Telling A Story With Heat And Air: The Feelies

Amazing multisensory VR experience at Glastonbury

Munduruku: a multisensory experience

Multi-sensory storytellers The Feelies needed their film ‘Munduruku’ to be a sensational experience. They wanted viewers to be able to live the challenges of the Munduruku people of the Amazon. But to achieve that, The Feelies needed the extra sensory elements of heat and wind to bring the experience to life. Other studios they had approached had told them what they needed wasn’t possible. So they came to us.

The feel of the forests

We created bespoke heating and wind systems for five ‘pods’ in which participants in ‘Munduruku’ would sit. The heating component consisted of three floodlights, modified with 400w gold infrared lamps. These surrounded the participant at different heights. The lamps also heated and cooled rapidly, meaning we could simulate the feeling of a fire or the Sun. We could even mimic the absence of the Sun by cutting the background heater used throughout the rest of the experience.  

To create the wind, we used three centrifugal fans, attached to magic arms. This meant we could position them anywhere we needed to around the pod. We controlled the intensity of the fans by pulse width modulating (PWM) a signal to them using an adapted LED driver.

The Feelies’ collected multisensory data during their filming in the Amazon. We used this to plot the audience member’s sensory journey through the film. Programming this data into an LSC Clarity console meant we could sync the triggers for the wind and heat exactly to the visuals. And exporting the cues to a DMX recorder made the pods easy to use for technicians, wherever Munduruku might be shown.

Taking the Amazon everywhere

The narrative of heat and wind we created helped make Munduruku a realistic and immersive experience. Participants were able to really feel like they were in the Amazon. Munduruku has now appeared at festivals across the world, and been universally loved. The experience sold out its entire run at Centro Cultural Correios, São Paulo, Brazil. It has also gone on to win awards at the Sheffield Documentary Festival, Raindance Film Festival and Future of StoryTelling.

Feelies heat and wind programming

Programming the heat + wind track.

Ben and Dan are not only great at what they already do, but open to new challenges and were fantastic to work with. They designed a bespoke system quickly and easily, which not only did the job, but was technically robust and within our modest budget. They were with me every step of the way installing the system in Brazil, the US and Argentina. To top it all, they’re lovely guys and a pleasure to collaborate with. I look forward to working with them again.

Grace Boyle, Director, The Feelies

If you need lighting or heat effects to help tell your story, get in touch.