The very first residency of CIRCollaborative Tools project took place at the Arts Printing House in Vilnius, Lithuania on 2-14th of January with the company Fheel Concepts. The team is working on contemporary circus and VR (virtual reality) project Ordinary Circus Girl where the viewer will become a circus performer in a short VR movie. We talked with the artistic director of Fheel Concepts and the choreographer of this project about their work and digital tools they use to manage it. We talked a day before their public presentation of the project which photos you can find here.
First of all, could you describe yourself, the company and who works on this project?
I am Corinne Linder, the creator of company Fheel Concepts and I have started this project. The artistic work is being done in collaborations with other artists and I am more of a concept creator. Heini Koskinen is a choreographer for this piece, there will be four or five main characters doing aerials, 10-12 people doing side roles and we also have people to help us with cameras and other technology part. We also need a lot of try outs with cameras so we need a lot of other people.
Ordinary Circus Girl contains circus and VR and it will also be a movie. Could you tell more about how all those things work together?
Corrine Linder: The idea is to create a personal experience for a viewer, for him to have a point of view of being on stage and being a circus performer. That said, it would also be a different way of seeing a circus performance: having an unusual point of viewing, being very close to the performers, having an ability to look anywhere you want around you. The idea behind VR is to put up to 24 units of 360′ cameras and cut all the scenes together in the post-production, so you as a viewer would be in the middle of the action, you could look in every direction.
Why did you choose this type of technology and how do you see the connection with circus?
C.L.: I chose to do this because I saw the opportunity to give a closer experience for the viewer. VR, first of all, gives a 360′ experience and circus is a 360′ art. So that was the first connection. Also we wanted to find a way how to guide a viewer without telling a story, because we don’t have a lot of dialogues. And circus together with VR is free to guide viewer’s focal point without telling a logical story.
You are trying to get help from the people who are coming to see your presentation by asking them about different point of views. It seems that audience input is very important during the creative process. What do you think about it?
Heini Koskinen: Yes, one of the main focuses of out residency was to try out as many different point of views as possible, so we thought – why not try it with the real audience who has a 360′ view as well and can give us feedback afterwards.
Circollaborative Tools project is all about different digital tools. VR obviously is one of them, but what other tools have you been using?
C.L.: We are also using augmented sound design. It is a way of using a lot of different microphones to make the viewers experience more immersive. For example, we record the sound of aerialists, so you can hear the breathing, the impact of drops from the rope and so on. But mostly we are focusing on VR. It is hard to talk about it because VR is so commercialized these days, but it is very interesting for us to work with it.
What digital tools do you use for managing your work? Maybe you find yourself in need of tools for particular work?
C.L.: We work with a big group of people, so I was looking for a tool for our administration. We work in France, where we have a very complicated financial system and the way you have to pay the artists. This financial part is very complicated already, and then we have residencies where we have to keep track of all of our expenses as well. So instead of sending dozens of emails with different receipts and boarding passes, we put everything on Google Drive, so nothing gets lost.
Another problem we faced was sharing expenses for food when eating out. For that we are trying to use this app called Splitwise and hope it can help to solve this problem.
H.K.: The only problem we find with it, is that if we decide to use it, we all must have a smartphone or a computer and that’s not always the case in our group, so then it’s not so easy. Maybe at the end of residency we will have a better idea of how to use it.
What tools do you mostly use for communications between your group?
C.L.: We mostly use Facebook chat. And we actually started to talk a little bit on Splitwise as well.
What apps or tools would you say are the best and you would recommend them to other artist?
For task management I use Trello a lot so I would recommend it. And for more visual plans I like to use Evernote. Google Drive was the most useful for me from them all.
H.K.: We also use Google Drive to share all our videos when we are not together.
Digital tools Fheel Concepts use for their management:
Follow Fheel Concepts on Facebook here