London. 23 August. Taron Egerton (Rocketman) and Lucy Boynton (Bohemian Rhapsody) have been announced as the stars of a stunning new virtual reality (VR) experience – Glimpse.
Written and directed by Academy Award winning writer-director Benjamin Cleary (Stutterer, Wave) and VR creator Michael O’Connor, Glimpse will have its world-first preview at the 76th Venice Film Festival, entered in the Venice Virtual Reality Interactive showcase, from 29 August to 7 September, ahead of its 2020 premiere.
A highly emotive visual feast, Glimpse is set in the imaginative mind of a heartbroken panda, Herbie. Herbie (Egerton), is a talented illustrator who is going through a painful breakup from his girlfriend – a deer called Rice (Boynton), who dreams of becoming a musician.
A stunningly animated, interactive VR experience, Glimpse is a unique sensory and immersive experience which emulates the rawness of a breakup after falling in love. Embodying Herbie’s point of view, Glimpse, takes us on an incredible visual journey back through the memories of his relationship, from the heart-breaking end, to the beautiful beginning. Along the way, expect star filled galaxies, hot air balloons, ethereal vistas and a song performed by Boynton as Rice the deer, just for us.
Taron Egerton commented: “I love voice work and this is a medium I hadn’t explored before. Despite the characters being a panda and a deer, what I loved was how authentically human it felt. Glimpse is a transporting, heartbreaking VR experience and I had a wonderful time with Benjamin and Lucy bringing these characters to life.”
Lucy Boynton said: “I was so excited to get involved with Glimpse. Its storyline and themes are some I find the most exciting and intriguing to explore. I love that as beautiful and enchanting as it is visually, it doesn’t sugar-coat anything. It feels really poignant, authentic and hopeful. I fell in love with the characters and the script immediately.
“I was rather intimidated walking in, as this was my first time doing animated voice-over work (or singing for a project) and I know Taron is a seasoned pro, but everyone was so enthusiastic and encouraging. It’s inspiring to work with such passionate people.
“I’m so excited to be involved in storytelling through this medium! It’s a brand new experience for me. My favourite thing about a good script is when it becomes all-consuming and the audience can lose themselves in that world. This, of course, takes it to a whole new level. It’s the closest thing you can get to physically stepping out of your own world and into another. How magical is that?!”
A significant contribution to the emerging cannon of immersive storytelling, Glimpse combines the phenomenal efforts of a diverse team of creatives across film, gaming, animation, VFX and virtual reality.
Benjamin Cleary and Michael O’Connor, Writers and Directors, commented: “When we decided to combine our film and gaming backgrounds to form Mr Kite and make immersive experiences, one rule was quickly established. We would only tell stories that couldn’t be expressed in any other medium. The idea of placing someone right into the sensory experience of a character is something that immediately fascinated us. Ideas for visceral experiences we could explore bubbled and one idea rose to the top – that strange period of time after you’ve broken up with someone. Everything is still fresh and raw. The world is a little bit grey and unfamiliar. Is it raining more than usual? Every few minutes you think of the person and dip back into memories of the years you had with them as you try to make sense of it all.
“Glimpse was born out of this fascination with how we remember and relive the many threads of a romantic relationship from its beautiful birth to its mournful end. Over the course of the piece we want someone to experience the full force of falling in love, dancing with another soul for a while and then losing that love as it all becomes a cosmos of memories.”
Glimpse is presented by Mr Kite – the award-winning production company with a mission to tell stories in ways that have never been told before – and animated by Blue Zoo, one of the UK’s most respected animation studios. Glimpse is presented in association with HTC VIVE, Viveport, and made with the support of the BFI’s Film Fund and Unreal Dev Grant.