The Name Still Spoken: An Immersive Narrative Investigation of 360 Filming

360 degrees aerial photo of a graveyard

"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"
Terry Pratchett, 2004

Immersive experiences, such as Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Realities, sit within the growing body of converging technology for the media and entertainment industries. With ever increasing audiences, the convergent media industries have the ability to produce stories that span multiple media with the potential for existing and emerging producers to make new and thought provoking forms of cultural, political and heritage projects.

As well as opportunities, the rapid development of these technologies has produced challenging production workflows across this converging sector. Shooting 360-degree videos is a pertinent example of this as the production process involves limited interaction between the cinematographer and the camera rig. Therefore, film-makers have to consider how they interact with the subjects they are filming and consider their audio-visual approaches to the storytelling process. These challenges are explored and tested through the applied research project, The Name Still Spoken (TNSS).

TNSS takes impetus from Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal (2004) and aims to convey the spatial narrative of the consecrated grounds of an urban cemetery, through the construction of a 360 film via entry-level technology, software and distribution platforms.

Established in 1848, this Cambridge cemetery embodies a battle between nature, wildlife and anthropological conservation, home to worn down gravestones with fading names.

Whilst testing the boundaries of accessible (and affordable) 360 filming and distribution, the TNSS project asks if it is possible to keep the living memory of those named on the gravestones alive through a 360 sonically driven immersive experience.

The Name Still Spoken (TNSS) is part of a series of ongoing investigations by StoryLab into the creative, ethical and socio-economic application of immersive media.