Big Deal Media

K-12 Technology

Mar 01, 2019 2019-03-01

Digital Learning • Learning Support

3D ADAPTATION OF SHAKESPEARE’S HAMLET

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company has taken Shakespeare’s most iconic play to the cutting edge of immersive storytelling in Hamlet 360: Thy Father’s Spirit, using the power of virtual reality (VR) to plunge viewers into Hamlet’s harrowing journey. This cinematic 360-degree adaptation explores new dimensions of the photoplay medium by casting the viewer as the Ghost of Hamlet’s dead father. In this role as an omniscient observer, guide, and participant, viewers get a sense of agency and urgency throughout the 60-minute experience. The film plays out in a single location, at the center of a large, rundown hall with a stage to one side. It is a cavernous room outfitted with lamps, a collection of shabby and ornate furniture, a patchwork of rugs, and an old car. Actors move around the room, encouraging viewers to explore the space. Sometimes a sound that seems to come from over the viewer’s shoulder is a prompt to turn around. Hamlet 360 was released by WGBH, a PBS member station in Boston. It is hosted on the station’s YouTube page, where it can be viewed in 3D using a VR headset or in two dimensions on a desktop or mobile device.

Reading/English/Language Arts Virtual Reality • Augmented Reality

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