Shay Willard

Themed Video Design and Writing

Terra Incognita

Created by Director and Animator Ilana Kirschbaum, Terra Incognita was a walk-through attraction combining live performance, VR, and projections to tell the story of the artist’s father, and how his death impacted her life and work.  Audiences were asked to travel through a small hallway decorated with projected water droplets, then invited to explore a larger area comprised of shipwrecks, remnants of childhood bedrooms, and artifacts from a paternal relationship abruptly ceased.

Shay was asked to design and build the system that served as a delivery for memories within projections – using 13 different projectors, a shadowplay was created across walls, tide pools were dug in floors; hallways were turned into underwater passages; and miniatures were made colossal during the climactic scene.

This attraction held three audiences at once, each experiencing a different section of the attraction at once without interrupting each other’s journey.  The actors moved freely between zones as well, and precise timing allowed for an unusually high through-put for a VR-driven experience.

Terra Incognita explored life, death, water, and shadow by thrusting the audience into a museum of recollection, allowing exploration without limitation, and experiential storytelling that put audiences in the place of the artist, and successfully communicated a perspective of mourning through celebration.

Terra Incognita featured 13 projectors, 2 of which were blended on a curved wall in their Watchout System.  9 of the sources were cued to allow for a pulsed experience, and the other 4 on a separate Max MSP/Jitter cornerpin.  In a projection study, the original form looked a bit like this –

To tame the technical chaos, Shay broke the design down into smaller studies that can be seen here, along with a grid map and data flow.

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