EyeMyth 2017 Day 2: Continuing the path toward Future as Fiction
EyeMyth's exciting blend of technology and art continued on day two with participants getting a rundown on Unity, a cross platform game engine, primarily designed for creating games. In the right hands, a tool as powerful as Unity can be used to create more opportunities to leverage technology in unexpected ways. Learning how the engine works make collaborations between the various groups easier as they learn to tune the engine to their needs.

Independent Producer and Director, Christopher W. Bailey shared basic know how of Unity with the groups and some secrets he used on his film Across, a short interactive VR story that tells the tale about two characters who live on opposite cliffs, one side is a paradise, the other a wasteland. Utilizing the engine allowed Bailey to implement the story in a dynamic way, depending on where you look within the world. After a small break, the groups were then given a small tutorial on perspective as they slowly started visualising and building their projects. Meanwhile, at the AR workshop, the teams were now using storyboards to fine tune their concepts helping them ensure that what they were working toward was related to the theme they had chosen for their projects.

The five groups were then broken down further into sub-groups according to ideas they conceptualised like Personified walls that convince users not to urinate or spit, an immersive cabinet on raising awareness and using AR to visualise brain activity. Pretty fancy huh?

The main draw of the evening for the attendees were the VR film experiences, there were tons of films on show like Easter Rising, a gripping tale of a man's recollection of the Irish revolution in 1916 or Ashes to Ashes, a surrealist tragicomedy in the vein of David Lynch or Yeh Ballet, a film that chronicles the story of two boys from Mumbai and their journey to embrace ballet. There were many more such VR experiences spread through the event.

The highlight for us at least was Blindfold by Ink Stories, an interactive experience where you as the protagonist are tied up in an interrogation room and react to questions put to you by nodding your head. What you decide will ultimately decide your fate. The experience throws a light on the plight of journalists in Iran who are convicted or murdered for exposing the government's dirty secrets. It's particularly brutal in a VR format when experienced from the point of view of a journalist.

There were also art installations spread throughout the event like Joker, a quirky photo collection by Kapil Das or Generative Diary made by Yash and Salil for Alt-Q, which chronicles a collection of sketches made in artist's diary over the years. Then there was a preview of Antariksha Sanchar, a PC game amplifying the vibrant, timeless cultures of South India. A point and click adventure, its narrative manifests as a speculative science fiction experience, inspired by the dream theorems of the prodigious mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, and the Indian classical dance of Jayalakshmi Eshwar.

The evening bookended by the launch of ICIM, India's first centre of excellence for immersive media, at the Indian School for Design and Innovation (ISDI), Mumbai. The launch played host to an Industry roundtable of experts, who spoke on the state of VR in the country, the table included Uday Shankar, Chairman and CEO of the Star TV Network, Devraj Sanyal, Managing Director and CEO of Universal Music Group, India and South Asia, Jonathan May, Arts Programme Manager for the British Council in South Asia and Americas, Mayank Shekhar, Film/Media Critic and Editorial Head at Mid-Day and Preeti Arora, Head of Quality Assurance at NSDC.

It's clear that EyeMyth has a lot more up its sleeve for the coming days, tune in back here for reports from Day 3 of the festival.