TREEHUGGER: Wawona —the first scented virtual reality film, created by Barnaby Steel (Co-Founder, Creative Director), Ersin Han Ersin (artist, Creative Director) and Robin McNicholas (Co-founder, Creative Director) of Marshmallow Laser Feast, with Sensable Technologies LLC and Invisible Media & Entertainment, in collaboration with Symrise Fine Fragrance, has won the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival Storyscapes Award for immersive storytelling.
Shown in the immersive arcade of Spring Studios from April 20th to 30th, TREEHUGGER: Wawona seeks to present a unique understanding of nature through the latest technological advancements in virtual reality and innovation in storytelling, which for the first time included scent.
Jury Comments from the Tribeca Film Festival: “The project we chose exemplifies the highest standards of artistry and inventiveness. It explores the potential for new visual forms and investigates unique modes of storytelling that allow us to tap into aspects the world and our lived experience that are intuitively known but seldom articulated. Through its use of poetic abstraction, embodiment, and the viewer’s own imagination and interpretation, we are able to unlock new ways of understanding and experiencing the world around us. We’ve selected this piece because we hope it will inspire others to start creating in ways that take risks and use the limitations of technology to revamp story and experience.”
Developed with Symrise Perfumer Patricia Bilodeau, who created the scents in collaboration with noted independent perfumer Raymond Matts of Invisible Media & Entertainment and Stewart Matthew of Sensable Technologies LLC for Marshmallow Laser Feast, the award recognized the unique innovation of the scent technology to help to bridge the audience to the beautiful, expansive nature of our planet by exploring the inner workings of the Sequoia tree. Running time between six and seven minutes relative to each experience, the use of a VR headset, Subpac and haptic vest melds the sensory experiences provided by this first film of its kind. Although other scented virtual reality films were presented, TREEHUGGER was the only one with the unique scent technology developed by Sensable Technologies LLC and Invisible Media & Entertainment actually built into the VR headset providing the most efficient scent delivery system and the fullest overall sensory experience for the audience.
Upon receiving the award at Tribeca on Thursday evening, Stewart Matthew of Sensable Technologies LLC stated, “I’m pleased to say that the TREEHUGGER project won the Storyscapes Award. The award is for the best immersive (VR) project at the festival, and we were up against stiff competition by the likes of Academy Award Winning Director Kathryn Bigelow’s project. A big thank you to the work of the wonderful Symrise Fine Fragrance team, the folks in the lab, and of course, the sponsorship and support of Symrise! Our sense of smell informs everything we perceive and feel about our world. Our technologies and approach to scenting will further imprint TREEHUGGER, so that the audience’s memory of it will remain as strong and vivid as originally experienced.”
Upon learning about the award, Achim Daub, President, Scent & Care at Symrise stated, “This is awesome! I am so proud of the Symrise Fine Fragrance team who pursued this project with such great passion. Symrise prides itself as a global leader in innovative scent creation and is proud to have had the opportunity to support Stewart Matthew’s Sensable Technologies LLC in this way. Like other leading edge technologies, virtual reality will certainly be one of the game-changers of our industry.”
About Marshmallow Laser Feast: Treehugger is the brainchild of Marshmallow Laser Feast, a London based experiential studio working at the intersection of technology, art and science. Always looking to create experiences that immerse and amaze in unexpected ways – they employ a wealth of creative disciplines, from photo-real virtual reality to robotic performance and real-time mapping to push boundaries, redefine expectations and excite audiences worldwide.
About Sensable Technologies / Invisible Media & Entertainment: Sensable is a California company developing disruptive fragrance delivery technologies, including the world’s first wearable, rapid switching and high capacity scent microtechnology for virtual or augmented reality. Invisible, its creative division, expands the possibilities of storytelling using scent in productions as wide ranging as videogames, films, documentaries, live events, promotions and fashion. Sensable / Invisible is headed up by Stewart Matthew, the creator, writer and director of the world’s first ScentOpera held at the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao. In addition to Matthew, Sensable’s co-founders are Professor Sungho Jin and Dr. Calvin Gardner. Invisible’s Head of Scent Design is Raymond Matts, noted for his work in the creation of fine fragrances such as Clinique Happy, Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds, Brioni Cologne, among others.
About Symrise: Symrise is a global supplier of fragrances, flavorings, cosmetic base materials and substances as well as functional ingredients. Its clients include manufacturers of perfumes, cosmetics, food and beverages, the pharmaceutical industry and producers of nutritional supplements and pet food.
With sales of more than € 2.9 billion in 2016, Symrise is among the global leaders in the market for flavors and fragrances. Headquartered in Holzminden, Germany, the Group is represented in over 40 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Asia, the United States and Latin America. Symrise works with its clients to develop new ideas and market-ready concepts for products that form an indispensable part of everyday life. Economic success and corporate responsibility are inextricably linked as part of this process. Symrise – always inspiring more…