***WINNER OF THE 2015 STORYSCAPES AWARD AT TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL and selected for the DIGITAL DOZEN by Columbia University***
THIS IS A LABYRINTH. ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS FOLLOW THE ROPE.
“My favourite interactive installation to date… achieves a level of emotional empathy to the subjects’ stories rarely experienced in interactive work”
LOC DAO, NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA INTERACTIVE
Door into the Dark is an immersive documentary experience about what it means to be lost in an age of infinite information.
Unique in form and groundbreaking in its use of locative technology, it brings together captivating documentary stories and visceral physical experience.
Blindfolded, shoeless and alone, you feel your way into the dark along a taut length of rope that leads into a vivid aural world of real people who have been profoundly lost, and irreversibly changed.
Your encounter with these characters takes you deep into their world of sensation, risk and illusion. To find your way back out into the light, you must surrender to the unknown.
With a binaural soundscape to heighten the sense of total immersion, recordings triggered by iBeacons carve out the participants’ pathway through the piece.
“Door Into The Dark is incredible. Really blew my mind. Kind of experience where the world feels different afterwards. #sheffdocfest” INGRID KOPP, DIRECTOR OF INTERACTIVE, TRIBECA FILM INSTITUTE
As you inch your way through a dark and unknown space, stories, soundscapes and instructions are triggered at specific moments.
The audio is populated by the presence of four people: the narrator, who accompanies the participant throughout the work and talks directly to them, and three real characters. These are John Hull, author of Touching the Rock, who describes the impact of losing his sight on his relationship with sound and touch, David Riley, a mountaineer who had an intimate brush with death, and Bryan Morrison, who took to walking the streets at night to lose himself and ended up in psychiatric care.
As you navigate the set – encountering forests, grass, a suspended bridge, walls that envelop and carry you, and much more besides – you listen to these individuals narrate their experiences. Each physical moment finds its match in the story; you embody what you hear.
“A unique and unforgettable experience that combines non-fiction narrative and audience interaction in a ground breaking and deeply personal way.” LAURA POITRAS, FILMMAKER
Dreamt up while living with Blast Theory, Door into the Dark was developed and built at the Pervasive Media Studio.
An iteration of the piece was presented at the iDocs Conference at The Watershed on 21st & 22nd March 2014 – see here for details. The premiere was at Sheffield International Documentary Festival in June 2014 and then the first international tour date at Tribeca Film Festival, 2015 – where it won the Storyscapes award for best interactive work.
“In an overwhelming media environment in which we struggle for control we recognise a work that viscerally reconnects us with the value of letting go. Door Into The Dark offers a meticulously crafted storyworld that allows us to cerebrally, emotionally and quite literally leave our baggage behind and step into the void. In that void we become disoriented, take risks, make choices and find ourselves again, changed. Ambitious, simple and profound, this work marks a fresh and promising direction for the field of immersive theatre. It evoked a euphoria that stayed with us long after we left it.”
TRIBECA STORYSCAPES JURY; SHARI FRILOT, ANDREW GOLIS and CHARLIE PHILLIPS
“I found Door into the Dark to be a transformative experience. When I exited, I had a whole new relationship to my body and my other senses. I have been through many immersive experiences at festivals and Door In the Dark definitely stands out as one of the most powerful. I will never forget it.“SARAH WOLOZIN, DIRECTOR OF MIT OPEN DOC LAB
“a very cool immersive, analog labyrinth experience Michael Apted & Guillermo Del Toro might have dreamt up… but it’s actually from Amy and May” Tom Roston, @DocSoupMan POV/PBS blogger
For more reviews, twitter feeds and future dates, see www.doorintothedark.com