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Ones To Watch 2021
Fat Red BirdFat Red Bird

Our experience is (Hi)Story of a Painting (HOAP) – an animated VR series exploring the fascinating stories behind some of the world’s most iconic artists and paintings with the aim of demystifying art and art history. It’s a series of experiences that work to engage audiences in a new way with artists and artworks that have shaped our culture, helping audiences understand the relevance of these artists and the reasons why they continue to resonate with us today.

HOAP is a simple and innovative creative VR series – we identified a hole in the arts market whereby there are already a number of entertaining arts VR experiences, but none that give audience members the tools to better understand the arts landscape that shapes our popular culture whilst immersing viewers in an entertaining story. Our project has been lauded as “arguably one of the most immersive and impressive experiences you can see in a headset today” on Upload VR, and whilst we are conducting focus groups and engaging with a UX designer to further improve our series, we are happy to observe that the foundation of the series already resonates.

We started HOAP in July 2020 when we received prototype funding from Creative XR. During this programme, we created episode 1 as a proof of concept. It screened in competition at SXSW 2021, and has been invited to several other festivals, which will be announced soon. We are also in concrete talks with a museum in Taiwan to exhibit episode 1 as part of their grand opening VR exhibition at the end of this year.

In April, we received further funding from Arts Council England and Digital Catapult via Creative XR, to finance the majority of our second episode as well as lay the groundwork for a long-term production pipeline on the series. This will allow us to create multiple episodes and franchise the series into other formats (sculpture or architecture are just two examples) both within and beyond the UK.

HOAP was created to engage young adults with the arts, which is a need shared by many museums - We recently participated in the NewImages XR market, where HOAP received the most meeting requests out of the 41 projects present. We have positively engaged with cultural institutions and museums who have identified HOAP as a promising offering to help them achieve their audience reach goals.

We are actively working towards forming partnerships with both local and international institutions and have identified our ROI threshold. HOAP not only offers a new revenue stream for Fat Red Bird, but also has international and cross-sectoral impact built into its DNA: HOAP’s potential is cross-cultural, cross-generational and cross-platform. The experience is designed to appeal to young adults, and part of that is thanks to our choice of narrator: contemporary practicing artists whether they be singers, musicians, well known public figures... we are working to set a new tone to art and art history. HOAP also appeals to VR newcomers and older audiences, as it is an intuitive experience with a low barrier to entry. This makes the series compatible within educational settings, cultural institutions, venues with whom we are discussing location-based exhibitions, and on telecoms as 360 videos. We are also exploring the possibility of creating an AR companion piece, which we will further explore as part of our second stage of development. We also aim to translate the experience into multiple languages, making the series culturally resonate wherever it is exhibited. For example, as part of our plans to exhibit in Taiwan, we are working on a Mandarin translation and will work with a local contemporary artist as narrator.

Being a part of the CIC CreaTech One to Watch 2021 would enable us to build our platform and expand on our growth ambitions to create content for good –getting on the radars of policy makers would help us reach this goal. All of the Exclusive Support Partner bullet points are invaluable opportunities but to expand on a few, International Insights fit into our long term goals of co-productions and potential company branch openings, networking and introductions to investors are key and especially effective when brokered by an established entity – the seal of approval CIC CreaTech would afford us would open up doors and help us expand on our current project development plans.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Gaëlle

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