Second Date (VR)

Second Date is a lighthearted, unscripted Virtual Reality 3D 360° portrait of two young people fumbling towards ecstasy. Trying to find common ground, their conversation veers from clumsy to joyous and back again --  until they finally start connecting for real. In a significant departure from typical VR representations of sex, Second Date encourages the viewer to intimately share the couple’s emotional and physical space, but not as an actual intruder. As invisible witnesses, we empathetically take part in their connection. Second Date is directed by Jennifer Lyon Bell of Blue Artichoke Films, which is an independent Amsterdam film company dedicated to making award-winning artistic, unusual erotic films that portray sexuality in an emotionally realistic way. Co-produced by Blue Artichoke Films and by VR pioneer Condition One, a mainstay of the Sundance Film Festival’s virtual reality division.

The film shoot had a special structure: Second Date was indeed Anne and Bishop’s second date. The film’s director, Jennifer Lyon Bell, sent Anne and Bishop off to improvise their own private “first date” in Amsterdam on the day before the shoot. Jennifer’s only rule for the first date: No touching at all, not even kissing. As conceived by Jennifer, the point of the film Second Date was to let intimacy naturally develop between them – Jennifer assured Anne and Bishop that their individual spontaneous natural expression was much more important than having sex, or even kissing. Whatever happened during Second Date, or didn’t happen, should be completely up to them.

  • Jennifer Lyon Bell
    Silver Shoes, Skin.Like.Sun., Matinée, Headshot
  • Jennifer Lyon Bell
    Silver Shoes, Skin.Like.Sun., Matinée, Headshot
  • Jennifer Lyon Bell
    Silver Shoes, Skin.Like.Sun., Matinée, Headshot
  • Condition One (company)
    Melting Ice, Meditations, In The Presence, American Bison, Navajo Dancers, Condition One
  • Anne De Winter
    Key Cast
  • Bishop Black
    Key Cast
  • Jonathan Massey
    Director of Photography
  • Christian Serge Nelson
    Director of Photography
    Zero Point (VR)
  • Project Type:
    Short, Virtual Reality
  • Genres:
    Romance, Erotic, Documentary
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 34 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 15, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    4K stereoscopic ambisonic
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Raindance Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    September 28, 2017
    World Premiere
    Nomination - VRX Award, Best Sensual VR Experience
  • CPH:DOX Copenhagen International Documentary Festival
    March 15, 2018
    Continental European Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Encounters Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    September 30, 2017
    UK Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Oslo/Fusion International Film Festival
    September 20, 2017
    PRE-RELEASE Sneak Preview
    Official Selection
  • EYE Filmmuseum Amsterdam
    June 10, 2017
    PRE-RELEASE Sneak Preview
    Official Selection
  • FIVARS Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Stories Festival
    September 14, 2018
    North American Premiere
    Official Selection
  • VR Expo & Awards
    United Kingdom
    March 9, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Cambridge Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    October 23, 2017
    Official Selection
  • Citizen of Nowhere Festival (National Theatre of Scotland)
    United Kingdom
    November 9, 2018
    Scotland National Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Jennifer Lyon Bell

Forever wishing that all movies had longer and better sex scenes, Harvard graduate Jennifer Lyon Bell decided to mix arthouse cinema with hot explicit sex in her own work. The founder of Blue Artichoke Films (Amsterdam), she creates erotic fiction films and documentaries that illuminate the riveting, intimate, and sometimes delightfully awkward side of sex.

Her award-winning films screen at international festivals, cinemas, and museums all over America, Europe, Japan, and South America, and her body of work recently won the 2015 European Feminist Porn Award. Her most recent film, the trilogy Silver Shoes, premiered at the London ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts), screened by invitation at the Schwules Museum Berlin, and received the “Movie Of The Year” grand prize at the Feminist Porn Awards in Toronto. Her explicitly erotic fiction film Matinée has won three Best Film awards including one from the Melbourne Underground Film Festival which it won by jury prize -- even though the film was technically banned from the festival by the Australian Classification Board for its intense sexual content. Her love/porn collaboration Skin. Like. Sun. has been embraced by sexologists at home and abroad for its unusually realistic depiction of female pleasure. And her arty erotic documentary Headshot, which screened at the Cannes Short Film Corner at its launch, broadcast recently on primetime television’s Zomergasten for half a million viewers. Her upcoming virtual reality 3D 360 degree film Second Date is probably the world’s first erotic orgasmic clothed VR film.

In addition to filmmaking, Jennifer evangelizes for sex-positive art by curating erotic-themed film programs and exhibitions for museums, arts institutions, and festivals including The Museum of Sex in New York (MOSEX), Ladyfest, Monkeytown, and the San Francisco Indie Erotic Film Festival. She was a co-director of Amsterdam’s own Rated X Amsterdam Alternative Erotica Film Festival, and a consultant for the EYE Film Museum’s erotic archive. She enjoys writing and presenting on porn; she recently gave the closing keynote, “Empathy and Pornography,” at the first Sex And The Cinema film studies conference at the University of Kent and has written for the Porn Studies journal as well as various art publications. A trailblazer, she taught at the Dutch Film Academy (NFTA) in what may be the first ever erotic film workshop offered at a national film school. She was the alternative newspaper Amsterdam Weekly’s first and only sex columnist, “Ladywood”. Her current workshops include alternative/feminist porn, historical stag films, cognitive film theory approaches to porn, and the self-empowering creative workshop “From Fantasy To Film: Design Your Own Erotic Film” which she has taught all over the world.

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Director Statement

I'm dedicated to making artistic, unusual erotic films that portray sexuality in an emotionally realistic way.