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ROOMS – People, space and changed realities

Zipfel, C; Reed, L

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C Zipfel

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Luke Reed
Senior Lecturer in Music Technology


Film University Babelsberg
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“ROOMS” is the first Cinematic VR film (CineVR) of the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF (Germany). Directed by Christian Zipfel, the award winning 360 documentary invites the audience into five, private, strictly regulated, yet culturally significant rooms. Focus is placed on the dramaturgy of the spaces and their inhabitants, where the spatial audio plays a critical role in extending beyond the gaze of the audience.

Reed directed the audio and production teams from preproduction to distribution, leading and co-creating the practices of the crew in audio recording, post-production, and emerging delivery standards for Higher Order Ambisonic (HOA) spatial audio in CineVR.

The project develops novel and practical working methods for audio recordists and sound designers working with HOA in feature length, non-fiction CineVR formats. New understanding was developed for: the processing and treatment of raw A-format synchronous production audio and decoding of directional virtual microphones from its B-format ambisonic transform; strategies for encoding and up mixing both production and post-synchronised, ambisonic and conventional audio sources into the HOA domain; mix considerations for the effects of convolution with different Head Related Impulse Responses used in current binaural exhibition platforms; and, delivery considerations for localisation (dubbing) for international distribution. The project has since informed Reed’s IEEE paper “Audio Reproduction for VR Cinema – position paper” (IEEE FAVR, Osaka - Japan, 2019).

The film premiered in the 75th Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica la Biennale di Venezia - Venice VR Competition", and later won the “Prix Immersion” at the 47th Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinema. In Feb 2019 is was published online by the German trans-European broadcaster ZDF Kulture as one of the first VR films distributed by the broadcaster.

Festivals / Screening (as of 22nd July 2020):
[1] Premiere screening - Venice (IT) "75th Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica la Biennale di Venezia - Venice VR Competition", 29.08.2018-08.09.2018
[2] Screening - Montreal (CAN)  "47th Montreal Festival du nouveau cinéma - FNC Explore Winner Prix Immersion" , October 3, 2018 - October 14, 2018
[3] Screening - Adelaide (AUS) "Adelaide Film Festival - VR Competition", 10.10.2018-21.10.2018
[4] Screening - Busan (KOR) "BIFF Busan International Film Festival - VR Competition", October 4, 2018 - October 13, 2018
[5] Screening - Thessaloniki (GRC) "59th Thessaloniki Film Festival - VR Competition", 01.11.2018-11.11.2018
[6] Screening - Mainz (DEU) "FILMZ Festival of German Cinema - VR Showcase ROOMS", November 8th, 2018
[7] Screening - Cologne (DEU) "Short Film Festival Cologne N ° 12 - VR Competition", November 14th, 2018 - November 18th, 2018
[8] Screening - Paris (FR) "VR showcase at Galerie cinema", 01.02.2019
[9] Screening - Landshut (DEU) "20th Landshut Short Film Festival - VR Competition", March 20, 2019 - March 25, 2019
[10] Screening - Nijmegen (NL) "11th Go Short - International Short Film Festival Nijmegen - VR Competition", 03.04.2019-07.04.2019
[11] Screening - Berlin (DEU) "Exhibition on the ZDF Media Policy and Culture Reception as part of the 69th Berlinale", February 6, 2019
[12] Stream - Online (DEU) "Publication in the VR section of ZDF Kultur at", February 6th, 2019
[13] Screening - Potsdam (DEU) "48th sehsuchten international student film festival - VR competition", 24.04.2019-28.04.2019
[14] Screening - Volgograd (RUS) "Vkratze! Days of German and Russian short films - VR presented by Russian VR Seasons", April 13, 2019 - April 14, 2019
[15] Screening - Trieste (IT) "ShorTS International Film Festival - ShorTS Virtual Reality competition", June 28, 2019 - July 7, 2019
[16] Screening - Auckland & Wellington (NZL) "Doc Edge Festival", 30.05.2019-09.06.2019 & 13.06.2019 - 23.06.2019
[17] Screening - Berlin (DEU) "Media Convention Berlin 2019 - VR Showcase by ZDF Kultur", May 6, 2019 - May 8, 2019
[18] Cinema - Zurich (CHE) "We are Cinema - Open air VR cinema tour", 07.07.2019 - 18.07.2019
[19] Screening - Ljubljana (SVN) "FEKK Ljubljana short film festival", August 19, 2019 - August 24, 2019
[20] Screening - Nashville (USA) "50th Nashville Film Festival - VR competition", 03.10.2019 - 12.10.2019 
[21] Screening - York (UK) "Aesthetica Short Film Festival - Official selection", November 6th, 2019 - November 10th, 2019
[22] Screening - Jihlava (CZE) "23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival - VR cinema section", October 24, 2019 - October 29, 2019
[23] Award - Potsdam (DEU) " Nomination Prix Europa - Digital Rising Stars Award" , October 6th, 2019 - October 12th, 2019
[24] Screening - Florence (IT) "60th Festival Dei Popoli International Documentary Film Festival - Doc Explorer", November 2nd, 2019 - November 9th, 2019
[25] Screening - Modena (IT) "Virtual Reality Movie Festival", COVID-19 postponed to autumn


Zipfel, C., & Reed, L. (2019). ROOMS – People, space and changed realities

Digital Artefact Type Other
Online Publication Date Feb 6, 2019
Publication Date Feb 6, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jun 7, 2019
Keywords cinematic VR, 360 film, spatial audio, 3D audio, ambisonics, film practice, filmmaking, international cinema, documentary
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Corporate Creators : Film University Babelsberg


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