“Playing” Attention to VR at the 2017 Victoria Film Festival, Reviews & Beyond

victoria-film-festivalUpdated: Mon 11:30pm, Feb 6

Virtual Reality is poised to become a viable medium to work in for many an artist (cinema or otherwise) and at the 2017 Victoria Film Festival, I spent a part of my weekend at Fort Tectoria playing these types of games and attending the last discussion of Springboard talking about it. This medium is a challenge to work in; Derek Jacoby, Maureen Bradley and Kate McCallum are people with a tremendous interest in this tech and they presented a fascinating look into how to work with and filming in virtual space is at now. The challenges to make it mainstream was also looked at.

Jacoby is aware of what other companies are doing. He’s the head of Victoria Makerspace, a collective tool workshop at the Vancouver Island Technology Park, where they get to play, if not create items, that will get used in the future. Whether that’s with video games (which they all agree is the driving force now) or in rehabilitation (where VR can make a huge difference to those with disabilities and can not get out in the world), as long as interest is high, then it will happen. Unlike 3DTV’s and how it fizzled, Jacoby also noted there’s the potential of mainstream not accepting it. Bradley focussed on the challenges of filming in this space and showed how video editing (where my interest is) is done. Software stitches the varying layers of 2D images onto a 3D like map, and rendering is not a perfect science. McCallum talked about the work she’s doing now and which types of businesses are taking interest in this new medium.

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Day One Musings from the 2017 Victoria Film Festival

victoria-film-festival

The 2017 Victoria Film Festival‘s Gala film certainly painted the night a pretty shade of pink with its opening film Window Horses to kick off the night. I thought the heroine Rosie Ming was wearing this event’s colours before putting on the black chādor, before arriving in Persia. Intentional or not, the first day was certainly fun, bright and cheerful. The morning and afternoon were wrought with continuous snowfall, and some of the organizers worried that it might cause problems since social media was on fire with reports of icy conditions and accidents already happening.

Thankfully, the troublesome weather faded away by evening so filmgoers can safely drive instead of slide to and fro from home. But for those who want an early start, Fort Tectoria is running virtual reality demos during this 10-day event to show off this technology as the coming thing. Eventually, some futurists predict it will integrate with cinema to create enhanced experiences. By the time I arrived downtown, I had a tough call to make: to go see Journey to the West 2: The Demons Strike Back at Cineplex Odeon or play video games. Very rarely, does a film festival offer this kind of opportunity for nerds like me!

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Victoria, BC’s Evil Acres is now Fear on the Pier. So What’s the Story?

banner-fear_on_the_pier-640x360Oct 13 to 31, 2016
Evenings from 6:30pm till 11

Ogden Point
Pier A – 203 Dallas Road
James Bay
Victoria, BC

Admission: $13
(or $12 w/ non-perishable food item donation)

Monsters Haunted House, the fine purveyors of spooky attractions for Saanich, BC, changed their operation from haunted barns to … one big warehouse for this year’s All Hallows Eve spooktacular. I miss the Evil Acres name. It had meaning for those who have lived in this municipality for most of their life; to witness the transition from farmland to modern housing is scary in itself. Some folks gave up the simpler life for modern conveniences. I watched my neighbourhood change from hothouses and farmland to nothing but homes for as far as the eye can see. To fondly recall those days brings nostalgia. Perhaps nestled in those large fields of grass is a corpse of a lost pet (or part of a human body) and the imagination can have some asking if a wild animal is on the loose.

The gorgeous back story crafted in this company’s previous show made going through an abandoned-looking home all the more chilling. All those murders and bloodbaths could have happened. Nobody could have guessed until local sheriffs and hospice arrived at the abode to investigate and offer relief.

This company’s latest attraction, Fear on the Pier, feels like a work in progress. There is no story to know of before going to this spectacle. Folks are entering a modern warehouse storing a decrepit warehouse which is sealed in black. Did a bunch of octopi expel ink here? Or could mighty Cthulhu have put his tendrils all over it, thus causing it to crumble into claustrophobic nothingness?

