FROM WORKSHOP TO LAUNCH: FINAL DRAFT AND STORYSHIP CREATE THE WORLD’S FIRST VR SPHEREPLAY TEMPLATE
A first-of-its-kind template for writing virtual reality scripts, or sphereplays, is now included in Final Draft 10. It was the result of a year of development by Storyship, followed by collaboration with Final Draft. www.Storyship.net/fdvr <http://www.storyship.net/fdvr>
The first live-action VR feature film, MansLaughter – An Experiment in Theatrical VR, was written and directed last year by Storyship founder David Marlett. Marlett, a bestselling novelist and screenwriter, worked with Oculus and Samsung on the project. “From that experience a new method of immersive writing emerged,” he said. “It was my most challenging and rewarding storytelling experience.”
Final Draft’s Director of Educational Relations and Marketing, Alejandro Seri, said, “Our customers, including many educational institutions, have been asking for a VR scripting template—so we were pleased to work with David, to pull from his unique experience in VR, his workshops, and as a story coach.” Final Draft anticipates the template will continue to develop as cinematic VR grows, and as the underlying software evolves.
“To create the Sphereplay template, we started with the MansLaughter script, then explored a lot of other story platforms, including MMO gaming models, orchestral scores, and the innovative mashup used by Michael Figgis for Timecode,” said Marlett. Another resource was Storyship’s popular cross-platform story workshops, like their recent LA one (with VRLA and Final Draft) that sold out in 38 seconds.
“If you want to be any good, you’ve got to be able to manage story across different platforms. For example, though they’re often compared to screenplays, sphereplays have a lot in common with novels,” said Marlett. “Like a novelist, you must manage the full 360-degree spherical space, calling out not only those elements (around, up, and down) indispensable to the story, but also giving enough information to aid the reader who is most likely new to reading in 360 degrees.” He added that the aesthetics of proximity and movement must also be considered, as well as the identity of the immersed audience members themselves, relative to the story and characters. “Those are all new components made available by cinematic VR,” said Marlett, “and skilled storytellers have to keep them all in play.”
Storyship is a pioneer in cross-platform story coaching and consulting, with a Master Workshop designed for storytellers in all mediums—not just VR, but screenwriters, novelists, game designers, and advertisers, too. Their next LA and NY Master Story Workshops will be in early February. www.Storyship.net<http://www.storyship.net/>.