Makropol is an entity formed of artist and entrepreneurs, filmmakers and designers. Based in Copenhagen and lead by Johan Knattrup Jensen and Mads Damsbo, Makropol strives to create transforming stories with tools from the new digital age. Our credo is that art can drive innovation, and innovation can be art.
Our current obsession and fascination is with how we tell great stories in virtual reality.
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You are hovering above a broad river, with lush fields to each
of your sides. You slowly start to float forward. As you climb
the side of the river, the landscape changes from the dark
green, fertile fields into a dry and impoverished landscape.
This is Malawi. A nation of contrast. A nation in dire need of
food. A nation going through what’s been called, the ‘slow,
silent disaster’. Due to several factors, like a flood last
year, and a drought this year, the crops have failed, and the
government has declared the need of food a national crisis.
One hour from the river lives Edward, his wife, and their 6
children, in a house surrounded by a garden. This was once a
paradise. But as everything else around here, the garden is no
longer a garden, but a desert with a few once green tops of
As part of the NEXT platform in Cannes during what is called VR days, Makropol will be screening the brand new EWA pilot and a special multiple serving of the Doghouse.
So come by the NEXT pavillion monday the 16th of May from 10 am get inside the head of someone else, and leave your body in Cannes.
See the full Line up here -> link
Makropol produced this little journey. Watch it with your mobile phone and headphones.
The “NEW EYES” concept uses a combination of virtual reality video and corresponding learning material to create an innovative and immersive way of teaching in the Danish primary school. By using Google Cardboard Glasses we make abstract and complex content tangible and even exciting. Through the glasses pupils will enter a virtual world where they will feel and experience what a teacher can only attempt to explain.
The first material to be launched under the NEW EYES concept is called NEW EYES ON THE WORLD, it looks to engage pupils in the UN’s 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.
Ewa is a woman that anyone can embody. She is a chance to become present in a fiction.
It’s a story of a young girls coming of age and her struggle to escape her given reality.
Her story will depend on the subject inside her. But remember, to become Ewa, she will in turn become you.
Ewa is slowly becoming real and will ultimately exist as a feature length virtual reality film experience.
The promise of VR is unfolding all around the world. Triggered by Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus, global players are emerging with accessible consumer friendly tech that will allow millions of audiences to experience the thrill of escaping reality. Samsung and Oculus, with their Gear VR and Google with Cardboard VR, have cheekily set the scene for an early peak in to this fascinating future, but the question remains; What will we be experiencing, in these virtual realities?
To answer this we will invite 10 up and coming Nordic artist, filmmakers and experience designers to submit their vision of what the medium can convey. With a small budget, and access to Makropol’s VR record kit, talents will produce experimental experiences, focused on storytelling, lasting up to 10 minutes, that will premiere during CPH:DOX at a symposium dedicated to VR. International guests and speakers will be flown in to give their perspectives of the emerging possibilities and pitfalls of VR. All the original VR experiences will be gathered on an app (VR:CHANNEL) that will work as a continued feed of new experiences to be explored through smartphone VR devices.
VR:NORDIC is supported by Nordic Culture Fund.
Subscribe to Makropol’s ideafeed to keep updated!
To kick off Makropol’s grand collaboration with Copenhagen Phil, we are inviting interested to join us for a night of symphonic experiments.
For now I cant say more, but take a look at the Facebook event if you want to come.
As a catalyst and producer of several media experiences, Mads has always been interested in the role of the user (formally known as the audience) and their interactions with stories. He believes that if content is king, then context is queen, and thus the medium that channels the story in some ways actually is the story.
Through various cases, like the virtual reality piece “The Doghouse” and the location- aware soundsharing app “Recho”, he will explore some of the building blocks that are available for storytellers and experience designers in this new paradigm.
Next upp CIID. Get tickets here.
Makropol was proud to present The Dog house at this years film and technology forum Digital Biscuit in Dublin.
We had the honor of hosting the great David Chase (Sopranos) at the table where he had the delight of becoming a danish middel age mom with a drinking problem. He remained remarkably silent during the 18 minutes inside the VR experience.
Meanwhile, Mads gave a talk about crafting ones own medium for storytelling, which was pretty well received. So… it might not be the last time this will be the subject for a public rant.
See a description of the talk here.
This years Ted x event at the House of Parliament in London had its focus on democracy and in that context, Mads was invited to speak about democratising classical music.
So with WOO as an example he took the stage on the little round red carpet and gave it a shot. Here is the result.
mads damsbo – Founder and lead producer
With a background in film and media directing and with a passion for technology and experience design, Mads has found himself involved in a wide variety of alternative projects exploring the frontier of new media storytelling. He considers himself a craftsman and creative producer, and sometimes an artist and conceptual junkie.
johan knattrup jensen – Partner, director and artist
Johan is schooled through the progressive alternative filmschool Super16 where he wasted his time doing regular “boring” films. Now with Makropol, he has reborn himself as a conceptual writer, experience deliverer, chairman of THE board and shaman.
darshika karunahara – Business developer and community manager.
After working four years as a marketing coordinator for IBM, Darshika learned that making erotic podcasts and empowering challenged communities through new technology was more rewarding, and as the VR wave started to appear in the horizon she wasn’t shy to jump on her boogie board and surf with Makropol, where she now serves as a beacon for how to turn new media experiences in to sustainable business.
Marie Ramhøj & Pernille Gliese – Media directors and designers
Inseparable from birth, these two bundles of hyper energy have rolled fresh out from the Danish School of Media and Journalism, where they worked dedicated on Virtual Reality Education Films. Now – they are the core of Makropol’s efforts to bring quality edutainment to schools.
Simon Herzog – Maker, interaction designer, and communicator.
Simon has specialised in one thing – everything. His fascination with technology, history, and nature, combined with his incorrigible optimism, has driven him to invent, cultivate, and communicate impactful ideas. When he’s not designing devices and experiences, he’s a pitch coach and startup consultant committed to bring out the best in people and their ventures. In his sparse free time Simon enjoys futurism, birds of prey, and lock picking.
sven vinge madsen – Realisateur, professeur, sculpteur.
Sven walks the fine line between earthbound humbleness and outspoken megalomania. He is by far the most knowledgeable man connected to Makropol, reaching from English litteratur, through Russian avantgarde filmmaking and to American history. When Sven isn’t working on his documentary masterpiece (a reconstruction of his father) he enjoys french cuisine, boating and late nights alone with Louis CK and pornhub.
Can not be contacted.
Marcel Mate – ADHD ASS.
To quote Marcel: “You need to make me your assistant, because I’m the kind of guy that got a helicopter for my last production – for free.” – enough said.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | +45 28 99 48 37
signe ungermand – 4ever intern.
Signe joined Makropol in the process of exploring new corners of virtual reality. Her mark on this process is still visible today. Signe is not with us anymore, she is busy watching 2-for-1 movies at the cinema on Tuesday nights, and gambling all of her Goverment-funded money on Pokerstars.com under the alias CallMeMorfar.