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Eerie Ed’s Top Picks for the 2016 Halloween Season

From getting my spooky fervour on as a Paranormal Investigator to enthusiast this Autumn, this downgrade is not because of the group, Paranormal Victoria (PARAVI), I was with decided to take an extended break since we all have busy normal lives. We sometimes make it a tradition to investigate a venue at this time (and sometimes it’s with media, like the Oak Bay and Victoria News back in 2012). One day, I hope the great folks who make up this PARAVI team will be back.

In the meantime, I will continue my interest on the cinematic, theatrical and storytelling front. My love for the supernatural started from discovering this genre in those mediums and here are my picks to get my muse singing the praises:

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Movie Under the Maltworks
Shaun of the Dead Movie Screening

Date:
Oct 28th, 7:00pm
(doors open 6pm)

Admission: $20

Location:
Phillips Brewing & Malting Co.
(2010 Government St)

I have often wondered what a perfect cinematic night during this season would be like? To boil down the perfect pair depends on the mood and which sub-genre best represents Halloween. Some may say zombies and others will say ghosts. For the former, comedy is needed. While not everyone will appreciate the golden age classics, my choice would be Shaun of the Dead and Fido. With kids in the audience, it would be hard to keep them down for two films, but for one, the former will do and the Victoria Film Festival committee has this choice easily nailed down. That’s tough to do for keeping a zombie still.

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[Victoria Fringe Festival 2016] Miss Atomic Vaudeville’s Sunday Funday? A Recap

AV-Sunday-Funday-1008x756Atomic Vaudeville’s (AV) Sunday Funday at the Victoria Fringe Festival is a highlight for many local veterans acquainted with the craziness that goes on. This event has been a staple for many years, and it’s a highlight for most long time Fringers. They advise this show is a must see! This event brings the talent pool from this organization along with some performers from this year’s show, to put on a fun-filled night that runs approximately 90 minutes, starting around 11pm. Doors open at 10:30. and last night, it was a full house at the Victoria Event Center.

From reinterpretations of 50 Shades of Grey ala Doctor Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham to World Wrestling Entertainment mash-ups (with Jeff Leard present), attendees will thrill to and cheer. Even the Birdman stripped down to his skivvies all in the name of trying to bring the house down. This show is a fundraiser to build a fund to keep the Victoria Fringe Festival going for years to come. The highlight is a Pink Floyd musical mash-up with the dancers providing a light show (using flashlights) set to music from “The Wall” and ending with Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

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[Victoria Fringe Festival 2016] You Have to Giddy Up Over to An Improvised Quentin Tarantino 2

Playful-8-ITCLOCATION:
Victoria Event Centre
1415 Broad Street
Victoria, BC

SHOWTIMES:
Sat Aug 27 – 2:30pm
Wed Aug 31 – 10:15pm
Thu Sept 1 – 8:15pm
Sat Sept 3 – 8:45pm

When Paper Street Theatre announced they are doing a sequel to their wildly successful improvised show An Improvised Quentin Tarantino from a few years ago, I knew I had to see their show with a Hi-Yo, Silver! Away! The classic material that made up the lore of The Lone Ranger is a Western, and I’m not talking about the Disney travesty. The only hurdle was to escape out of the East — the doldrums of the suburbs known as Gordon Head — and “Go West” to the heart of downtown, where the beat (excitement) happens at the Victoria Event Center — one of several fixtures representing the arts and culture to discover in this city.

Dave Morris leads a diverse talent of well-established names in this city arts scene — Chris Gabel, Andrew Brimmell, Christina Patterson, Missie Peters, Brooke Cameron, Byron Kjeldsen, Scott Thomson and Monica Ogden — to give Victoria Fringe Festival attendees a taste of the Old West, Quentin Tarantino style. That means plenty of swearing, and since I can get away with it, they are fucking hilarious! Borrowing bits and pieces from films like Django Unchained and onwards, including modelling the narrative around The Hateful Eight, the show is infused great moments to even make Tarantino giddy. As with any improv shows, they get concepts from the audience. They built a working story involving a Red Dirt Samurai, English Buffet and a Wounded Barmaid as three principal ideas.

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