COMMON GROUND: Interactive VR Documentary
DIRECTOR: Darren Emerson
PRODUCTION COMPANY: East City Films
OUR ROLE: Location Sound Recording, Sound Design, Music Production and 3D Audio Postproduction
Taking 4 years to develop, Common Ground uses the power of immersive filmmaking to document the experience of those living in the infamous Aylesbury Estate, one of the most well-known social housing blocks in England, and the impact of the planned redesign and repurposing of the area as housing to sell outside of the social housing scheme.
The Aylesbury Estate Regeneration Project is a government-funded plan to create 3,500 new homes on the estate by 2036, of which “50% will be affordable” and 75% of that will be social housing. Naturally, this will leave just over 1,300 of 3,500 homes for social housing, greatly diminishing the number of homes available for the working class, and leaving even less living space for those that are unable to make enough for renting a property.
This documentary addresses numerous topics of interest, including the gentrification of London, the demonisation of the working class, the meaning of community and if we should be questioning the amount of power the council has to overhaul the lives of an entire neighbourhood in the name of growth and profit.
A 30-minute long film features interviews with residents and clips from archive footage to tell the history of Aylesbury back from its creation in the 1960s to present day. The documentary aims to tell the raw story of Aylesbury and achieves this using techniques such as cinematic 360 video capture, photogrammetry and 3D modelling to fully immerse viewers and allow them to truly empathise with the residents through the power of virtual reality. 1.618 Digital was brought to the project by East City Films to record location sound in 3D and later to perfect sound design, music production and 3D audio postproduction.
Common Ground launched its debut screening in April 2019 at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, as part of the Virtual Arcade exhibition and will have its UK premiere at the Sheffield Doc Festival later in June this year.
Common Ground Case Study (East City Films): https://eastcityfilms.com/commonground
Tribeca Film Festival Page: https://www.tribecafilm.com/filmguide/common-ground-2019
BFI – https://www.bfi.org.uk/london-film-festival/screenings/common-ground-360-version
Image Credit: East City Films