Border: A VR Ride

A VR Documentary

Border: A VR Ride is an interactive VR documentary directed by Abigail Conway and produced by Laura Collier. It takes riders on a VR motorcycle journey through the dramatic landscape of Northern Ireland with an audio track celebrating the communities it passes through.

 
 
I really wanted audiences and people experiencing the landscape as if they were here.
— Abigail Conway - Director & Visual Artist, Border: A VR Ride
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Border: A VR Ride was commissioned and funded by Sky Arts as part of Art 50 and developed with the support of the Immersive Storytelling Studio, National Theatre and East City Films. The experience takes its audience on a motorbike journey through dramatic scenery that has provoked debate, conflict, poetry and questions of national identity, particularly around the Brexit debate.

Using 360 filming technology, this thrilling experience celebrates the communities and people of Northern Ireland. This first prototype invites the audience to open up questions around shifting political landscapes and society's preoccupation with borders.

In terms of Brexit it throws up interesting conversations and dialogue around the free movement and how people are going to be living between the North and the Republic. I was very interested in perspective and people’s different perspective and how the land can change and alter people’s culture, people’s identity and people’s notion of home.
— Abigail Conway - Director & Visual Artist, Border: A VR Ride

Having worked closely with the National Theatre for a couple of years East City Films were perfectly placed to provide the VR production to the project. The first and most crucial matter was to create a camera rig which the motorcyclist could wear safely and would also create a POV for the VR which was as close as possible to the motorcyclist’s POV. We worked with long term partners TTX to create a bespoke rig using a GoPro Fusion which delivered a robust, safe and effective solution. The motorcyclist in effect became the cameraman but Conan Roberts supervised the shoot in Ireland as well as overseeing all the post production on the film.

Border: A VR Ride was exhibited for the first time at the Barbican in February 2018, accompanied by 2 bespoke event motorcycles, which users climbed on to experience the work. You can see more about this exhibit, as part of the Sky Arts Arts 50 initiative, but following this link.

 
 
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DIRECTED BY ABIGAIL CONWAY | PRODUCED BY LAURA COLLIER, ASHLEY COWAN & DARREN EMERSON | SOUND & MUSIC DESIGN BY ROSS FLIGHT | ILLUSTRATION BY EOIN RYAN | SET DESIGN BY TIN SHED SCENERY | EDITED BY CONAN ROBERTS | CAMERA CONAN ROBERTS | VR PRODUCTION EAST CITY FILMS