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“Montegelato”, the first montage film in virtual reality

Extrait du film de montage en VR "Montegelato" par Davide Rapp

"Montegelato is a tribute to the productive and narrative richness of Italian cinema.

Crédits photos : Montegelato / Davide Rapp

Davide Rapp has produced a montage film paying tribute to Italian cinema, that retraces and recomposes all the images of the natural site of the Monte Gelato Falls in Rome. Presented at the 78th Venice Film Festival, ‘Montegelato’ is also part of the selection for the next festival of immersive and interactive art, Recto VRso.

180 cinematographic productions in one

“Montegelato” is a virtual reality montage film, “probably the first of its kind“, says director Davide Rapp. Rapp has created a 3D collage of film sequences from 180 productions, including TV series, films and advertisements. All these creations have one thing in common: they contain images of the Monte Gelato Falls near Rome, a natural site that has inspired Italian film-makers since the 1950s.

These 180 images come from a variety of more or less modern media: DVDs, Blu-rays, VHS and Super-8 films. As a result, there was sometimes a lot of work required to combine the sound of an old Super-8 film with the image of a vintage VHS. After selecting the clips, Davide Rapp, assisted by Andrea Del Martello, created a 2D environment that reproduces the landscape of the waterfalls in a mosaic. “Each scene was placed in harmony with the location to create this mosaic, which perfectly superimposes the stereometric shots that were taken remotely of the site“. Next, the 3D environment was built to create an immersive experience with spatial audio.

A tribute to Italian cinema and its diversity

To add an immersive dimension to his film, Davide Rapp used stereometric elements. “Stereometry helps us to perceive the depth of the space, creating a sense of immersion and three dimensions,” he explains. The director has also added spatial audio, which acts as a guide for the spectators, helping them to orientate themselves as the film develops in the VR environment and a new story begins. The succession of all these clips creates a new narrative, in which characters from different stories exist within the same scenario.

“Montegelato” is the result of five years of research and recomposition. In all that time, Davide Rapp never visited the site of the waterfalls himself. “I wanted to see if it was possible to reproduce the morphology of a place through a camera“. With this montage film, Davide Rapp wanted to pay tribute to Italian cinema, to its rich diversity of genres (western, science fiction, comedy, peplum, eroticism, etc.), but also to its narrative inventiveness. “Through virtual reality, this tribute also becomes a new form of narration and projects the Monte Gelato Falls into a new narrative horizon“. The film will be shown at the next Recto VRso festival, on April 11-14, 2024.

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