Creating a Virtual Experience of Blindness

How do you create a sensory experience of being blind?

In the documentary "Notes on Blindness," filmmakers James Spinney and Peter Middleton set out to visually capture the internal essence of blindness as they chronicle writer and theologian John Hull's experience of losing his eyesight, based on the audio diary he kept between 1983 and 1986.

Alongside the feature film, the filmmakers created a complementary virtual reality project, "Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness" together with producer Arnaud Colinart and audio designer Amaury La Burthe. Each scene in the interactive experience addresses a memory, a moment and a specific location from John’s audio diary, using binaural audio, VR and real time 3D animations to explore a world beyond sight.

At PICTURE THIS_17, the project's co-creative director and executive producer Amaury La Burthe will detail the creative process behind the creation of the VR experience, focusing on the relationship between visuals and sound and the specific design of audio strategies to guide and support the narration.

Amaury La Burthe is the founder and CEO of AudioGaming, a French company creating innovative technologies with a focus on sound and interactivity.

"Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness" premiered at Sundance in 2016. It was awarded the Storyscapes Award at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and the Alternate Realities VR Award at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016.

Mariann Nederby