….more personal connections….

I included that in my first list of ideas relating to live action.

In looking at it today, a week later, I wondered just what brought it to mind so prominently (it was the first thing I thought of to list.) In thinking back, I realized that the most lasting “general first impression” I brought back home with me from DomeLab, PerthAU, 2010, was a “connection” to the pieces. A warmer, more heartfelt sort of feeling than I usually experience when watching fulldome materials.

Now of course I understand that some of that was simply a warm feeling thinking back on a great bunch of folks spending a week together. But over and above that, when frames from the pieces flash into my “mental theater,” I feel a sort of human connection to them. And this brings to mind the many times I have heard folks such as writing teachers, filmmakers, and story tellers mention that what we relate to in a story is the humanity. The characters are what we pay attention to, relate to, care about. Many, if not most of the writers we consider “great” are those capable of bringing a character to life, making us care how their story unfolds, “what happens to them.”

Of course, this is not only due to the “live action” aspect, as a good animated character can have the same sort of appeal, especially when infused with the kind of human heart that Pixar gives its characters, for instance.

In thinking about the facts and whys of this “heartfelt” impression, I connected with the ambient perception which fulldome adds. Thinking about its more subconscious, lower level brain processes, and the visceral quality it seems relative to, I began to think about what aspects of the characters were coming through the domeLab pieces in such an evocative way. I began to play back the pieces in my mind, looking for the commonalities.

In each piece, we seem to be invited to identify with a particularly strong emotion, be it starving addiction, passion, sexual confusion, frisson, elemental rivalry, or deep disorientation. And in parsing this out, it seems to me that we can use our focused attention to follow story lines, and our ambient perception to engage the predicaments, passions, and angst of the characters. It seems to me that immersive media should allow us to very naturally assign elements of the story telling/hearing process to a broader brain function, and to more fully and naturally engage with the characters and their place in the storyline.

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