Secret Cinema and the immersive experience economy

Authors:
Sarah Atkinson
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Helen W. Kennedy
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The book presents a never-before-written case study of the UK-based organisation Secret Cinema – widely considered the leading provider of large-scale immersive experiences in the UK. They are used as a lens through which to understand the wider experiential economy. The book provides a comprehensive and encyclopaedic history of the organisation and its productions. It defines and examines the Secret Cinema format. It critically interrogates the work and operations of Secret Cinema as an organisation and analyses the many layers of audience experience. It combines rigorous academic study with practical industry insight that has been informed by more than fifty in-depth interviews with Secret Cinema practitioners and sector professionals who have worked on immersive productions in areas including performance direction, acting, video design, sound design and composition, lighting design, special effects, stage management, operations and merchandising. Framed within the context of the UK in late-2019, at which point the immersive sector had grown significantly, both through its increasing contribution to UK GDP and its widespread and global recognition as a legitimate cultural offering, we have captured an organisation and a sector that is in transition from marginal and sub-cultural roots to a commodifiable and commercial form, now with recognisable professional roles and practices, which has contributed to the establishment of an immersive experience industry of national importance and global reach. This book will appeal to scholars, students, film fans, immersive experience professionals and their audiences. It is written in an accessible style with rich case study materials and illustrative examples.

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