Sarah Atkinson
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Helen W. Kennedy
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Secret Cinema, 2020–2021: pivoting, pipelines and poaching
in Secret Cinema and the immersive experience economy
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In this concluding chapter, we re-contextualise SC within the wider immersive experience industry of 2021 through the themes of pivoting, pipelines and poaching – reaffirming and building on the ‘immersive experience industry ecosystem’ model established in the first chapter. Here we present the rich experiences and collaborations within the immersive experience industry of 2021 against the backdrop of the major transitions being wrought by the convergence of the creative production of film, theatre, games and screen media. We examine how the use of digital technologies in the production of creative outputs accelerated significantly and how innovative new applications were developed in response to the challenges brought by the pandemic from 2020. When physical and hybridised productions returned, creative advances continued apace as the same technologies, tools and software used to produce screen-based media were brought together with established stagecraft and emerging immersive performance talents and techniques. Our ecosystem model of 2021 is characterised by the emergence of super-hybrid experiences that are increasingly influenced by gaming and new technologies. We show how the picture that we painted of 2019, with mass-immersive events at their zenith, looked very different in 2021, following the rapid change, adaptation and evolution engendered by the global pandemic.

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