Orlando Furioso story in a video production in virtual reality

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Assuli embraces the first project for the promotion in virtual reality of its wines and its land. An ambitious virtual production project in which the real environments of the winery and vineyards are enhanced with a cycle of theatrical performances completely immersed in virtual reality, with three-dimensional environments and set designs visible with special viewers that generate an increased sense of sensorial perception.

This technology will allow owners of a viewer (Oculus / Meta Quest 2, HTC VIVE or cardboard) to witness the innovative story of the Orlando Furioso events embodied by Assuli wines completely immersed in a magical Sicily transformed on a dynamic display. An implementation that enhances the narrative and creates a deeper emotional impact.

Visitors are catapulted back into the past to relive it from a privileged position. In the experimental project of a 360° environment, they can admire evocative places that blend with the events narrated in the famous chivalric masterpiece by Ludovico Ariosto, outlining multiple connections with Sicily. The show is truly ‘vibrant’, a celebration of the island: a tribute to history, elegant culture, intense colours, embracing the message of each Assuli wine in an even more coherent way with the epic characters of the Poem from which they derive. The virtual sets mix the events narrated with the areas of Casa Assuli. The main reasons of the narration are staged, first of all Orlando’s love for Angelica that will lead the Paladin to madness. The main spaces reconstructed in virtual reality are: the entrance to Charlemagne’s castle which is inspired by the inner courtyard of the cellars embellished with the colours of bougainvillea and olive trees blown by the wind, shot on a hot sunny day. The labyrinthine forest into which the beautiful Angelica, left alone, runs away in despair, which pays homage to Bosco Scorace, a beautiful natural area home to the last Assuli gamble, a vineyard at an ambitious altitude of 600 metres above sea level. The suggestive salt pans of Marsala at sunset, where sun, sea and wind blend with the thousand shades of red that are reflected on the water, suggest the Castle of Atlas. By playing with dimensions, immense mills were built with rose gold guards either side of an imposing gate and endless expanses of water and salt. The archaeological remains of the fascinating Greek Theatre of Segesta are the perfect space to set the scene of the episode of Astolfo on the moon. Built in the second century BC on top of Monte Barbaro when Segesta was already a free city under the Romans, it is considered one of the most beautiful theatres of the classical period, both for its excellent state of conservation and for its spectacular location on the Gulf of Castellammare and the Trapani hills. It amazes with its diameter of about 60 metres and a stairway carved into the rock. The stone amphitheatre recreated in virtual production becomes the backdrop for the crucial episode, the prodigious journey during which Astolfo rediscovers Orlando’s wits lost on earth, a metaphor and an opportunity to blame the madness of the man who throws time away chasing vain illusions. 

The project was entrusted to the CSS Teatro Stabile di Innovazione del Friuli Venezia Giulia, while the coordination, scientific direction, creation of virtual sets and screenplay are by the Operaventuno studio (Saul Clemente and Annalisa Franchi). With the support of director Simone Vrech, different lighting techniques were used, integrated in the composition phase of shooting. The interpretation of the characters was entrusted to the voices of Fabiano Fantini and Giulio Morittu (English), with the song “Largo” by Giuseppe Mulè as the soundtrack. The historical reconstructors of the Compagnia Patriae Foriiuliiwere involved in representing the protagonists of the story, so that the armour and costumes were consistent with the precise historical period in which Orlando Furioso is set. To allow the viewer’s total immersion, the entire project was made using the 360° stereoscopic shooting technique with INSTA 360° PRO 2 professional camera equipped with 6 wide-angle lenses which provides, in the pre-production phase, a particular process stitching, in order to produce a video visible in all directions. The shooting of the actual locations were ‘merged’ with the virtual sets and enhanced by the actions of the actors, with an excellent level of reproduction uniformity suitable for the desired high quality. Using the Unreal Engine software it was possible to create the animated storyboard of the entire film, paying the utmost attention to the creation of architectural spaces, colours, lights and atmosphere, devising a new working method thanks to the reprogramming of the tools: not a rigid and linear workflow, but rather fluid and capable of constantly fuelling creativity and leaving more time to the artistic phase.

Contact us to enjoy this unique experience! Write us to vinitaly@assuli.it to receive the link for your cardboard, or come and try Oculus Quest 2 at the Verona Fair from 10 to 13 April @Vinitaly Hall 2 Booth 39D.