Creator Jon Braver on Delusion: The Blue Blade and Lies Within VR

Delusion is having a big year with two big projects coming out soon. Fans have been waiting for the next interactive theatre experience from the team, and The Blue Blade is the answer. It will be a completely different show compared to the previous years. And this one is inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark and will feature time travel. (The previous shows tiptoed on horror and featured supernatural elements like vampires.) Additionally, those who want to revisit the past or never had the chance to check out the Delusion: Lies Within live show can immerse themselves with Delusion: Lies Within VR. The VR story follows two fans as they try to find out what happened to their favorite missing author. However, they’ll soon discover that her stories will be haunting them.

We had the chance to interview writer and director Jon Braver about both Lies Within VR and The Blue Blade interactive show. Read below:

Out of all the shows you’ve done, why did you choose Lies Within for the first VR experience?

Jon Braver: Dave, one of the producers here, inspired the whole VR aspect of this where I was more of a skeptic. He kind of convinced me to do this, and so I was thinking of an image of a book… chapters within a book and being indited into the book. That was really intriguing and it just came around to the idea that this was the best one for us because the story was complete and I felt comfortable with it. It’s one of my favorite stories that we’ve done. And if we’re going to do one, let’s do one where we can actually have practical creature effects. So let’s see them close up in the VR world. I got convinced to do it over time after seeing a lot of VR and seeing some really crappy VR. Let’s making something great.

With VR, there are so many things to look out for. I bet that got you excited about putting details all around.

Oh yeah. A lot of people go through the play, and they only go through it once or maybe twice and they miss so many things. So how cool would it be if you’re alone as a ghost inside of this story, and you can go through as many times as you want? You can see all the little Easter eggs and cool little moments that you might miss the first time around. It was enticing because of that reason alone. This is where I can have people realize the score that I wanted them to hear from the live show which they don’t really focus on as much, and realize the creatures and focus on all the things I want them to focus on. So that was pretty cool.

I really like the audio in Lies Within VR. I was messing around and turning my head just to hear if they’re talking on the right or left of me, and it fits.

We spent a lot of time on sound. The sound design is wild in 360. Just to watch them actually create it, all the different sounds that move in the 360 space is insane. It’s one of my favorite parts.

It helped me to focus on where the action is.

Every single beat was thought about. How do you direct somebody in VR? How do you actually continue the story? You do it through blocking and through sound. In the beginning, I was a bit concerned. I want people to focus on the main parts. Yes, you’re in it and you can look around, but you have to focus on the main action. And it seems like everyone so far has no problem following the story in a fluid way. This would be a really cool feature too, but this surprised me that I was able to direct the viewer in a free-form sort of way.

I think you can’t help but look at certain directions when the sound comes. There was one part in the kitchen where you hear a loud noise, but you’re focused on the actors. You have the reaction to turn around yourself, and that’s what I think was really cool with the sound design.

Yeah, you’re with that; I love it. You feel like so much you’re with these characters… right over their shoulders. It’s a bitchin’ experience.

 

With your VR experience in Lies Within, are you planning to incorporate it with the upcoming Blue Blade live show?

Right now we’re so focused on the live aspect of it; we’ll see how that kind of plays into it. Right now we don’t have a VR adaptation for it. We need to open the live show first. By the time the show opens, by the end of 2018, the market will change again. New technology will come in, and we’ll be inspired to do something with that for Blue Blade. The live show is more about stripping away technology completely from you and just going on an adventure. If you want to escape reality, you go in VR. If you like alternate reality, you go watch the live show. They go hand in hand.

But for The Blue Blade story, there is tech involved?

I mean, there is some tech involved. Yeah, there is tech involved. That’s as far as I’ll go with that basically. It really is about this grand adventure that you’re going on where you will use your hands, your mind, physical touch and stuff like that.

Do you have plans on having a VR setup at the live show?

We’re trying to get the VR lounge going. So you would have the Lies Within VR Experience there and then go to the live show. That would be the only place in town that you can do that. It’d be great to have 10 stations, and people who bought tickets can just go see it there. I think that would help a lot. The Delusion fanbase will come, see it and talk about it.

Is the live show going to have the same amount of people per group?

We stripped that down to eight instead of 10 to 11. It’s a smaller and more intimate group and should be a lot more fun for people. There are a couple of reasons for that including the architecture of the place and the size of the rooms. But for me, I always wanted to go down to eight. Every time in the previous shows where we had 10, 11 or 12 people, there’s always a few people who don’t see something because somebody’s in front of them or they’re left behind. It’s hard for an actor to rally that many people, capture their attention or really perform at their peak. Every time we had eight at a previous show just because we have some no-shows, it just looked so great. And all the actors are like, “Oh my god, it’s so much easier and I had such a better time.” All the people that came out will be like, “Yeah, I got to see everything.” From now on Delusion will be at most eight per group. We had to raise ticket prices because of that. That’s fine since we haven’t had much pushback.

Delusion usually taps into the horror genre. With The Blue Blade, you’re going in a different direction.

I just do stories that match my favorite genres. I always equate everything I do to Raiders of the Lost Ark. This one is the most akin to that in that it’s not straight-up horror. It’s more adventure. Raiders had horror, love, romance, fantasy, adventure, all that kind of stuff. There’s an overall Delusion universe, kind of like Marvel universe. All the stories are connected. Some are quite direct, and others are loosely connected. I’m a gamer and I love playing games. I’m like you guys. All the shit that you like, I like. That’s the stuff that we’re going to keep creating.

Do you think fans will be welcoming to the different tone?

I don’t know. That’s a good question. Maybe. This is a very different show. It’s very much a Delusion show, but most of the shows had the turn-of-the-century feel, like a Victorian and old mansion kind of feeling. Unfortunately, we can’t use mansions anymore in LA. The permit process is too hard, but that’s fine.

Time traveling will be featured in this. Was this a challenge to the story?

No joke, it really ****ed me up for a while… just the thought about time travel. You start getting so engrossed in it. The plot holes keep popping up because of the time travel aspect. But then at some point, you have to throw all that stuff away and not care as much. You just have to tell the story. This one’s not so much about time travel, but a cool story. For Delusion fans, it’s going to be an exciting and fresh experience. I’m a fan of this stuff. I’m very good about looking at each one and saying, “I would do that.” Except for 2013, which I didn’t like. We shall not talk about that.

What future projects are you working on?

My personal goal is directing film and television and that kind of stuff. That’s where my focus is. With the Skybound partnership, we’re going to expand the universe into all the different mediums. VR is our first collaboration with Skybound, and then we have ideas for the comics, radio drama, film, and television. This will take up so much of my life. I’ll be here awhile doing this stuff and starting to develop a good writing team with Dave and some other people to just start busting out scripts and getting the different things going. We’re in constant strategy mode with Skybound about what the next project should be.

To purchase Delusion: The Blue Blade tickets, visit http://www.enterdelusion.com. Attendees can preview Delusion: Lies Within VR this weekend at Midsummer’s Scream at the Long Beach Convention Center.

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John 'Spartan' Nguyen
John 'Spartan' Nguyen 9380 posts

Assassin, scoundrel, head honcho.