessible through a browser. That means you don’t need a headset to experience some of the most exciting virtual events on this year’s show. That includes the opening night selection “32 Sounds,” from creative documentary writer Sam Green. Building on his remarkable “7 Sounds” that played at last year’s festival, the new length piece is a 95-minute live performance of an auditory experience that includes live music and walls. art with image components.

Cinema House’s additional program includes live events such as “Cosmogany,” in which Geneva dance studio Gilles Jobin will feature three motion capture dancers acting as puppets of their own bodies. “Suga” goes one step further to create an immersive experience that engages live dancers in a volumetric space to recreate the transatlantic trade route. “It allows you to understand the sugar industry through the lens of the slaves who passed on this boat,” says Frilot. “Dancers perform live on a sugar mill. You have to be in it to understand how special it is. It comes with a lot of heart and thoughtfulness. As Americans, we have a hard time dealing with slavery in our culture. This gives us a whole new way to relate to this open wound.”

Frilot knows that many will cautiously embrace the virtual Sundance instead of the canceled alternative again this year. “We will miss the face-to-face meeting. There’s something really special and irreplaceable about that,” she said. “But the ability to have a social life in a spatial 3D platform is super special and very exciting.”

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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/01/how-to-socialize-sundance-2022-1234690918/ How to socialize at Sundance 2022 from your living room


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