Vive la réalité virtuelle!

We owe it to the French.

When I retorted with this tweet to the statement about Morton Heilig's Sensorama:

I was referring to Antonine Artaud (1896-1948), a french theatre director, widely recognised as one of the major figures of twentieth-century theatre and the European avant-garde.

The Arrival

Be it the early works of Auguste and Louis Lumière and the The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station,


to the fabulous efforts of Damien and David to persuade Larry of the delightful viability of Cardboard, that post-modern day plastic, VR aka, réalité virtuelle bleeds tricolore more than anything.

Live VR video

And if we're talking about the continuation of the #avralance then note how those leading the field for many years now, and about to step into big Facebook and Google pursued limelight, is Video Stitch, the company behind the newly launched Orah, a 4k Live streaming camera for prosumer usage that streams to your HMD and your soon your social feed.

Yes, Orah is lead by the French Nicolas Burtey and a team of Parisians. (Ed. seriously thinking of getting one of these!)

And yet in some ways, that narrative of film making in VR is still very much in it's infancy, in a sort of Lumière moment, as story tellers grapple with how to craft a story with new fandangled  tools.

Ghosts and Characters

I recommend digesting Devon Dolan's VR thesis around the The Four Different Types of Stories in VR as modified by Kent Bye. It's a fascinating take on the art.

This piece (in Spanish) from one of the VR creator's of Ministerio del Tiempo for RTVE, goes into more detail about the film and post production techniques in VR to achieve viewer immersion. The notion of cuts and edits is an eternal one in VR that is touched upon:

To change from scene to scene, there's always some elements that allow a transition, an envelope is handed to you, and you have to deliver it to someone...

Para cambiar de escena a escena, siempre hay unos elementos que hacen de transición; te dan un sobre, se lo tienes que entregar (a alguien)

Master story tellers

And yet, those very same story telling techniques and film hacks, that are now flexing a new generation of VR maker's minds, are not too disimilar to the ones that tested yesterday's great directors:

How Alfred Hitchcock hid 10 Edits in ROPE from Vashi Nedomansky.

ROPE (1948) is Alfred Hitchcock's murder/suspense film that showcases the killing in its second shot. ROPE is often described as the film with no edits or cuts.

On further examination...Hitchcock's gem actually contains 10 edits. Five of them are hidden as the camera lens is filled by foreground objects. The other five edits are regular hard cuts that not many people either realize or acknowledge. I've isolated all 10 edits in the video below so you can learn from the Master of Suspense on how to hide your edits without losing momentum in your story.

Vive la revrolution!

Good day, good people

Sometimes you discover, quite by chance, that touching piece of writing or video, that no one else seemingly has.

And it comes at just the right time, when the mood calls. 

Maybe you're not feeling at your absolute best and need a pep talk. 

I did not give you permission to quit!

That one's for you sister.

Maybe you're just receptive to a fleeting moment of sheer joy with a proper sing-along, no matter if it ends on a bum note.

Neon got me like!

You're an hero among a sea of the unsung.

Karma's gonna get you Captain.

Over and out.

If Mr McGuire were real

I confess.

I dropped a howler.

Last time I mentioned Walter Brooke, as in the actor,  who played the wise family friend to Benjamin (played by Dustin Hoffman) in The Graduate, I made a mistake.

In that infamous scene by the pool, where Mr McGuire gave the upstart graduate a single word of wisdom - plastics - I incorrectly spelt his name in my previous blog post.

Materially wrong

Alas if Mr McGuire were choosing his words and materials at any point since 1967, he may well have reasonably uttered silicon instead of plastics, or perhaps graphene.

In any case, I still assert that filters is worthy, if not more so than in 2010 when the abstract term crossed my mind and I spontaneously blogged much like now.

Yet today, the material that avidly evokes inspiration in me is cardboard.

Cardboard is a start, and as Joey "The Lips" Fagan, the Trumpet decrepit extraordinaire, recalled in The Commitments ....I believe in starts.

"Once you had the start the rest was inevitable. The Lord made sure of that."

Cake, nails and Pita bread

So what do this assortment of food and objects have to do with cardboard and Cardboard?

Well, it so happens I've lately been somewhat busy with Cardboard and VR ever since last summer at Droiders we combined Glass with VR during some wearable surgery.

You see, the thing is, where as Oculus is tricky, and Glass is misunderstood, watching 360º is a piece of....

even if filming 360º is hard as

and editing 360º is a

(bread as an acronym.) 

So hands up who doesn't like cake?

And now, due to a whole confluence of factors, cardboard and cake is getting real.

And Cardboard

I'll be talking more Cardboard and VR, online and in person in Manchester on Friday 12th June, 360 degree deciphering those culinary and steel metaphors.

The real Mr McGuire is unlikely to show up, other than perhaps as a bit part in a deck, but you are most welcome to try Cardboard* if you pop down to SASCON for the wearables session.

*Supplied with free cake. While stocks last.


I do enjoy this music.

I selected it to match a video I made recently and it was a really challenging exercise.

Recently I've become far more tuned to sound in films and acoustics all around me.

I think the impact that sound editing has on mood is huge.

The blog post with it's accompanying video is published on

Interactive Mega-SERP

Keeping up with Search Engine Results Pages is, these days, even for full time SEO professionals, a fraught affair.

Google make hundreds of changes each year to their underlying algorithm.

However, not only are the query processes altered - aka Hummingbird - and the ranking methods adjusted, but their display is also subject to huge flux and continual experimentation.

Here is an interactive, tablet and fat finger friendly version of Dr. Peter Myers', Mega-SERP as featured on Moz.

Want to use it? Grab the embed code from Thinglink.

Whilst strictly speaking this SERP result is a blend of ingredients - just like our humble taco - it's a fascinating illustration of the wider complexity that we now face as marketers, and paradoxically the accuracy, relevance and richness we encounter as users.

In a lot of ways peak keyword has long since passed, even if conversations about keywords in the boardroom may not have.

Peak taco though?

I suspect that's a whole different byte.