The Unknown Patient – VR Pilot Episode


The Unknown Patient 
Unwritten Endings and VRTOV
Writer/Director: Michael Beets
Producers: Bethany Jones & Katy Morrison

Tile Photo: Dijana 

Update: The Unknown Patient has won Best Virtual Reality Award in the Adelaide Film Festival.

The Jury said of the winning work “The Unknown Patient revisits a story from Australian history that explores the nature of memory in ways that only VR can approach. We were impressed by the quality of the storytelling, dynamic rendering and lighting, the feeling of presence, and the use of performance capture – all of which intensify the viewer’s sense of immersion.”

A massive Congratulations to the entire Unknown Patient team.

“Step into the fragmented mind of a WW1 soldier trapped in a 1920s mental asylum. Without an identity, and suffering from an extreme case of PTSD. Found without an identity, and suffering from an extreme case of PTSD, the audience must piece together the story of the ‘Unknown Patient’ through exploration and discovery in VR. Through distorted memories, sudden flashbacks and real-life events, the narrative will explore the profound impact that war had on the psyche of soldiers who made it home. Eventually, the remarkable conclusion of this true story will reveal how an unidentified soldier gave hope to a nation in mourning, and led to a mother who never gave up.”

 The Unknown Patient is a 10-minute interactive VR experience is based on the true story of George Thomas McQuay, an ANZAC soldier who spent 12 years in a Sydney mental hospital unidentified, until his story appeared in a newspaper and gave hope to thousands of families through-out Australia.

 Deakin Motion.Lab teamed with Director Michael Beets and Producer Bethany Jones to capture the performances of two talented actors-  Lilly Sullivan playing Diana and Felicity Steel playing George.

Despite having only two performers, in one scene the principal actors are surrounded by ten different patients, all played by Steel with each performance of the various patients was capture individually. Using The Alchemy Pipeline, real-time playback meant the actors were able to perform alongside their previous performance, allowing the director to focus on each individual performance, while also viewing the scene as a whole scene.      

” By the end of the day we could then watch the entire scene unfold and reflect on whether or not my planned blocking was working and where it needed improvement….. I have to say with real time playback and the ability to mix and match on the fly, the process becomes creative and you are able to look at a scene in a whole new way”

– Director Michael Beets

The Unknown Patient made it’s world-wide premiere at the 2018 Venice Film Festival.

Awards and Nominations

75th Venice Film Festival
– Nominated: Best Virtual Reality Experience (The Unknown Patient)
– Nominated: Best Interactive VR Experience (The Unknown Patient)

Adelaide Film Festival
– Winner: Virtual Reality International Award (The Unknown Patient)

Busan International Film Festival
– Official Selection (The Unknown Patient)

VR Days
– Official Selection (The Unknown Patient)