Stories of my city VR

The world is captivated by stereotypes. And our city Kherson is not an exception. Lots of people associate it only with watermelons. And how the urban residents themselves actually see the city — we tell in the manner of performance with the actors of the Suncity playback theater. VR technology will allow you to plunge into the story deeper.

  • Oleksiy Myroshnykov
  • Oleksiy Myroshnykov
  • Oleksiy Myroshnykov
  • Olga Prybylska
    Key Cast
  • Vera Krainiukova
    Key Cast
  • Viktoriia Kontseva
    Key Cast
  • Viktoriia Kravtsova
    Key Cast
  • Nataliia Snisarenko
    Key Cast
  • Dmytro Zinchenko
    Key Cast
  • Serhii Marchenko
    Key Cast
  • Maria Yorzh
    Key Cast
  • European Union under the House of Europe programme
  • Project Type:
    Virtual Reality, 360 Video
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 27 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 28, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Language:
    English, Russian, Ukrainian
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Oleksiy Myroshnykov

I am branding expert and IP-specialist in my own GRADES branding agency. Work since 2002, located in Kherson, Ukraine.

Since 2011 we starts to create spherical panoramas. I became a Google trusted photographer and shot VR-panoramas in many countries, such as Great Britain, Egypt, Cyprus, Vietnam, Indonesia, UAE, Turkey etc. My panoramic portfolio:

In 2018 I founded a SUN media group VR-production company and we start to shoot VR180 video. Our YouTube-channel:
FB: /alexey.miroshnikov

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Director Statement

Two things inspired me to create this film.

First is playback theater, a type of interactive improvisational theater that consists of two main practices: the audience's narration of personal stories to the audience and the artistic staging by actors of these stories in specific forms on the spot.
Playback theater is often used as a tool for social change at the level of small and medium, closed and open, homogeneous and heterogeneous groups. The complex socio-psychological effect experienced by the group is explained by the concept of "narrative reticulation" proposed by the author of the idea and founder of playback theater Jonathan Fox in 2013.

The second thing is the VR180 technology and the immersion effect it gives the viewer. Why exactly VR180 and not the more known VR360 format? When watching a 360 video, you don't always know where to look now, but whether something interesting is happening right behind you. In contrast, the format VR180 allows you to control the viewer's attention and allows you to safely view such content while sitting, which increases its entertainment value. And a high-quality stereo effect reflects everything as you see it in the real world.

The idea for the script is to debunk the stereotypical associations connected with the city that arose during our brainstorming with the actors of the SunCity Playback Theater. And it was based on 10 years of work on destination branding in Kherson conducted by my GRADES Branding Agency. Back in 2011, we decided for the first time to involve residents in the search for those contents that can become the basis of the destination brand. Then, through surveys, we found that it is a combination of natural features, geographical location, unique taste of plant products and historical and cultural component, as an assimilation of common features and preferences of peoples who inhabited our area in different eras. The unifying symbol was the solar sign, which we called the Scythian Sun. And in this sence, watermelon, with which Kherson is still closely associated, is the narrowing and profanation of these meanings.
Key aspects in destination branding are the subject to the AIDA model, the same as the promotion of ordinary goods and services. AIDA is an acronym from “Attention, Interest, Desire, Action”, a marketing term for a model of consumer behavior. It describes the sequence of consumer reactions that lead to the decision to purchase a product or service. And in this case, the image of the watermelon, as an identifying symbol, plays well only at the first stage - taking attention. It’s unlikely can arouse interest and desire to visit Kherson, as well as advertising India with a banana image can not arouse interest and desire to go there. Stereotypical gastronomic identifiers are common to many destinations, and rarely benefit the development of their tourism or investment potential.

The real challenge in making this film was to find a balance between home preparation and improvisation, without which all the magic of playback theater loses its meaning. At the beginning of the story of what Kherson really is for us, apart from watermelons, the actors play the playback form "diamond" and voice the most popular associations with Kherson. The choice of these associations is an element of prepared variation as each of them is then illustrated by the corresponding VR-video, but the actors still play the voiced aspects through the prism of their own experience. Everything that happens next is not a prepared script, the actors, residents and guests of the city each share their personal impressions. And the actors of the playback theater reproduce the voiced impressions in the playback form "bouquet".
Quite interesting is the question of studying the roles of playback interaction, which are offered to the viewer. For example, when residents tell their stories, the viewer becomes a conductor, without even imagining it. And the real narrator is the city, because of its inhabitants. I hope that the film will inspire further research in a combination of the best forms of immersive storytelling and playback theatre. I am sure that many destinations have something to tell the world.

The film was made with the financial support of the European Union under the House of Europe program.