The new art of storytelling



A cinematographic narrative is told in a linear fashion in the form of a series of shots and sequences. The camera controls the view. In contrast, other forms of creation, such as video games, rely mainly on immersive environments with the potential for imagining infinite perspectives. Yan Breuleux is examining the question of how to tell a story when one does not completely control what is being looked at.

By combining these different perspectives, they can build a narrative.

The researcher at the School of Digital Arts, Animation and Design at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi develops conceptual frameworks and production methods for new media. He then puts his theoretical advances to the test in concrete immersive narration projects, such as Nuée | Swarm. Presented in 2015, Nuée | Swarm transposes an audiovisual composition called Tempêtes on a 360-degree dome.

In an immersive context, viewers can look wherever they want. Rather than simply observing the environment, they use it. By combining these different perspectives, they can build a narrative. Yan Breuleux has carried out several case studies of this type which have shown the influence of the performance space on the narrative and the positioning of viewpoints. An environment filmed from ground level gives the impression of being an insect. The same environment filmed from the sky will make the viewer feel like a bird.  

However, this type of narration highlights another important factor: audience attention. Yan Breuleux's future research will involve collaborations with cognitive science and psychology specialists in order to fully understand the functioning of attention mechanisms in an immersive environment and to use them in new forms of narration.