Advertising Week: Notes on blindness

One of the most inspiring sessions at Advertising Week sadly went unnoticed by the majority of delegates. The BFI interviewed the team behind the upcoming film, Notes on Blindness to shed light behind a seemingly impossible task: blindness. 

Nevertheless this was the challenge two young documentary filmmakers undertook after learning about a series of tapes recorded by John Hull that catalogue his descent into blindness. James Spinney and Peter Middleton began by producing two short films about John Hull using the tapes and interviews as source material. Most recently they have teamed up with Archer’s Mark to produce a feature length film accompanied by a virtual reality experience. The film premiered at Sundance, alongside the VR experience, both to critical acclaim.

Where this project becomes creatively relevant to brands and agencies, is in its use of VR. Brands are still finding their feet with VR, working out how it can best bring a campaign or brand story to life. For Notes on Blindness, the VR embraces a lack of visuals to realise John Hull’s world. Light is tethered to sound, as the producer puts it, in order to form images in conjunction with sound rather than visa versa (the norm for most of us).

This unique take on VR is an example of how powerfully engaging the medium can be, building a fully-immersive experience for the audience. For brands there could be a lesson here; that with the right content, less is more.

By Zac Cole, Mindshare UK, reporting live from Advertising Week