Everything's Immersive

Date of Submission

Spring 2018

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Film and Electronic Arts

Project Advisor 1

Ben Coonley

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Immersive theater, interactive escape rooms, haunted attractions, and extreme horror experiences have increased in popularity and production over the past few years. Enthusiasts have developed websites like noproscenium.com and haunting.net as resources for fans to discover new performances and cultivate communities of adventure seekers. These websites also provide recollections of immersive experiences and interviews with creators. Everything’s Immersive is a YouTube channel designing a zany curriculum to think about the immersive experience through different environments and activities. The channel is hosted by myself; an amateur educator, vlogger, immersive enthusiast, and creator.

I decided to distribute my videos on a YouTube channel because the platform allows me to grow my own community and construct an online environment. The videos are edited with graphics, titles, and links demanding they be published online. The YouTube channel is a customizable medium exhibiting channel art, videos, and featured channels. I wanted to be able to interact and network with others online. Also, posting videos on the YouTube channel allowed me to incorporate the passage of time as a structural element in the overall narrative. This generated the opportunity to establish online and offline activities for my character.

While creating the series, I needed to progress my character through the experience of making these videos and posting them online. My character begins as an energetic and hopeful new YouTuber but faces constant disappoint and setbacks. However, he persists and keeps the YouTube series alive while doubting his ability. His doubt is also manifested in his personal accounts concerning his amateur immersive experiences integrated into a few episodes to develop a backstory about creating immersive theater and its challenges.

As an immersive creator, my character searches for available locations to attract audience members. He doesn’t succeed most of the time but is able to take positive notes about each performance. As a creator, he encounters problems with actors, legality, plagiarism, and documentation. He is constantly thinking of his next big idea without any plan to successfully execute it.

The first episode in the series was filmed at Roller Magic in Hyde Park, NY. The reason I chose the location was that a roller rink is very familiar. Many children go to birthday parties at the roller rink, so I thought it would be a good location to explain an important part of immersive experiences which is participation and play. Also, the environment sets expectations for the activities and people of which is another key component of immersion. My character attempts to be a professional web-series host but has too much fun skating around.

The next episodes pose analogies between urban exploring and immersive experiences. Transmedia storytelling is often implemented in immersive experiences. The story does not only exist within the immersive environment alone, yet extends to websites, videos, and other forms of media. The urban explorer has the total range of where to go but is confronted environmental conditions causing decision-making as most immersive experiences allow participants to roam freely in some way and uncover clues about their surroundings. Lastly, exiting an immersive environment sets the audience back into everyday reality with memories from the experience.

Everything’s Immersive is an unconventional narrative on YouTube about an amateur video creator encountering different realities. Attending and possessing a passion for immersive experiences, I’ve had the opportunity to do some unforgettable things and interact with extraordinary people. This project was made to experience something new.

Open Access Agreement

Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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