Catatonic was directed by Guy Shelmerdine for Vrse.works with MPC as partner for the VR post-production, which included stitching, stereo depths, VFX and titles. The experience was captured on location at a derelict mental hospital in Pasadena, CA with Vrse.works’ proprietary VR camera systems. Catatonic’s production value and cinematography bridge the stark terror of a gripping horror film with the inescapable immersion of virtual reality.
“The Catatonic experience blends the real world with the virtual world, whereby audience members become mental patients in a spine-chilling insane asylum,” explained Guy.
Participants are ushered into a custom-built wheelchair by live nurses in 1940s uniforms. The design of the chair resembles a padded cell: a unique blend of comfort and paralysis. The viewer is then befitted with a Samsung Gear headset and headphones.
In the virtual environment, the “patient” / audience member is ushered through the psychiatric wing, experiencing the full brunt of madness within.
Along with the 360º 3D immersion of VR, the patient will also feel jolts emanating from a ButtKicker™, a vibrating device built into the base of the wheelchair. The many moving parts of Catatonic build to a cacophony of terror and depravity one has to experience to believe.
Catatonic officially screened at SXSW in March 2015. The chair will also be popping up at various events around the US where attendees will be offered the chance to experience Catatonic.
Catatonic Official Website.
Interview with Guy Shelmerdine on Wired.com.
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