Krzysztof Boczek





Joanna Popińska, doktorantka ze Szkoły Filmowej w Łodzi, tworzy obraz w oparciu o technologię 3D VR. W świecie filmu tego jeszcze nie było.


Film "The Choice" to praca doktorancka Joanny Popińskiej. Realizuje go wspólnie ze swym partnerem Tomem C. Hallem. W ich filmie widz po założeniu gogli VR "budzi się" w ciele kobiety. - Jest w ciąży. Niechcianej, nieplanowanej, bądź takiej, która z rozmaitych przyczyn jest niemożliwa w jej obecnej sytuacji. Chcę, aby widz czuł, że to on jest w tej ciąży. To on ulega panice i nie wie, co ze sobą zrobić - tłumaczy Popińska.


Oglądając "The Choice", na swojej drodze spotkamy różne kobiety, które opowiadają nam własne historie. Tłumaczą przy tym, jak same poradziły sobie w podobnej sytuacji. Te spotkania mają nam rozjaśnić sytuację, w której się znajdujemy, bo na końcu filmu to widz będzie musiał podjąć decyzję, czy chce poddać się aborcji czy nie.


- Ludzie mówią "generalnie to nie jestem za aborcją, ale w tej i tej sytuacji pewnie bym zrozumiał". Stawiam ich w tej sytuacji. Mam nadzieję, że "The Choice" da im do myślenia. Taki bezpośredni kontakt może wpłynąć na zmianę ich przekonań - mówi autorka.

Wirtualna rzeczywistość w służbie praw kobiet


Joanna Popińska to łodzianka, która doktoryzuje się na Wydziale Reżyserii Szkoły Filmowej w Łodzi. Opiekunem jej doktoratu jest Filip Bajon. Do Kanady wyjechała w 2013 roku na zaproszenie firmy zajmującej się tworzeniem filmów w 3D. Wcześniej skończyła socjologię na Uniwersytecie Łódzkim. Była dyrektorem artystycznym festiwalu 3D Image w Łodzi, a także współorganizowała 3D Summit podczas Międzynarodowego Festiwalu Filmowego w Pekinie. Za przygotowywany właśnie projekt "The Choice" otrzymała nagrodę Toronto Arts Foundation dla artystów-imigrantów w Toronto.


- Rozpoczęłam doktorat w czasie, gdy zaczął się szał na filmy 3D i moja praca miała dotyczyć tej technologii - mówi reżyserka. - W międzyczasie pojawiła się jednak wirtualna rzeczywistość. Oszalałam na jej punkcie. Po założeniu gogli VR doświadcza się czegoś niesamowitego. Przenosisz się w kompletnie inny świat. Twoje ciało i mózg zanurzają się w nowej rzeczywistości, którą traktują jak prawdziwą. Dzięki temu kompletnie zmieniają się możliwości opowiadania historii.


Rozważania na temat aborcji u Popińskiej pojawiły się w październiku 2016, gdy ulicami polskich miast ruszył "Czarny Protest". - Rozmawiałam z ludźmi w Kanadzie i zaskoczyło mnie, jak inaczej rozmawia się tam o tym problemie. Mnóstwo ludzi uważa, że bycie "pro-choice" jest oczywiste. I nie mówimy o “kompromisie aborcyjnym”, tylko o dofinansowanej z publicznej służby zdrowia aborcji bez pytania, bez zezwoleń i innych procedur - opowiada Popińska.


Z nową technologią artystka oswajała się w domowym zaciszu. Filmowała między innymi  koty. - Nagraliśmy ujęcie kamerą umieszczoną na głowie operatora. Bohater wyciągał ręce przed siebie i głaskał kota. Co ciekawe, widz, który to oglądał, powtarzał jego ruch, a potem rozczarowany pytał, gdzie jest kot! - opowiada Popińska.


To właśnie ta reakcja skłoniła ją do dalszych prac z technologią VR.


