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www.tvbeurope.com August 2017

Feature

A virtual pioneer Resh Sidhu, virtual reality creative director, Framestore, was recently named as a leading pioneer in VR by Marie Claire magazine. Speaking to Jenny Priestley, she talks passion, imaginary worlds and crazy ideas

R

afraid of what we’d just said we would do but so excited about designing for this completely new device. And the Tokyo Motor Show was only eight weeks away so it was a phenomenal project.” After her success at AKQA, Framestore reached

esh Sidhu is at the forefront in the world of

developer kit headset,” she explains. “At the time,

out and asked if Sidhu would be interested in

virtual reality (VR). Talking to her about the

I was creative director for Nissan and it just so

working at the VR studio they were setting up in

subject, you quickly get a sense of how

happened that the universe gave me two great

New York. So, she left her home in London and

passionate she is about VR, which also comes

things – Nissan had reached out and said ‘we

moved her young family to the Big Apple. She’s

across in her award-winning work for the likes of

have this brief for you, the Tokyo Motor Show is

now returned to London where she’s taken up a

Red Bull, Nivea, Warner Bros and JK Rowling.

coming up, we have these concept cars, we want

wider role for Framestore, working on VR as well as

to find a cool way to attract a younger audience.’

AR, AI and all immersive content, something she

her career in 1998 designing gaming packaging,

And literally the next day the DK1 landed in the

says “seems to change every day”. She explains:

where she got her hands on a very early version

office and there was this ripple of excitement.

“You go to sleep thinking you’ve discovered

Sidhu trained as a graphic designer and began

of Flash. “I was fascinated by the way I could take

“That moment always reminds of when my

a tremendous amount about AR and VR and

still graphics and turn them into motion graphics

dad brought home the Commodore 64 for the

new headsets and you wake up and five more

and the way that engaged people and the

first time,” says Sidhu. ”We didn’t come from a

headsets have come to the market or suddenly

way it made something memorable,” she says.

rich background and when my dad brought

there’s an update and they’re able to do

“Since then I’ve been looking for experiences

home that computer it transformed our lives. We

something they weren’t able to do before! Haptics

that gave people moments to escape and really

were thrown into these imaginary worlds. It would

are coming onto the market every day. And new

memorable interactive experiences. For me, it’s

be many years later when I found myself trying

experiences are being released from studios like

always been about taking whichever technology

the DK1 and saying ‘this is just like that’. For me

ourselves, and indie developers as well are kind

was available and using that as a device to tell a

it was a revolutionary moment where I believed

of dabbling into the dark arts of VR. We’re seeing

story. I always have this kind of philosophy when

in this device even though it was very big, it was

people who are trying to create something that

working with clients to ‘fish where the fish are’ –

clunky and there were only a few experiences

pushes the medium and excites and provokes the

wherever your audience is, whichever tool they’re

that you could do, but it was an eureka moment

conversation. Every day is like having to do your

using to engage, that’s where as a brand you can

for me because I really felt like something new

homework and I love that, I find it so exciting.”

be present.”

had landed and it was going to change the way

After moving on to become creative director at

With such a new medium that’s changing every

we interact and change the way I as a creative

day, Sidhu admits it can sometimes be baffling

digital agency AKQA, Sidhu led a multi-disciplinary

director could tell stories. We literally rang up

to both clients and consumers as they try to

team across a wide client base, working with

Nissan and said ‘we have this crazy idea, we’ve

understand the terminology involved. “Sometimes

the likes of Nissan, Xbox and L’Oreal. She says

got this new technology that no-one knows

we’re still trying to formulate the language for

she often found the projects that scared her the

about, and those cars that you’re creating that

this new medium,” she admits. “We’re still trying

most were also the ones that she would be most

no-one knows about, how about we merge them

to work out what content is native to it. So

exhilarated by. “It was at AKQA when I got my

together and take it to Tokyo Motor Show?’ and

everybody’s terminology and approach to it is

hands on the first Oculus DK1 which was the first

they were totally up for it. And we were slightly

different. But I think in the next few years you’ll see

26 27 28 29 TVBE August Resh Sidhu_V3 JG.indd 1

20/07/2017 13:25

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