Double Cross, South Africa's first 360 degree concurrent narrative film

Double Cross, a 360 degree short film created by Global Access is the first of its kind in SA using a ‘concurrent narrative’ approach. The story explores a fictitious moment in time during World War II, where the viewer is placed in a situation where they can see and engage with two storylines at the same time.

What is concurrent narrative?

Concurrent narrative means two stories are simultaneously presented to the viewer at the same time. Think of a traditional split-screen in a movie – you can see two different places and actions taking place, they coexist. Mix that into a 360 VR environment and you are now able to watch two different stories happening simultaneously. They both culminate at the same time, and affect one another at the same time. You as the viewer get to decide which one to watch or to look between both.

“The 360 ‘screen’ is so vast we don’t have the means to see it all at once. We physically cannot look everywhere in 360. And yet, to not utilize it all, or to leave areas of interest to chance glances from the viewer, seems a waste of space and effort. Without a reason to look in different directions the power of 360 is missed as it’s not being looked at by the viewer.” says Guy Sclanders the Creative Director of Global Access’ creative agency, and writer / director of Double Cross who - through his work at Global Access has explored various techniques and applications of 360 and VR.

Concurrent narrative overcomes this ‘waste of space’ by presenting the viewer with multiple perspectives within a single 360 environment. 360 VR is the perfect platform for this parallel perspective storytelling as it has the capacity to hold multiple storylines without infringing on each other but rather the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. The world is split into two zones of 180 degrees. Each zone presents a unique perspective of the same real-time event. The viewer can then choose what they watch – ‘editing’ the narrative point of view as they choose.

This puts the viewer in control of their experience of the 360 film and the story told within. This film truly allows the audience choice. It is this choice and control which makes 360 degree video and concurrent narrative such a powerful tool for evocative and affecting storytelling.

Guy started this project with the vision to explore the technology of 360 VR and give the viewer a chance to see all sides of a story and realize there is more to life than just one perspective.

“When we are presented with new technology it is our duty to explore it as a means of telling better stories. If it doesn’t do that, if it hinders, or changes, or reduces our story then it has no place in our creative world. 360 is an awesome ‘new’ technology that presents us as storytellers with a canvas that literally encompasses us. For the first time we can be IN the picture, not just looking at it with distractions around us.”

Brad Wilson, MD of Global Access was the Executive Producer of the project.

“I believe it is our responsibility as a company to do everything in our power to explore this space and task it to do everything that we cannot do both in reality and in traditional media – to take us into a new space far away from home.” When asked why make a World War II film? Brad smiles and says “Because it’s an interesting story. And of course it really demonstrates the power of the technology. We’ve already discovered applications in the corporate space from what we learnt through making the film”

Double Cross is currently available on YouTube – one of the few 360 degree platforms currently available, and will be submitted to various festivals for consideration.

Global Access is an innovative digital media and content solutions provider.

Carla Harris 011 350 6111

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