Marie Antoinette VR!

Originally published on August 3, 2017 at carolliufilms.tumblr.com.


It’s been a long while since I’ve updated my blog. It’s been an ongoing struggle with my health, including a recent trip to the ER in Paris, but I am looking forward to greener pastures in the coming weeks and months.

I arrived in Paris in the middle of June to push forward my virtual reality project, MARIE ANTOINETTE VR. I am thrilled to say we successfully completed shooting our demo on Aug 1! I feel truly blessed with our incredible team and thank all the people who said yes to me — we came together in less than one month even though it was my first time working in France. I had the fortune of collaborating with the talented theater actors from Ecole Jacques Lecoq, the expert technical co-producers at Digital Rise — DVMobile Paris, the incredible hair, makeup, production design and costume artists, some of whom have worked on the series Versailles and big-budget films like Lucy with Scarlett Johansson. With our small but inimitable crew as well as the knowledge of art historians from the Ecole du Louvre and historical reenactment experts who consulted on our project, we were able to realize this VR demo of historical significance.

Why Marie Antoinette as a topic of interest, people ask? Isn’t she that frivolous woman who said “Let them eat cake?” Well, history is written by the victors and Marie Antoinette VR is about reclaiming the representation of one of the biggest female scapegoats in history, that “Austrian woman” who was blamed for everything from incest, debauchery to the ruin of the nation and subsequently guillotined. How did she live with such public hatred? How did she survive in the days of the French Revolution, losing her family, her son and ultimately paying for the so-called liberty of a nation with her life? These are all questions we want to answer in 360 virtual reality, so that you can reenter history, participate as a witness in the same historic locations in which Marie Antoinette lived and died. If VR is an empathy machine, how can it reshape our assumptions of this controversial woman?

I want to thank Google’s Jump Start Program and Youtube Paris for enabling us to make our demo happen as well as the Oculus Launchpad program where I first incubated these ideas. I look forward to sharing with you the further development of this project. My gratitude to Emily Price Sarah Lee Steele Ebony Peay Ramirez Zynara Ng.

For further updates and a first look at our behind the scenes photos, make sure to like our project’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/marieantoinettevr/ !