We Met in Virtual Reality

Showings

SNF Parkway Theatre 3 Sat, Apr 30 2:00 PM
MICA Brown Falvey Hall Sun, May 1 2:00 PM
Film Info
Event Type:Feature
Genre:Documentary
Year:2022
Runtime:91
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Joe Hunting
Produced By:Joe Hunting, Charlotte Cook, Bryn Mooser, Kathryn Everett
Editor:Joe Hunting

Description

Joe Hunting is well ahead of the curve when it comes to filmmaking with (read: within) VR technology. The young filmmaker has already created two short films (A Wider Screen and Club Zodiac), an episodic series (Virtually Speaking), and his latest project, a feature called We Met in Virtual Reality, all via an “online virtual world platform” called VRChat. First released as a prototype in 2014, VRChat is an application where users can create their own full-body avatars and inhabit completely customizable worlds. One could, say, appear in the game as a knife-throwing assassin with bright red skin and go for a drive in an off-road vehicle through a world teeming with life-like dinosaurs made completely to scale, or hang out in a virtual bar and share a few drinks with friends from all over the globe—the possibilities are nearly endless. But it seems to me that VRChat’s most important function is the ability for players to “un-mute”, which gives them the opportunity to speak directly to one another through their microphones, so that they have an easier time getting to know the real people behind the avatars.

The film focuses on five such real people: Jenny, who teaches American Sign Language classes within the platform; DustBunny, a belly dance instructor, and their partner, Toaster; and IsYourBoi, a virtual erotic dancer, and their partner, DragonHeart. Thanks in part to the anonymity granted them by their avatars, they each share stories from their personal lives—some uplifting, some terribly unfortunate—and discuss the various relationships that they’ve formed with the help of VR. It can be easy for the general public to ignorantly write off those who frequently play computer games as a bit “anti-social”, but Hunting shows how applications like VRChat can serve to facilitate deep and authentic connections. That authenticity is rooted in the sudden freedom from familial and societal expectations, which gives VRChatters a rare opportunity to totally reinvent themselves and, perhaps, get just a little bit closer to their ideal selves. For all of the aforementioned users, virtual reinvention has clearly paid enormous dividends in the real world.—Lucas Cullen, Assistant Manager, SNF Parkway Theatre

 

 

Following the screening on April 30  filmmaker and Professor of Film and Moving Image at Stevenson University, Dina Fiasconaro will lead an audience Q&A with with filmmakers, Joe Hunting and Jenny.

Following the screening on May 1  Programing Director, Christy LeMaster will lead an audience Q&A with with filmmakers, Joe Hunting and  Jenny.

 

 

 

COVID-19 POLICIES
All Festival attendees must follow our COVID-19 health and safety protocols at ALL MdFF venues. These policies are subject to change based on local and regional metrics.

  • NEW in 2022: You must reserve your seats in advance for all film screenings and premium events at this year’s festival.
  • Face masks are required at all times in all venues
  • Proof of vaccination (and booster shot, if eligible) OR proof of negative PCR test dated a maximum of 72 hours before the festival