A Ride in 2049

Genre VR experience

Logo of Fivars Festival 2019
Logo of Thessaloniki International Film Festival
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Logo of Awareness Festival 2020

A Ride in 2049 is a transmedia virtual reality experience consisting of an hr/ARTE documentary, a VR experience and a 360° video variant on YouTube, in which users can experience the year 2049 as a virtual tour through Frankfurt, Chicago and Los Angeles. The theme “Mobility of the Future” will centrally frame the tour and show how profoundly and comprehensively computer-controlled vehicles will shape our cities of the future.

How much space do we want to give autonomous vehicles? This topical question can be used to make the coming changes of the next 30 years tangible. The Experience provides a first impression to help us develop a feeling for these changes up to the year 2049. How cities will ultimately develop is the consequence of decisions we are already making today – and we have a choice now.

Image showing a scene from A Ride in 2049 VR experience

The experience begins in the Los Angeles of the future. The future anthropologist Myra welcomes the user. In the foreground is a large, futuristic table; in the background, a city panorama with skyscrapers glowing in the warm glow of the Los Angeles sun can be seen through the window panes of the room.

First, Myra explains what will await the viewer, then she guides him or her through the future. During the journey, they make it clear that mobility will be much more than the mere transport of people and things once digitization is complete.

Together with Hessischer Rundfunk and Fraunhofer IAO, expanding focus is entering the field of cinematic VR to realize a unique experience with a learning factor on the topic of mobility of the future. As production sponsors we were able to win Wunderbar Together – the Germany Year in the USA, the Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, the Sächsische Landesanstalt für privaten Rundfunk und Neue Medien as well as the Thüringer Staatskanzlei.

Image showing a scene from A Ride in 2049 VR experience

The film was directed by Peter Baumann, winner of the 41st Student Academy Awards in the Best International Short Film category with the Student Oscar bronze award and director of the Austrian TV series Meiberger – Im Kopf des Täters (2019), among others. Christoph Iwanow, who has already worked as a cinematographer for ARD, Microsoft and BMW, took over the cinematographic area for 2049: Time Travel Mobility.
Filming took place at the KinderMedienZentrum in Erfurt. Kristen Bush as Myra was filmed stereoscopically in a blue 360° environment and implemented in fully computer-generated 360° spaces in post-production.

The Central German partners include the VFX studio blendFX, the company Lumalenscape for further VFX and post-production work as well as 3D modeling and furthermore a multitude of freelancers. Thanks to this diversity of experts in storytelling, concept art, modeling and Unity, we were able to start an iterative process to create the story, the world and the interactions. Iterative circles emerged in which influence worked reciprocally and all aspects emerged simultaneously.

Accompanying this, Fraunhofer IAO conducted a study to investigate which feelings and attitudes were driving the future visions of the VR experience arouse in users. The hr/arte science documentary takes up the results of the study and places them in the context of international mobility research.

Project Details

German Title
2049: Zeitreise Mobilität

Kristen Bush

Executive Producer & VR Director
Alexander Herrmann

Peter Baumann

Directory of Photography
Christoph Iwanow

Creative Technologist
Simeon Conzendorf

Costume Design
Hellen Nordmann

Commissioning Editor HR
Bettina Oberhauser
Ina Dahlke

Digital Consultant HR
Stephanie Schimo

written by
Peter Baumann
Alexander Herrmann

Scientific advice
Steffen Brau
Susanne Schatzinger
Elisabeth Nagl
Patrick Ruess (Fraunhofer IAO)

Production Manager
Thomas Bernhardt

VFX Producer
Stefan Hannig

First Assistant Director
Tom Kretschmar

Concept Art
Sam Burton
Martin Kepler

Unity Lead
Friedrich Schadow

Unity Programming
Anna Seel

3D Modeling
Sebastian Nerlich
Nico Banisch

Marco Habeck

Sound Design
Philipp Barth

3D Audio Implementation
Felix Maringer

Hair & Makeup
Katharina Kraft

Daniel Pauselius

Light Engineer
Oliver Joest

Light Assistant
Viktor Boche
Stephan Lau

On Set Audio Recording
Sebastian Löffler

Script Continuity
Leon Babucke

Voice Over Myra German
Hedi Honert

Voice Over Commercials
Sam Burton

Driver / Set Assistant
Stefan Nöbel-Heise

Studiopark KMZ Erfurt

Moloko Good Catering – Haschke & Winter GbR

Agency of Kristen Bush
Friends Connection Agency; Isabelle Münch

Agency of Peter Baumann and Hedi Honert
lux talents, Brigitta Watzka & Natasha Schoellkopf

Public Relations
Burkhard Schütz

Scientific advice and studies Fraunhofer IAO