Unfurling 'The Crossing'

Published: 20 July 2016 at 08:44

A woman standing between two display screens

Filmmaker reveals secrets behind multi-screen installation

Back in June, our Creative Communications conference featured a special opening event for The Crossing, a powerful multi-screen film about sex trafficking.

In the following blogpost for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) website, filmmaker and Anglia Ruskin academic Dr Shreepali Patel talks about her aims for The Crossing, the technology behind its production and its recent screening at an AHRC Common Ground event.

The Crossing forms a strand of my research focussing on Creative Communication, exploring the cross-disciplinary potential of existing and emerging audio-visual technologies and challenging traditional narrative conventions in engaging audiences with story and subject matter. The research team and I had been constructing The Crossing for two years and as such, we approached the AHRC Common Ground Event with nervous anticipation.

A room of people sitting or standing, all wearing headphones and watching a film on surrounding screens

“At the heart of our multi-screen installation is the story of a young trafficked girl, which unfolds through a number of visual and sonic layers. Taking a cross-disciplinary approach, the project aimed to exploit the potential of live action, drone filming, visual effects and an immersive perspective shifting sound design through the 3Sixty’s wrap-around screens and using blue-tooth headphones to isolate the audience experience.

“The aim of the project was to explore the concept of ‘hope’ and its gradual unfurling of reality into an exploitation of trust to perpetuate an illegal $150 billion worldwide industry that trades in people. The written feedback to the project was overwhelming. The spatial impact of the 8-metre diagonal screens and the mirrored drone footage combined with intimate audio experience created an unsettling physical reaction in the audience but also seemed to intensify the understanding of the complex issues involved in sex trafficking. It was rewarding to finally see the project in such a space and achieve and engage in a constructive dialogue with other researchers and members of the public.

The Crossing is currently being developed as an interactive project to be used in PSHE studies within the Secondary School curriculum.”