'Notes on Blindness' VR Team on Creating an Empathetic Journey Into a Disability

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Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness is an acclaimed companion VR experience to the documentary Notes on Blindness, which documents writer John Hull's experiences and feelings as he started to go blind. The VR experience, created by Arnaud Colinart and Amaury La Burthe, artistically interprets Hull's narration as he explains what his mind now sees and feels based on his other senses.

"I would say that what guided the VR project is really the notion of 'experiencing,'" Colinart and La Burthe tell Filmmaker Magazine. "This is why we start the experience with this very simple, already seen question of 'How does it feel to be blind?' John’s answer is that it is really not a single bit like closing the eyes. It is an immersion in a completely different world of perception. And that’s what guided our work. The doc is really about empathy, learning about John’s journey into blindness and what changed in him. In the VR project we try to bring the emotions and sensations he went through. We do not try to make you feel you are John Hull, but more to experience fragments of what he went through. His voice is there, as a companion, to guide you through this emotional journey."

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