As part of a ground-breaking and innovatory partnership, created to explore the blurring of boundaries between live experiences and the burgeoning world of Virtual Reality, Punchdrunk International and Samsung Electronics America have been awarded a prestigious Silver Lion in the Entertainment Category at this year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity for their collaboration on Believe Your Eyes; a visually arresting, multi-sensory VR experience.
This partnership between Punchdrunk International and Samsung Electronics America has been established to explore the crossover between the virtual and literal world. This is the first time a theatre company has formed an innovative partnership in this way.
Believe Your Eyes is a one-on-one, 4D experience, powered by Samsung Gear VR, which blurs the lines between the physical and digital worlds by using real actors, film and complex soundscapes to lure participants into a ghostly dreamscape. Believe Your Eyes was created by Punchdrunk International, Associate Director Hector Harkness and Creative Associate Kath Duggan alongside Artistic Director Felix Barrett. The experience debuted at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2016 and continued to bewitch audiences numbering more than one thousand people at Art Basel Miami and at Samsung 837, the company’s New York experiential flagship centre.
Punchdrunk International’s Associate Director Hector Harkness said: Creating our first VR piece confirmed something we’ve suspected for a while, that when digital and real worlds meet the effect can be magical. This is just the tip of the iceberg for us as we explore similar digital possibilities across the company’s work. Partnerships like this allow us to continue to create new forms of live experience, while pushing forward our practice in the most unexpected ways.
“At Samsung, we work relentlessly to develop innovative technologies and services that ultimately help people further enjoy their life’s passions,” says Zach Overton, Vice President, Consumer Experience, Samsung Electronics America. “Punchdrunk International inspired us to push the limits of creativity and leverage Samsung Gear VR to reimagine the theatrical experience in a way that blurs the line between virtual and reality. We’re beyond pleased that our efforts were recognized by Cannes Lions.”