Nowatorska technologia ze Szkoły Filmowej


Autorzy "The Choice" zdecydowali się wykorzystać nową, opracowaną przez siebie technologię. Wykorzystują stereoskopię (3D) połączoną z tzw. volumetric capture. Pierwsza daje widzowi informacje o tym, jak daleko od niego znajduje się obiekt. Ten efekt osiąga się, rejestrując obraz dwiema kamerami. Druga tworzy mapę głębi. Dzięki temu wiemy, jak pokazywany obiekt wygląda w przestrzeni, tzn. jak bardzo komuś wystaje nos, czy jak głęboko ma osadzone oczy. Nowatorstwo "The Choice" polega na tym, że nikt do tej pory nie połączył tych dwóch technologii. W efekcie zamiast płaskiego "video" przed widzem stawia się "żywego" człowieka. Efekt jest bardzo realistyczny.


Zrzuta na wirtualne doświadczenia


Reżyserka i jej partner do tej pory cały projekt finansowali z własnej kieszeni. W przeciwieństwie do tradycyjnych filmów największe koszty ponoszą na początku produkcji. Sami, nie mając jeszcze materiału "narracyjnego", muszą opracować całą technologię. Do tej pory większość pieniędzy wydali na sprzęt. Część niezbędnych dla produkcji elementów drukują na drukarce 3D dostępnej za darmo w bibliotece w Toronto. Tam też mieści się ich studio nagrań. Mogą je zarezerwować na 2 godziny dziennie.


Chcąc przyśpieszyć pracę, zdecydowali się poprosić o pomóc finansową na portalach crowdfundingowych. W Kanadzie zbierają pieniądze na platformie Kickstarter. W Polsce można wspomóc ich za pomocą portalu zrzutka. Obydwie zbiórki potrwają do 21 lutego. Zebrane w ten sposób pieniądze pozwolą między innymi na zbudowanie większego zespołu.


- Będziemy mogli włączyć do ekipy programistę, który pomoże nam zbudować narzędzie niezbędne do dokończenia filmu - mówi Popińska. - Planujemy też zawrzeć w "The Choice" animacje, które otoczą widza i zilustrują historię, którą opowiada kobieta. Chcemy móc rozpocząć współpracę z osobami, które nie tylko potrafią malować, ale robią to w wirtualnej rzeczywistości.

Jeżeli wszystko pójdzie zgodnie z planem, to premiery filmu można spodziewać się w przyszłym roku.

Oryginalny artykuł:

http://lodz.wyborcza.pl/lodz/7,35136,22955626,wirtualna-rzeczywistosc-w-sluzbie-praw-kobiet-lodzianka-realizuje.html


(From: the f word)

This is a guest post by Joanne-Aśka Popińska, a PhD student at the Polish National Film School who moved to Canada to pursue filmmaking and activism. With a Master’s Degree in sociology, she dedicates her creative vision to exploring the similarities between us, homo sapiens, and all other life forms we share this planet with: “rights” don’t just end with human rights. She is the former Artistic Director of the 3D IMAGE Film Festival in Łódź, Poland and is at the forefront of the bleeding edge of cinema and technology. She is the recipient of Toronto Arts Foundation The RBC Arts Access Fund Awards for newcomer artists


The Choice is a Virtual Reality experience inviting you to enter the digital consciousness of a virtual woman dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. It features holographic video interviews with women who share what shaped their decision to have an abortion. The main goal of the project is to influence empathy and understanding in a positive and constructive manner and to change how we talk about abortion.




As abortion rights in the United States are under attack from the current Trump administration, once again access to abortion has become a pressing public issue. Last weekend’s Women’s Marches that took place in major US cities gave us an idea of how people feel. I was motivated to make the movie due to situation in my home country, Poland, where the government is actively seeking to further restrict the already incredible limited access to abortion. Me and my team work in Canada where abortion also remains a complicated and controversial subject.


I want to create compassion. Not everyone can feel how it is to be pregnant: cis men are the obvious example but there are also women who cannot or don’t want to get pregnant. I want them all to be equal and supportive partners in this debate so I need them to understand even just a fraction of what it would feel like to be in this situation. I want The Choice to be the tool that gives them the opportunity to gain this perspective and I am using the newest cutting-edge technology to do it.


