This cinematic VR film won an initial award and further funding, and was invited to Sheffield Docfest makers’ market 2017. Sundowning is a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease – this film explores what it may be like to experience that from a first person perspective. Shot in one take, it combines the technology of 360 degree filming with the stagecraft of theatre to create an immersive, unique and, at times, unsettling virtual reality experience.
Sundowning was accepted for screening at Kling Gut 2018, June 7 – 9 in Hamburg. I had to work to get the sound design finished, some extra Foley and ADR, but mainly getting interactive granular synthesis via Pure Data and Heavy into Unity.
You are in a room. A clock ticks loudly on the wall. A middle-aged woman enters. She is talking to you but, when you turn to face her, the words start to jumble. She seems distressed but you don’t understand why. It is like you have found yourself in the middle of a play but you don’t know the lines nor what character you are supposed to be playing.
Sundowning is a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease where a sufferer’s confusion becomes more intense at dusk. This film explores what it is like to experience sundowning from a first person perspective.
Alzheimer’s is one of the great challenges facing society today. It is a uniquely alienating disease, one that isolates sufferers, putting them at a remove from the people with whom they are closest. This film aims to bridge that gap.
It’s a widely used adage that VR has the capacity to be a profound empathy machine: in this six minute VR film, 360 degree filming is combined with documentary field recordings, and the stagecraft of theatre to make an immersive and, at times, unsettling experience that will bring the viewer to a greater understanding of this strange and isolating disease.