The Feelies: Multisensory Storytelling - Amazon
by Grace Boyle + Nadjib Achaibou (UK)
Project lead: Grace Boyle
Perfumer: Nadjib Achaibou
Release: November 2016
Finalist Category: Sadakichi Award for Experimental Work with Scent, 2017
An artist, a scientist, and a perfumer pushed the boundaries of storytelling. They expanded two VR films into full sensory experiences, orchestrating temperature, wind, orientation and scent. Six hundred people visited the experience, named The Feelies after Aldous Huxley novel Brave New World. The first multisensory VR cinema was born and with the true empathy machine that society and storytelling so badly needed.
Moved by the success to transport audiences to places that needed their protection and support, Grace founded The Feelies as a multisensory production company and started to research the origins of empathy. Collaborating with Nadjib and researchers, they explored the ability of scent to improve audio-visual communication to deliver important messages. Grace approached Greenpeace, that understood the potential of multisensory storytelling for environmental and social causes.
A groundbreaking project started, aiming to create content that was multisensory from the conception. How do you write a story in terms of scent or gather and map the scents of a place like a journalist? How do you deliver those scents to communicate a meaningful message? As perfumer, Nadjib included olfactionin the creative writing processor the script.
In October 2016, the team travelled to the Tapajós river, deep in the Amazon, with Greenpeace and the VR production team. They spent two weeks with the Munduruku people to try and answer these questions. This was the first time a perfumer was on a VR film set. Nadjib mapped the smells of the Amazon rainforest, in order to reproduce them in London for a immersive exposition – a Feelies.