Future Diaries

cinematic VR drama series

Future Diaries is a Storyworld set in the aftermath of a total collapse of the global financial system in 2020. A mysterious group, known as the White Noise, have introduced a cryptocurrency that leads to the birth of various clans, tribes and structures, all operating according their own believes: Self reliance, circular economy and solidarity. A global network arises which threatens the existing power structures – economically and ideologically – touching on the issue of how choices and dedication ultimately determine the way people live and relate to each other. We want to explore this storyworld in a VR Series, a Graphic Novel and eventually a Game and a Movie.

Future Diaries - a cinematic VR series

The project

Future Diaries portrays our world in the year 2054, when different systems and visions of society exist both in symbiosis and in competition, as resources are becoming more scarce, the world’s population is growing, and the climate is dramatically changing.
The story is told through different media and in different time periods. A VR series (10 x 15 min.) will provide a glimpse into the future and make it possible to experience the problems, challenges and new forms of social life there. We accompany Qiqi and Zelda (both 20 years old), who in the course of their odyssey encounter and explore different social models and who at the end of each episode challenge the users to make a decision. The story starts and ends on social platforms in the web and the user can interact with our characters from the future.

Concept Art - Future Diaries

VR Series

Future Diaries - Terrace Scene Shoot

The Future Diaries VR / 360° series is structured as a branched narrative, of which the VR headset is an important element. Because users want to see the story they must construct a “Time Machine”. What begins as entertainment finally becomes so much more: Users are contacted by the series’ main characters and are moved to question their perception of the world.
The goal of the project is thus not only to tell a fascinating story but above all to generate social discourse about social models and to bring real human beings (our users) together in the real world! In April 2018, we shot our testimonial at Studiopark KinderMedienZentrum in Erfurt, Thuringia, and laid the foundation for our Virtual Reality Transmedia Science Fiction series! The Testimonial will be ready End 2018.

Shooting

Thanks to our actresses and actors Clelia Sarto, Thomas Arnold, Tara Fischer and Samuel Schneider as well as Kristina Klebe who spoke our AI Utopia, for their great performance infront of the Camera. An other huge shout out goes to our team who is still working on finishing the Testimonial! Thank you so much for your hard (and heart) work, patience and visions! Without you Utopia couldn’t be born!

Graphic novel

The Future Diaries Interactive Graphic Novel is part of the Future Diaries universe and is focusing on the three founding members of the White Noise: Linda, Chris and Selim. These three protagonists meet at a Burning Man Festival before they start a community together and invent the UTOPIA algorithm. Linda, a programming specialist, Chris, a very young Bitcoin early adopter, and Selim, a Kurdish-Syrian soldier and former farmer, are all in their early 20s, and are breaking with their previous lives for a variety of reasons.

In addition to the thrilling story of Linda, Selim and Chris, the Graphic Novel will be a tool to talk extensively and with pleasure about the underlying concepts that lead to the creation of Utopia. These are crypto currencies, or more specifically, blockchain technology, circular economy and holocracy, the art of not leaving digital footprints and other ninja skills. All of these concepts will most likely gain influence in the coming years. However, none of these theories are intuitive or natural because their underlying concepts are rather complex. This is where the interactivity of the graphic novel comes into play: With VR and AR, we want to make these concepts intuitively understandable and comprehensible for all people – closely linked to the history of our three heroes.

vr with suddenlife gaming elements

After developing the complete story world we are now producing a testimonial for a VR series (10 x 15 min.) with Suddenlife Gaming elements. Through social media users will learn of the fictitious cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence UTOPIA, which has come to us from the year 2054. With the help of the “Time Machine” – a VR headset that can be “constructed” with a cell phone – we can see into the future. In addition to the VR series, which offers us glimpses into sensitive historical periods in the future, a further interwoven narrative level will function primarily through social media. In this way users get to know the protagonists from the future as young people in the present. The testimonial now in production provides an idea of the features described above – including social media elements, an internet portal and a twelve-minute VR experience.

Project Details

Showrunner: Alexander Herrmann
Director: Sebastian Hilger /
Alexander Herrmann
Director of Photography: Conrad Lobst / Christoph Iwanow
Author: Alexander Herrmann
Production Company:
expanding focus GmbH
Producer: Alexander Herrmann
Special VFX: Sascha Geddert
Sounddesign: Valentin Spiegel
Costumes: Helen Nordman
Concept Art Graphic Novel:
Sascha Altschuler
Concept Art VR: Jin Ho Jeon
Genre: Transmedia VR Series
Status: in development /
Testimonial ready: Q4 2018
Language: English
Project Consultants: Keith Cunningham /
Nuno Bernardo
Partners: Blend FX /
Lumalenscape / Thadeus Roth / WoodDo
Funders: MDM / KDFS / MFG / SKT

The process of creation

The world is becoming increasingly complex – at least since the fall of the Iron Curtain and the decline of the Soviet Union, the narrative of a dual worldview no longer works, in which there are (only) two conflicting forces. In addition, the center of power has shifted from politics to the economy, as evidenced inter alia by the fact that the rich get richer and thus the poor are getting poorer.
In this context, politicians and business leaders are constantly drawing a picture of “no alternatives”. The surveillance of the NSA can not be stopped, the fall of the euro would also destroy Europe, without economic growth we will perish.
So the blogger Mark Fisher asks “why (…) today we can imagine the end of the world rather than the end of capitalism.” And indeed, in contemporary fictions, films and books, one also has to look far for approaches to find an idea of a world based on another economic or social system, such as ours.
Assuming that everything that is done has to be thought of first, it seems that the lack of alternatives, in the absence of counter-proposals, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Scrapbooks and pinboards showing our brainstorming sessions.

Utopia-Tower and Terrace – from sketch to model.

Future Diaries is our response to this circumstance to respond. We are sure that the world and humanity are facing major changes. How we will master this is largely up to us! We do not believe in a completely utopian or completely dystopian future.
Thus, Future Diaries tells of our world in the year 2054, in which various systems and social drafts lie partly in symbiosis, partly in competition with each other, all with the background of ever-dwindling resources, a growing world population and a drastically advancing climate change.

Our mission is to create an exciting series that addresses the users with questions to our very future. It’s not just about what could happen, but what each and every one of us can contribute to the success of a human era. To achieve this, we operate interdisciplinary and collaboratively. We work with people who are fascinated by modern storytelling. We are supported by creatives, vfx & sound designer, creators, actresses and actors, friends and many more.

The Drone – main scenery in the testimonial. From “Lego”-Model to digital artwork.