Client name: Byron Bay Film Festival
Directors: Osvaldo Alfaro & J’aimee Skippon-Volke
Dome frame: The Dome Company
Dome cover: Fabric Solutions
Media Content: Multiple VR filmakers
The Byron Bay Film Festival (BBFF) is a ‘vibrant celebration of cinema’ that takes place annually in the heart of Byron Bay, Australia. The 16th edition of the BBFF ran in October 2022.
In 2022 the 10 metre diameter “XR” Dome was showcased in Byron Bay’s newest public space, the Railway Corridor.
Extended Reality (XR) is the intersection between immersive technologies including Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) enabling digital technologies such as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT), Blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and Web 3.0
Over 3 days, the XR Dome showcased cutting-edge immersive 360 degree films and content produced by artists and experts from throughout the world.
Among those contributors were members of the newly formed Byron Bay XR Collective, which boasts some of Australia’s most talented practitioners in the immersive technologies space.
The 2022 edition of BBFF wanted to showcase VR movies without having to use goggles. A projection dome was needed which could be used outdoors in all conditions. The venue offered by local council was not allowed to use pegs in ground, nor our usual one tonne concrete blocks placed with fork lift.
A designated Wifi connection was also needed.
The 10 metre diameter projection dome provided has a heavy duty Ferrari 702 cover which is weatherproof, fire retardant and reduces some of sunshine typical to Byron Bay. Portable air con units were used to keep things cool.
A raised plywood floor was installed to keep patrons off the grass and dry in case of rain. A 3m x 3m marquee was set up at entrance for ticketing.
The 10 metre diameter (hemisphere) dome has a floor area of 80 square metres, so can comfortably accommodate 30 patrons lying down, or up to 50 seated.
In lieu of pegs or concrete blocks we used plastic water tanks which were tied to the dome base. The bright orange tanks were not elegant, but solved the ballast weight issue.
A sattelite dish was bolted to the top of the dome to achieve independent wifi.
Several of the movies used for the festival needed to be ‘transcoded’ and 360 content converted into ‘fulldome’ format.
This was done by the BBFF director, Osvaldo (Ossie)
Some free panel discussions were also held in the dome space. The fast-moving programme featured a number of free panels and masterclasses exploring present and potential applications for the Metaverse, NFTs and more.
Each ticketed screening in the XR dome contained approximately 40 minutes of immersive films.
Below is an excerpt from the “Carrieberrie” VR movie directed by Byron Bay local, Dominic Allen
The 10 metre XR dome was the centre piece and talking point of BBFF 2022.
It provided Byron’s Artists, Filmmakers and Community with a window into the future of creative expression and helped stamp our Region and the Festival as a place for innovative experimentation and expression.
“The addition of the Dome to our schedule of events provided us the opportunity to present immersive experiences safely to our audience.”
At the 2022 Byron Bay International Film Festival, the Projection Dome stood as a beacon of innovative entertainment, captivating audiences with its immersive visual experiences. This state-of-the-art dome, provided by The Dome Company, offered festival-goers a unique venue where the fusion of art, technology, and storytelling came to life in 360-degree splendor. Inside, viewers were treated to a selection of cutting-edge films and visual art installations, showcasing the potential of dome projection technology to create unparalleled immersive environments. The Projection Dome not only enhanced the festival’s lineup but also set a new standard for engaging and experiential cinema, making it a highlight of the event and a must-see for attendees seeking an extraordinary immersive experience.