Henry Premiere @ Hollywood – VR Short Film By Oculus Story Studio
Oculus Story Studio held a “Henry” Premiere this evening in Beverly Hills. A “Henry’s Premiere” video was also released on the same day featuring Oculus Story Studio Creative Director Saschka Unseld, Oculus Founders Palmer Luckey, Nate Mitchell, and Brendan Iribe.
Henry Premiere invited guests to come celebrate Henry’s Birthday in a Hollywood mansion, decorated for a birthday party with balloons and cakes!
Henry Premiers: World’s First Interactive VR Headset Film Premiere
Unlike traditional film screening and premiere, Henry’s Premiere happens on Oculus CV1 headset! Henry’s official public debut with be around the same time as Oculus Rift CV1 launch in Q1 2015.
According to Henry Premiere attendees, guests were able to step inside Henry’s world and his cute little home. Audiences can take time to explore Henry’s virtual space and other characters.
Meet Henry – Friendly Hedgehog Who Loves to Hug
The main character Henry, a cute little hedgehog, can make eye contact with the audiences, follow and track their head movement, giving audiences the ability to interact with the characters and be part of the story.
Oculus Story Studio Led By Saschka Unseld – Former Pixar Animator
Henry is a cute, emotional and heartwarming story told in virtual reality. The interactive engagement creates an emotional bond and empathy with the character and the story. And that’s exactly the way Chief of Oculus Story Studio Saschka Unseld wants audiences to feel. Saschka was one of the animators for “Toy Story 3” and “The Blue Umbrella” from Pixar!
“A lot of comedy in animated movies, like slapstick, is actually based on sad things — you know, someone falls on their face or gets a bad break,” said Story Studio Chief Saschka Unseld. “When that sad thing happens in a traditional film, it can be funny, because there’s some distance. But when you have as much empathy as you do in a VR film, it can be super sad.” ( via LA Times )
“What feels normal in traditional film feels fast here, and what feels boring in traditional film feels good here,” said Lopez Dau, an animator on “Cars 2” and “Monsters University. In VR, we’re learning you don’t need a character to do as much to be interesting.” ( Via LA Times )
“We thought we had a good idea with this lonely character. And then as we got into it and it didn’t necessarily make sense, it was like, ‘If we’re right at the table with Henry, why is he so lonely?’ ” said Edward Saatchi, a British-born executive who is Story Studio’s marketing guru and most public face. One solution is to try to have Henry turn to the viewer a little bit more and acknowledge he at least has some company, though that doesn’t fully solve the problem. ( via LA Times )
“I think the thing people are going to be really impressed with when they watch Henry, and I’ve only seen little bits and pieces, but it really does look like a classic animated movie,” Epic CTO Kim Libreri ( via Wired )
VR – A New Medium of Future Storytelling & Film-Making
Henry, as one of the first interactive virtual reality short story films, gives us a glimpse into the future of film making, using interactive virtual reality as a new medium for film making and digital storytelling.
Unlike traditional films watching experience, audiences are being fed with a pre-recorded footage, narrative and scripted story. Whereas in Henry, audiences are able to interact with the characters. Perhaps in the future, audiences would be able to co-create the storyline as the story goes?
Content & Image Source: Variety, LA Times, Bruce Wright Twitter, VRtuality Twitter