Dead City

dir. Krzysztof Grudziński

An operatic experience in virtual reality



Dead City

Everything is a memory, nothing dies because there is nothing, be calm, be peaceful, nothing dies because there is nothing and there is everything”.

In a desolate contemporary metropolis of the pandemic times, the sense of fear of the analogue solitude in the age of digital life intensifies. We are transported to this reality through Paweł and his reminiscences. The protagonist of Krzysztof Grudziński’s work tries to say goodbye to his recently deceased wife Maria, looking for consolation in front of a TV screen and in pills prescribed by the doctor. But nights will not leave him be. Paweł gets into his car and takes us on a delirious trip across Warsaw, touring places connected to his love. On a dating website he meets Maria’s lookalike. Memories and imaginings begin to blur and the pain of loss merges with the fear and anxiety about the future in a world which becomes harder and harder to live in.

Dead City is a narrative experience with elements of singing, contemporary and operatic music, based on the eponymous poetic libretto by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Understated visual style alludes to contemporary graphic forms popular on the Internet – vaporwave, GIFs and the aesthetics of independent video games. The entirety is presented in the formula of three degrees of freedom (3DOF) that enables the user to interact with digital environment.

Krzysztof Grudziński – director, script writer, game, film and music video producer (bAranovski, Agim, Natalia Nykiel), director of virtual production and narrative designer, professor of the Warsaw Film School. Winner of Studio Munka’s programme 30 minutes, produces of the feature film Magdalena. Creator and producer of video games Apocalipsis: Harry at the End of the World, Aida, This is the Zodiac Speaking, Barnfinders VR, Poopin. Winner of the Creative Europe programme. Nominated and awarded at such festivals as KTR, YACH, ARS iNDEPENDENT, Fryderyki, Cinemaforum, Pixel Heaven, finalist of the Papaya Young Directors competition.

Director, script: Krzysztof Grudziński
Libretto / Adaptation: Krzysztof Grudziński, Łukasz Orbitowski
Production: Lodz Film School / vnLab / VR/AR studio
Managing producers: Krzysztof Franek, Krzysztof Pijarski
Creative producers: Pola Borkiewicz, Jacek Nagłowski (VR/AR studio vnLab)
Executive producers: Krzysztof Grudziński, Jakub Kosma (VRAAR)
Artistic direction: Krzysztof Grudziński
Music: Agim Dzejili
Choreography /Mockup: Ramona Nagabczyńska
Movement director /Mockup: Krzysztof Grudziński
Interaction design: Krzysztof Grudziński
Programming: Jakub Kata, Michał Odziemczyk
3D: Wika Odziemczyk, Michał Witaszek
Voice-over / Narrator: Maciej Nawrocki
Technical design: Jakub Kata
Dancers: Ramona Nagabczyńska, Oskar Malinowski
Voices: Katarzyna Piszek, Dominik Strycharski

Managment of the Visual Narrative Lab vnLab: Krzysztof Franek, Krzysztof Pijarski
Management of VR/AR Studio vnLab: Pola Borkiewicz, Jacek Nagłowski
Coordinator of art and research projects at VR/AR Studio vnLab: Magdalena Wołowska
Organization supervision at vnLab: Katarzyna Boratyn
Administrative staff: Dorota Schreiber, Małgorzata Czarnecka, Magda Kowalska, Magdalena Wołowska
Accountants: Iwona Kopeć, Agata Arabska, Elżbieta Cota, Aneta Kulińska, Monika Duraj, Dorota Czopczyńska, Magdalena Drzewiecka
Legal: Monika Żelazowska, Monika Gromotowicz
Public Financing: Maria Kowalska-Bieniek
Technical staff: Piotr Staruch

Financed from the funds of the Ministry of Education and Science on the basis of Agreement no. 023/RID/2018/19 from 18 January 2019 in the amount of PLN 11 865 100, concluded with PWSFTViT.

Copyright © 2022 (PWSFTViT) Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Filmowa, Telewizyjna i Teatralna im. L. Schillera w Łodzi / vnLab / VR/AR. All rights reserved and owned by the Non-Violence Project Foundation.

Lodz Film School (PWSFTViT) is the author of this film for the purposes of Berne Convention and all provisions of national laws which give it legal power, as well as for the purpose of copyright and other rights.



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