An interactive experience “for human beings between 5 and 105 years old,” ‘Way to Go’ is the follow-up to Morisset’s 2014 SXSW winner ‘BLA BLA.’
Fresh from the Sundance Film Festival, the National Film Board of Canada has released Way to Go, an interactive experience “for human beings between 5 and 105 years old” created by director Vincent Morisset, Caroline Robert, Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit and the studio AATOAA.
Morisset and AATOAA are the visionary creators of BLA BLA, which received the SXSW Interactive Award in 2014, and Arcade Fire's award-winning Just a Reflektor created for Google Chrome.
A 360-degree virtual walk through the woods, Way to Go was co-produced by the NFB and France Télévisions. As users pilot a block-headed, hand-drawn avatar through the experience, they can pause to examine the world around them, sometimes triggering a strange tunnel vision effect that shifts the perspective to a first-person POV. During the seemingly endless journey, the world oscillates between black-and-white live action and a colored, lo-res digital mode.
Eighty-three custom shaders change lights, grain and visual effects in real time while thousands of sounds are live mixed and synced to user interaction. The music score itself, composed by Philippe Lambert, is generative, responding to the viewer’s pace as they amble (or fly) through the forest.
Although it’s a browser-based experience, Way to Go is compatible with the Oculus Rift (via WebVR) and was presented as a VR installation at the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier showcase in January.