To celebrate the highly anticipated new series Lovecraft Country, we teamed up with HBO to create Lovecraft Country: Sanctum, a series of first-of-their-kind virtual reality events transporting guests into a world inspired by the show. The second event ‘An American Dream’ premiered on Thursday 24th September and you can watch the livestream on YouTube above or via this link!
100 select influential voices experienced the event via the Oculus Quest headset. The event was simultaneously run on the social VR platform VRChat, which allowed guests to talk and interact with each other in real-time within the environment, and streamed to the world via YouTube Live. Viewers on the YouTube Live stream were able to interact in real-time, solving riddles to trigger spells that directly impact the experience. Sanctum was developed by our team of artists, coders and strategists who developed the experience during the global lockdown, in close collaboration with HBO’s marketing team.
Travelers to ‘An American Dream’ experienced an immersive theatrical performance inspired by the words of James Baldwin, created by Lovecraft Country writer Shannon Houston, and performed by star Jurnee Smollett.
“The monologue that Shannon Houston crafted exceeded any expectations, we were all truly speechless when we first saw the script.” said Aline Ridolfi, Experience Director at The Mill, “We created the experience around the iconic James Baldwin debate speech, centered on the American Dream, that features in episode one. Given Baldwin’s voice and presence is so powerful it was crucial to retain that, whilst adding in a poetic, contemporary commentary from the perspective of a Black woman living in the present. In this monologue, both voices explore what the American dream means now and meant then. The pain and the beauty. The heartbreak and the hope.”
“We were privileged to have Jurnee Smollett perform the piece. Within the environment, Jurnee will be represented by a full-body avatar, with James Baldwin represented through a choreography of set design elements, dynamic lights and particles; forming a powerful and provocative experience.”
Stay tuned for more information on Event #3: Music of the Cosmos.
You can view Sanctum via YouTube Live during the following dates and times this Fall:
Event #2: An American Dream (NOW LIVE)
Thursday, September 24
10:00 PM ET/ 7:00 PM PT
Event #3: Music of the Cosmos
Monday, October 19
10:00 PM ET/ 7:00 PM PT
Credits | The Mill:
Executive Creative Director: Rama Allen
Executive Producer: Desi Gonzalez
Experience Director: Aline Ridolfi
Design Director: Sally Reynolds
Technical Director: Kevin Young
Senior Producer: Hayley Underwood Norton
Strategist: Min Wei Lee