Fractus – The Trailer

Boom! Fractus Trailer from Lara Barbier on Vimeo. #Fractals #Fractus #Trailer #VR

Pressing start

So here we are, eight days until our LCC exhibition and showcase and we have pretty much everything in place for our demo/vertical slice. I think Simon and I have both been so focused on getting here that we haven’t really had a chance to stop and go – wow – we’ve done it! But when I saw our logo and start screen on Sunday, I finally arrived at that moment. So here we are folks, we’re ready to go! #Showcase #UI #VR #Exhibition #LCCResidency

A milestone

Yesterday we rehearsed and then recorded our final V.O for Fractus, which felt like such a milestone! Huzzah! We worked with a wonderful performance director, Deirdre Daly and two brilliant actors. Neath Champion-Weeks, as the voice of Melody and Elroy ‘Spoonface’ Powell as the voice of Fractus. #Fractus #Immersive #LCC #VR

Fractus Returns

When I was at LCC doing my MA in Screenwriting one of our tutors had us do an exercise where she brought in various images and we used them as writing prompts. It was surprising just how helpful a visual could be in generating ideas. After our talk with Ana, Simon created this image of a fractal rising up out of a desert. It reminded me of our trip to Normandy and seeing the half submerged land-bridges on the beach. These rusting structures that were remnants of a by-gone era

Pivot(al) Conversations Part 3

Yesterday Simon and I met with Ana Tudor who is the Head of MA VR. It was a really brilliantly helpful meeting, and another one of those important conversations which once again made us rethink the direction we’ve been exploring. We showed Ana the visuals through this video capture: And also some of the very rough story development on Twine (this link must be copy & pasted to work): file:///Users/larabarbier/Dropbox/Fractus/Story/Scripts/A.L.I.A.S_draft1.html Her biggest piec

Storyboarding and storytelling

People often ask Simon and I how we manage being a husband and wife team. It’s true that there are obviously additional challenges mixing such personal and professional relationships, but on days like today it just makes me really appreciate how well we work together. As a screenwriter, I am very rarely given the opportunity to be part of any storyboarding work. So it was great fun to take my rough script which I’d mocked up on Twine, and then work with Simon to translate tha

AI: Friend or Foe?

Idea recap A.L.I.A.S – Artificial Lifeform – Intelligence Articulation System Theme: Humans replaced by technology Concept: In the very distant future human consciousness has been uploaded into a machine overseen by a “benevolent AI” which is used like a hive mind to power everything. Inside the machine you’re living out your perfect paradise. However, this AI’s key operative is to use resources effectively and always look for increasing optimisation. You are rudely “woken” f

Raindance Immersive 2019

Copyright: Raindance Immersive I was lucky enough to attend the Raindance Immersive Summit last week as well as nab tickets for the amazing XR experience Cosmos Within Us and VR experiences Ayahuasca and Heart of Darkness. For me it was such a fantastic event to attend because: 1) it was a privilege to listen and learn from those people forging ahead on this XR path and 2) it was such a generous and supportive environment. Pretty much every speaker just kept reiterating that

Pivot(al) Conversations Part 2

One of my LCC Screenwriting lecturer’s once said to me that often as a screenwriter you won’t be clear on what your theme is until several drafts in to a script. However, she also said that you’ll find that no matter how much you think you’re writing a unique story each time, writers often have one or two themes they spend their whole lives writing about, and you can see it crop up in their work time and time again. It makes sense to me – part of why I think many of us do cre

Pivot(al) Conversations Part 1

Over the weekend Simon and I had our first mentoring meeting with Avril Furness. For me, it was really great to have a conversation with someone who is intimate with writing and storytelling in 360 degrees. It was a crucial chance to be able to air some of my concerns and struggles with finding a compelling narrative that would work with our broad theme of repeating patterns in history, linking this diaspora of voices and the abstract Fractal imagery and technology that Simon

A picture is worth a thousand words

My creative collaborator, Simon Ashbery, has been very busy the last month getting to grips with creating fractals. It’s probably best to just let the images speak for themselves: This is fun if somewhat unsettling #gamedev #indiedev #unity3D — Ash (@Si_Ashbery) July 4, 2019 3 months ago I heavily doubted I'd have any success getting a ray marched mandel box working in Unity. I'm happy to be wrong! #gamedev #IndieDev #unity3d #fractal #generativeart

Fantastic resources and where to find them

Over the last few weeks I’ve been lucky enough to attend some events and have some meetings with some pretty big movers and shakers in the VR world.  These VR industry leaders – who really are at the top of the crest of this wave – are still very much accessible compared to TV or Film because this is still such a new medium. For this, I’m profoundly grateful, as their insight and experience is invaluable for both Simon and myself as we develop Fractus. Eddie Redmayne capturin

Fractus: A new brief

Fractus is a VR experience that explores the repetition of history through a powerful audioscape inside a wonderous, infinite fractal universe. What R&D can teach you When you pitch a project it’s perfect – in that small paragraph vagueries are glossed over, and ideas sound pithy, streamlined and even…easy. It’s only when you start to unpack an idea, when you begin to drill down into the nuts and bolts, that you realise you’ve actually built a house out of cheese and only bro

Learning to draw with a pencil made of code

My partner in crime, Simon Ashbery, has written a brilliant and in-depth series of blog posts on his research into the rendering techniques of Rasterization, Raytracing and Raymarching and how this relates to creating 3D fractals for our VR project, Fractus. A prototype for Fractus using Sebastian Lague’s open source code (, which Simon believes he in turn derived from code by Mikael Hvidtfeldt Christensen (

Lion Taming

This is the story of how I started a VR project and ended up taming lions. Ok, so I didn’t actually become a lion tamer…But this was exactly what I thought of when I was asked by LCC’s Course Leader for MA Virtual Reality, to come in and run a workshop for her students on screenwriting. Clyde Beatty taming a lion with a chair. (Image from Harvard Library.) Having only graduated from my own Master’s course a few years ago, my mind immediately went into panic and I got a huge c

Rooms by Enda Walsh

So here I am, splashing around in the shallows of our R&D phase of Fractus. My gut feeling is that storytelling in VR has a lot to learn from/draw inspiration from theatre – and particularly immersive theatre. So when I heard about an immersive theatre experience at the Barbican I immediately jumped at the chance to go along and see what could be learned. Rooms by Enda Walsh is described: “As one of an audience of six, you are invited to step inside meticulously designed and

Introducing: Fractus

Starting a new project is a surprisingly similar feeling to standing in your snorkeling gear on the edge of a boat, looking down at the blue-green ocean and wondering what delights and what terrors lie beneath those glorious waves. At least, that’s the feeling I got when I entered London College of Communication last week to take part in their Induction Day for their 2019 Graduate Residency. Lara and Simon snorkelling between two tectonic plates in Iceland The LCC 2019 Gradua