In this animated interactive virtual reality fiction, Jorge Tereso and Fernando Madonado revisit the story of Romeo and Juliet, immersing the viewer in a dark and poetic world.
From Argentina to France
Fernando Maldonado and Jorge Tereso are both specialists in 3D animation.
Founders of the 3DAR virtual reality studio in which they directed Shave It! in 2012, the Argentinian directors have worked together for more than ten years. With 3DAR they co-produced the animated video for Lili Dicky's « Earth », featuring the voices of 30 singers including Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Ed Sheeran. They also wrote the screenplay for Gloomy Eyes with Santiago Amigorena, co-author with Cédric Klapisch of Ce qui nous lie (Back to Burgundy) and Le Péril jeune (Good Old Daze).
Gloomy Eyes was co-produced by Atlas V, a French production company specialising in virtual reality, creator of Spheres, Battlescar and Vestige, which have won awards at the biggest festivals.
Romeo and Juliet revisited
« When the sun got tired of human stupidity, he decided to hide and never get up again. » It is with these words that the first of the three chapters of Gloomy Eyes opens. Narrated by Tahar Rahim in the French version, this fiction immerses us in a world where the sun has disappeared.
Woodland-City, 1983. A cruel priest, Lewis, has plunged the world into darkness. The dead have come out of their graves and are fighting the living. At each full moon, Lewis hunts for the zombies to drive them away from the city. In the midst of this endless night, a love story between Gloomy, a half-human half-zombie child living alone in the forest, and Nena, the priest’s niece, struggles to be born.
Exploring the sensory side of VR
It took 20 months of work between Buenos Aires and Paris to produce Gloomy Eyes. The work was written and produced in the 3DAR animation studio in Argentina. The choice of the 3 x 10 minutes format was decided by the directors and the producer, Antoine Cayrol, to allow an audience unfamiliar with virtual reality to take ownership of the work of fiction more easily.
Offering a timeless and universal work, the film makers took inspiration from the dark aspects of human nature, which divide and blame those who are different. The narrative experience of Gloomy Eyes focuses on « floating islands », highlighted by theatrical lighting, allowing a real immersion in the story. Exploring all the sensory aspects of virtual reality to encounter a melancholic emotion through a particular narrative was the team's creative driver.
Presented at the opening of the Sundance Festival, Gloomy Eyes has been awarded at numerous festivals such as the SXSW Festival, the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and the NewImages Festival.
Inspired by the aesthetics of Tim Burton’s stop motion films, Gloomy Eyes was broadcast around the world thanks to an international co-production with French collaborators from Atlas V, 3DAR in Argentina, Arte France, Ryot and HTC Vive – all of which served as channels to broadcast the work. The fiction has been translated into English, French, Mandarin, Spanish and German. It has been dubbed by Colin Farell for the English version, and new adaptations are currently in progress.
Gloomy Eyes is presented in the Catalogue VR Immersive Experiences, which references a selection of original works at the crossroads of virtual reality, live performance and visual arts.
The aim of this catalogue is to make these new forms of shows and exhibitions discoverable, to facilitate their exploitation by cultural and entertainment venues around the world, and thus to contribute to the development of a market for this emerging sector.