When you put on the VR headset, you “wake up” to realize that you are in someone else’s body – a woman’s body. You hear a voice inside your head: “How could this happen? What should I do?” These words float through the air around you, making you feel as though the thoughts are yours – that this panic is yours. As your mind searches for answers, real women appear in this space with you. They speak to you about what shaped their decision to terminate their pregnancy and the emotions they experienced. I interview women with different stories, diverse backgrounds and unique situations.



We’ve been working hard for the past year. Creating the technology to show those stories in an engaging way involved not only building the prototypes of the cameras, but also doing detailed research. The Choice is built inside a 3D game engine, combining video recordings with live rendered graphics so when the viewer enters the virtual world, they feel presence in it. Unlike in case of a traditional video, your natural movements are reflected in how your eyes and ears perceive the virtual world, allowing you to feel totally immersed in the fictional woman’s consciousness. Your mind feels as though the objects and people that appear before you are real, and the women you meet are also present with you in this virtual space.


VR gives us the opportunity to put viewers into situations they could not experience in real life. We do not know how we’d behave – we do not have a social script – most of us can never know how it feels to be a refugee, a blind person or a prisoner. Similarly, many of us will never know how it feels to consider having an abortion. Creating that situational empathy is the biggest goal of this project. The important aspect of using VR is also that with a headset on you are entering a unique, private space. There are no glances across the room from strangers, hushed whispers or nearby friends reading your face. Whatever your opinion on the topic of abortion, when you immerse yourself in The Choice you are free to share as much or as little about its impact as you want.


We’ve launched the Kickstarter campaign because we need support to move forward with the production. VR production is more expensive than traditional documentary. To produce the whole experience, we need around CA $100,000, and we’re looking to Kickstarter for the first CA $15,000 (£8,602). This jumpstart funds will allow us to build the pipeline and architecture that underpins The Choice as an application and to give it a solid framework for the documentary to be built upon.


We feel strongly about this subject and we believe that our creative concept and use of the newest VR technology offers an interesting approach to thinking about the right to choose. Contribute to our project and help us create this valuable tool for discussion, understanding and empathy.


Go to Kickstarter page to donate.




ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

https://www.thefword.org.uk/2018/01/the-choice-cutting-edge-technology-offers-a-fresh-take-on-womens-right-to-choose/


Marcia

At the age of 19 I was dating a man 10 years older than myself. Despite using contraceptives I became pregnant. At the time I was in my second year at University. I had recently ended a brief one-year marriage and knew that this was the wrong time for me to bring a baby into the world since I had no intention of quitting school. In fact, despite a later marriage, I continued with my education through to a Ph.D.


However, in 1954 abortions were still illegal in the US, even in New York, where I lived. For women who needed an abortion during these years there were several problems. Most important was to figure out how to find a competent, respected medical abortionist (whom to ask?), and then to figure out how to raise the money to pay for the procedure. Fortunately the man in question had an uncle and aunt who were willing to lend us the money. (I think at that time it was about 500 dollars to have an abortion. That was a lot of money in 1954!).


There were networks of people who knew of good abortionists. There was one particular physician who was working out of a suite, in a well-respected downtown hotel. I went there with the aunt, whom I barely knew, but who was willing to accompany me.


I was living with my parents at the time and my mother knew that I was going to have an abortion, although I didn't want to tell my parents at first. I also didn't want to ask them for the money, though they could have afforded it. My mother didn't stand in my way but she couldn't cope with being at home when I returned. I was told not to tell my father. Only the housekeeper was there to greet me and put me to bed when I returned.


The abortion itself was a very unpleasant, demeaning experience. Although I was given a Valium a 1/2 hour before the operation, there was some pain and I was cautioned not to make noise. After the procedure I had a short time to rest, and then I kind have trundled out of there, with the aunt holding on to me as we got a cab and went home. There were no negative side effects, like an infection, and there was nothing really horrible about it. However, the secrecy led to intense feelings of shame.


