Duane Hopkins

The Pub - Future Film Language - Research into New Story Telling VR Techniques 

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, The Norwegian Film School

FFL represents Artistic Research through production of a large scale live action VR narrative film: The Pub. The journey to production of The Pub will investigate VR by analysing similarities/ differences between VR and 2D ‘flat’ film language.

The Pub will research this through intense & contemporary subject matter - a fictional terrorist attack. A VR experience that places the spectator at the centre of the assault. Measuring our innate human survival instincts against our learned moral codes via our naturally evolved Fight / Flight / Freeze responses when placed into a dangerous situation.

As with other Moving Image Arts, narrative VR will use literature (script), theatre (acting), & photography (cinematography). However, VR challenges traditional film-making by removing the ‘frame’ and ideas of sequential narrative construction - the Eisenstein & Pudovkin modes of Montage. How then, as storytellers, do we guide audiences experience and originate VR specific dramas within this new artistic paradigm?

This question is approached via the work processes of an experienced 2D film-makers practice. Moving into VR I lose some of my tools - mainly control of the ‘frame’. This is an inspiring development. My Artistic Idea moving into VR is not that the frame is lost - it has just become fluid.

This ‘fluidity of the frame’ will revolutionise moving image storytelling. Future film-makers will think in 360 immersive storytelling environments, not just 2D flat film configurations. An artistic opportunity as new VR film languages need to be conceived. This is at the Core of my Artistic Research.

Delimitation is to discover where VR filmmaking differs from 2D in it’s ability to tell stories that are better served by the experience of VR as opposed to the narrative and aesthetic structures of 2D filmmaking. 

Work Methods involve conceptualising The Pub within the above parameters leading to the Outcome; a singular, immersive, narrative VR film that utilises these new possible approaches: The Pub.

Duane Hopkins: Began practice in UK. Two short form pieces FIELD & LOVE ME OR LEAVE ALONE, played over 200 film festivals, won 35 awards and were exhibited worldwide. First feature film BETTER THINGS selected for the Cannes Film festival and nominated for the Camera d’Or. The film won the FIPRESCI award at the Stockholm International Film festival and received the SIGNIS award from the World Catholic Association for Communication. Staged first Solo exhibition at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art UK entitled SUNDAY, a group of multi-screen film insDuane Hopkins: tallations which went on to exhibit worldwide in Museums of Modern / Contemporary Art. Premiered second feature film BYPASS in Orrizzonti Competition at Venice Film Festival. Selected artist to represent UK for the FIFA World Cup resulting in short form piece TWELFTH MAN which has over 1 million online views. 



Artistic Research Spring Forum 2024 

2nd presentation

This presentation is cancelled

The film project ‘The Pub’ (which is being used as the vehicle for my Research Question) has been almost fully developed and partially financed. The aim was enter production later this year.  I will present the development of the project via the Pitch Deck that was used for financing and also for myself as a document that shows the current state of the Artistic Research. 


However, as I now enter the technical tests phase prior to preparing the shoot I have encountered a problem. Mainly that the VR 360 cameras currently available are not up to the resolution standards required for me to realise the film to the standards I believe are essential. 


Alongside presenting the creative development of the project / research I will also explain my thoughts re this camera problem as it relates to the below suggestion from yourselves: something that at the moment is perceived as a particular challenge or a weakness within the project. You should also use this opportunity to promote critical dialogue within the audience and to discuss ethical concerns. 

Artistic Research Spring Forum 2023 

1st presentation

Presentation will discuss the Artistic Research’s Genesis, Research processes leading to the conceptualising of The Pub, writing of the Script, Financing of the project’s production and beginnings of artistic processes leading to production.