MANND - Pushing the boundaries between film and function



Signe Ungermand and Maria Herholdt Engermann from MANND find themselves not restricted to either the film-, game- or tech-industry, but want to create engaging stories and creative solutions for different sectors and target groups through immersive media.

Always in search of new collaborations, new knowledge, and inspiration, the two creatives wish to push the boundaries of storytelling in a variety of projects ranching from health care education, fashion shows and language learning, to an artistic interpretation of the classic fairytale of Thumbelina.

This position creates a lot of creative possibilities for MANND, but also challenges emerge when balancing many different projects simultaneously and creating a sustainable financial up scaling to follow their success.

 

Who are MANND

The mission at MANND is to challenge the use and understanding of XR in order to create the next era of Branded Content, Communication & Entertainment.

“We really want to push boundaries on another level. We are more willing to take risks and go the extra mile. Doing creative projects we can do something that really stand out.”

 

“Taking risks and knowing what is coming and being updated on knowledge gives us an edge. We travel to a lot of different festivals, just to get inspiration and talk to artists and technicians. [,…]. So I would definitely say that we are in the frontline of knowledge, knowing what is happening out there right now!”

 

Progress 

“The whole concept and goal for our company is exploring new technologies and services. Our hearts are in the creative field, experimenting with these formats and looking into how immersive media can do different projects. We make a big deal out of going to film festivals and be inspired by creative artists. Our idea is to take our knowledge of storytelling and concept development within immersive media and implement them to real life business cases. Throughout the last four years we have worked with so many different sectors and industries. But the pattern that has emerged for us, that event though it is a passion project for us, people can really use it. Our pilot project was a fictional tale about simulating coma, where actors interacted with the viewer by spaying water on them while they were watching the film or touching them. This started as a fiction project about a doctor finding a cure and two siblings fighting this decease. But what we realized was that the health care sector was really exited about this and we have worked further with different solutions for education within the health care educational system.”

 

Future Plans 

“Company-wise we would love to expand our company, but our competitors have more funding and are able to hire a programmer. We come from a film background, so programming is not natural for us […] We identify with the film industry in many ways, but our concepts do not fall into traditional genre categories. We see that people are scared to invest in us because they do not understand it this kind of field. We are not strictly film, we are not strictly game. We used the Covid-19 period effectively to go to courses and further educate ourselves within 3D modelling and coding. That are some areas we really need to know about to expand on, as our competitors has a bigger set up. We try to focus on storytelling and concept. As soon as people are over the WOW factor of VR, then they need some content and something more than just putting on the goggles. Then they come to us hopefully.”

“We are trying to, as you say in Danish “spille på flere heste” (betting on several horses re.), but we have all the seeds in the ground, hoping one of them will bloom. But what we are experiencing is that several seeds are blooming at the same time. We (Signe and Maria) are the heart and the soul of this company. So when we are summiting a project we are ready to commit fully to it. What we are seeing now is that a lot of these projects are going through and we just need more time to do them. If there was 48 hours in a day that would be great for us (laughter).  We need to learn how to up scale our company so we can get more people in here and work more effectively by creating an eco system of financial resources so we can ensure employers each month. Right now it comes in waves, sometimes we have less and other times we have too much to do. We can not predict it at this point.”

 

Inspiration 

“The first time we established contact with Create Converge was back in 2017. There was a call for companies as ourselves using new technologies for different sectors. We chose to pitch a concept called 260 tales, where we focused on using VR for language learning.”

“Something we also are grateful for in the Create Converge project was the Rokoko suites that Filmby Aarhus acquired during the project. We were able to borrow it for our project preproduction phase of our Thumbelina project, bringing the classic H.C. Andersen fairytale to life. Here we put an actor inside the suite to stimulate the movements and actions of the actor, playing the toad mother that Thumbelina (you) stand across from, and interact with. This was extremely helpful for us, as Rokoko suites are normally really expensive and we did not have the resources at that time.” 

“Also it was really an eyeopener when we got to go to Tallinn, and meet different mentors. Here we learned that the learning sector wasn’t for us even though we learned a lot. At that time we were also participating in many festivals with other projects and decided to pursue them.”

 

“Create Converge has offered a lot of seminars and courses which has proven valuable for us. We got the chance to meet up with different people from other sectors and industries that we would not have met otherwise. There’s been great people giving inspirational talks about projects and starting up.”

“Also we had the chance to present X-Ray Fashion at THIS festival through Create Converge in 2019. We had three days to showcase it and gave a talk about using VR in general. It was the Danish launch of the experience and it was a phenomenal platform to start from – we even got more jobs from that showcasing.“