Immersive Venice Artists Matthew Shaw and William Trossell are changing cinema with FRAMERATE: Pulse of the Earth.
Do you think about the frame rate when you steady your smartphone before taking a picture or settle into a cinema seat just as the movie starts? Do you know what frame rate is? A well-known quote from French auteur Jean-Luc Godard likely comes to mind. “Photography is truth. Cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.”
At Venice Immersive, the extended reality section of the 79th Venice International Film Festival of La Biennale di Venezia, attendees experience the number of images, shots, or frames a camera takes in a transformative way. FRAMERATE: Pulse of the Earth, an interactive installation, makes its world premiere in competition at Venice Immersive, and the impact is nothing short of transformative.
FRAMERATE co-creators Matt Shaw and Will Trossell are changing the future of cinema with the help of executive producer Meriko Borogrove and producer Anetta Jones.
They’re using emerging technologies involving data collected from three-dimensional scans of British landscapes. They’re team members at London-based ScanLAB Projects, a creative studio innovating architecture, photography, and various mediums via large-scale 3D scanning.
FRAMERATE, open to festival attendees at the Venice Immersive Marketplace through September 10, shares three-dimensional stories of English landscapes, nature, and human impact resulting in construction, destruction, growth, and habitation. The visual scale moves beyond what’s possible from traditional cameras and cinematography. It’s a new type of frame rate.
“FRAMERATE Is an immersive installation,” says Matt Shaw, speaking canal-side at Venice soon after the Venice Immersive media preview. “Our audience members disappear inside a darkened room, surrounded by eight enormous screens that hover above, below, and around them. We’re here at a film festival, and our backgrounds are in architecture. FRAMERATE is about spatializing this film content and giving our audiences a chance to move through a space and interact with the work on their terms.”
FRAMERATE is both immersive art and scientific research powered by the data collected from 3D scans of British landscapes. That’s why three monikers are describing Shaw and Trossell. At Venice, the festival’s community of artists and filmmakers immediately see Shaw and Trossell as fellow directors. Collaborators like the Qualcomm Institute of San Diego and Nat Geo emphasize their thought leadership as 3D scanners. When you experience previous ScanLAB Projects like Replica / Real / Replica, a 24-minute digital loop taking audiences through five restored rooms at The Sir John Sloane Museum in London, you connect with Shaw and Trossell as futuristic architects.
“We represent a whole bunch of different things,” continues Shaw, speaking from Venice via Zoom. “The element of craft is crucial to what we do. That’s something we learned in architecture school. Mastering a craft means you know how to use it to its extreme. You know its’ breaking points. Being a craftsperson is one thing. You need to be an experimenter willing to experiment and break the technology. That’s how you find exciting and creative accidents that happen the moment the technology is about to break.”
Are you searching for an example of an artist pushing new technology to the breaking point? Shaw and Trossell point to pioneering photographer Eadweard Muybridge and his “Animal Locomotion” study on motion and movement. The scale of experimentation and risk-taking they see in Muybridge’s work is something they want to achieve at ScanLAB Projects.
There’s a continuous creative thread running through all ScanLAB Projects. The 3D time-lapse scans create not only beautiful visuals but also provide groundbreaking Earth data. For individuals who think of data involving customer insights and smartphone tracking, FRAMERATE displays data in a beautiful, totally different light.
“It’s working with a new medium,” adds Trossell, joining in the canal side conversation from Venice. “Our architecture training in spatiality helps us navigate the data and pull-out cinematic experiences. It’s been beautiful showing FRAMERATE to a bunch of clever and switched-on people. They have such interesting insights into what’s going on looking forward to the future of mediums like AR and VR.”
FRAMERATE joins 44 XR projects on the Venice Immersive Island from 19 countries, with 30 of the immersive projects in competition. While the Venice Film Festival wraps on September 10, Shaw and Trossell are preparing for global audiences to experience FRAMERATE in a groundbreaking fashion. They’re not planning on a traditional roadshow of installations in various cities. Shaw and Trossell treat FRAMERATE like open-source innovation by making the data readily available to all interested parties.
“We’re not traveling with it,” says Shaw. “It’s open source to creators. We don’t need to send teams around the world. We can create little pockets of ScanLABS and send the data. Think of some of the places you can provide the FRAMERATE technique: melting glaciers, new cities erupting out of the desert. We’re trying to turn peoples’ attention to global issues. We’ve done that in a small part of the British countryside. There’s a globe out there, and we would love to have the opportunity to venture towards it.”
Do you want to learn more about FRAMERATE? Listen to an interview with FRAMERATE co-creators Matthew Shaw and William Trossell on the Frontier Storytelling podcast.
Frontier Storytelling host Steve Ramos is an inventive and creative marketing professional with over 15 years of industry experience.
Frontier Storytelling is a 20-minute interview podcast introducing artists, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and technologists impacting their communities with digital storytelling.
Recordings of the Frontier Storytelling podcast take place in the Cincinnati Music Accelerator Studio, home of Ohio’s first music career accelerator.