My mother assured me that I needn't marry just because this happened. I think she just couldn't deal with it and didn't want to be part of it. She wasn't anti-abortion per se, it was more that she was deeply ashamed.


Finding the doctor and the venue re-assured me that I was not going to some backstreet office. There was very little chance that I will be accosted by people who were anti-choice, or who even knew that there were abortions going on in the hotel. I am sure that there were people doing that all over Manhattan - upscale kinds of abortions. Having money helped a great deal.


I was very lucky. I had a lot of support. I've never ever regretted it. It was so early in the pregnancy that I never had any connection with this embryo, so it's not like I felt: oooh, this "baby". I was in charge of my body and life. Having the abortion allowed me to move along with my life, in a way that was productive, and good for me and those around me. I did eventually marry. And about 6 years later I had a wonderful healthy baby boy!


I was married and lived in a big old apartment, in New York. This old apartment had two entrances, and next to kitchen entrance there was "maid's room” - little tiny room, and little tiny bathroom.


One of my sisters got pregnant and needed an abortion. Again, we found a very well respected physician, who lived in Manhattan not far from me. We arranged for an abortion to be performed in my kitchen, on my kitchen table!


It was a really bizarre experience because the middle of this my baby started crying. So I had to go through kitchen, take and calm the baby and warm up a bottle for him. But it all went smoothly. There was no infection or problem of any kind. And there was a minimum of shame. (Finding the money to pay this guy with was the big problem this time). My sister was able to rest at my place for a day or two, and then that was it.


And then two years later my baby sister (twelve years younger) got pregnant! We sisters learned that we got pregnant very easily, even with contraception. I think that by that time my mother knew about what was happening. She wasn't thrilled, but accepted it. My parents were really middle-of-the road, liberal democrats. They weren't very religious. It was more a cultural thing and shame.


Actually, this sister had had a child before this abortion (OW = out of wedlock). She had told my mother then, and she was sent to "a fat-farm" to disappear until the baby was born. At the facility the women were lectured to, shamed, etc. And that was an awful experience. The social worker put on a lot of pressure and convinced her to put the baby up for adoption. And to have no contact with him at all. This was a very painful experience in her life.


Between my own experience and my sisters' experiences, I wouldn't have done anything differently. Both sisters also agree that the abortion itself was not a terrible experience.


As a psychologist I have counselled many women who have had abortions. So many women go through hell because of religious pressures. I've worked with women who were impregnated by their priests, I've worked with nuns who were impregnated by their priests and who then had abortions. But the guilt... was so, so high. Again despite that, none of the woman that I worked with has regretted their decisions.


So, yes, I've been very lucky. I was middle-class, I could afford decent doctors, and I could afford after-care. So many women who couldn't had to go to backstreet abortionists, where people didn't even wash their hands, never-mind sterilize their instruments!


I've never kept the abortion a secret.


There is a lot of pressure, of guilt, from all kinds of religions, whether it is Roman Catholic or some other fundamentalist belief system. I am totally secular so these are not issues that I concern myself with. But I do know people who have been raised in cultures where they have been steeped in shame and guilt for all their lives about many things, not just abortion.


Abortions can be painful, of course, or major discomfort. It is rare today, because of medication, etc. If one needs spinal surgery - it is painful, and then you recover. The pain of the surgery isn't what you hold on to. It's thinking: "gee, I feel so much better”! Yes, there may be pain, but you know, childbirth also hurts. It hurts a lot. So, do you then never have a child, because it's going to hurt? There is fear about going into the surgery, fear about what that might mean for your future, fear about the pain, but you do it anyway, because you know that that might save your life, that might be an important thing in your life. And you don't constantly remember: ooh, that was such a painful, horrible thing! You think: I am so glad I did that. And that's the way that people can think about an abortion: it's frightening chiefly because of all the horror stories that are told. The pain is really a way of deflecting the real issues and is the part that is the least important. Even if there is pain - if there is emotional support, and comfort, and positive stuff afterwards, then the pain is the least problematic.


This is my story - not a dramatic one. Abortion has been with us since human history’s beginning. It will always be with us.



- Marcia, New York