In Alumni, Media Arts

Media arts graduate MarKaye Anderton uses her skills to work on 360-degree filming

When Markaye Anderton creates 360-degree films, there aren’t always rules to follow. In this newly developing medium, sometimes it’s her job to make those rules. 

“Working with 360-degree film is interesting because it is a new frontier, so you’re making up a lot of the standards,” said Anderton. “You don’t have the same history of well-secured film language. You have to take a step back and reinvent how the medium works.”

One of her recent projects was a collaborative virtual reality film she worked on with fellow BYU graduate Ian Hawkes. The film, called “Night Watch,” is about a guard on duty watching security cameras. Anderton’s use of reinvention on this project included incorporating traditional film language. 

“Because we had the security guard sitting with a view of a ton of security cameras, we could incorporate jump cuts between scenes,” said Anderton.  

While on duty, the security guard catches a monster on the cameras. 

Anderton’s responsibility for the project included directing the actors in the space and creating the monster costume. 

Figuring out the monster was challenging because you want to make it unsettling,” said Anderton. “I worked closely with the actor who portrayed the monster, rehearsing that movement to make it as inhuman as possible.” Anderton’s puppet-like monster had an extremely hunched back and extra-large arms that bend in unnatural ways.

Horror films aren’t the only popular virtual reality experiences. According to Anderton, the dance world is also opening up to opportunities in 360-degree filming.

In the dance community, there is a lot of interest in virtual reality. It’s hard for film to recreate the experience of being in the room with a live dance performance. Virtual reality and 360-degree film get us one step closer to that experience,” said Anderton. She hopes to continue working professionally on virtual reality films with dancers in and near Memphis, where she lives with her husband and baby.

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