Virtual Reality Takes Over Sundance 2015
The upcoming of a completely new media platform has arrived at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Utah. Although Oculus VR started with idea that game was going to be the focus of VR, but as the headset technology rapidly grows to the mature stage, it is evident that immersive media will revolutionize movie story telling and film making.
The festival offered free DIY class for attendees to make their own virtual reality cardboard headset. It is exciting time to think about formatting a script for a 360-degree film, and thanks to affordable VR headsets such as Google Cardboard empowers the producers to distribute their work through mobile app.
Although VR for film production is still the early stage of exploration, but more and more creative minds are getting into this space. Oculus this week just launched their Oculus Story Studio, led by a team of talented elites to creating CG VR film experiences.
Félix and Paul Studios showcased three experiences at the show: Herders–is a cinematic virtual reality observational journey that bears viewers to the lives of nomadic yak herders in Mongolia. Strangers with Patrick Watson let’s viewer observes the musician as he performs in the intimacy of his home studio. Wild – the experience takes the viewers to experience an intimate moment of the pacific crest with Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern
Digital Domain, the production house behind blockbuster movies such as Titanic and Avatar teamed up with VRSE to produce a 3.5 minute virtual reality short demo, Evolution of Verse, which features special effect by filmmaker Chris Milk.
“VICE News VR: Millions March” is a film that takes viewers into the December 13th rally that saw 60,000 protesters descend on the streets of New York to demand greater police accountability.
Jaunt VR showcased, Kaiju Fury!,an experience that puts viewer standing at ground zero witness in 360-degree stereoscopic 3-D as an attack takes place by monster Kaiju.
Perspective; Chapter I: The Party by filmmaker Rose Troche and VR pioneer Morris May tells the story of a date rape in two parts. The first is from the first-person perspective of a college boy and the second is from the point of view of an intoxicated college girl.
Condition One released a 20-minute documentary, Zero Point, that followed the early pioneers of virtual reality; the researchers and developers creating an entirely new digital dimension. From combat training simulations at the Department of Defense, to research labs at Stanford, to indie game developers and hackers, this immersive video experience brings viewers into the future of virtual reality.
Vincent Morisset, creator of the Webby Award-winning film BLA BLA as well as Arcade Fire’s acclaimed interactive music video Just a Reflektor, showcased Way To Go as both a big-screen video game/film hybrid that attendees could play through an Xbox controller as well as in VR form through Oculus Rift.
Written and directed by Nonny de la Pena, Project Syria combines VR technologies with audio and video captured a real event, audiences feel transported to the scene, witness news reports indicating children being targeted in the act of violence.
Another experience that people lined up for over 2 hours at Sundance was the virtual reality flight simulator Birdly. Birdly is a full body flight simulator that simulates experiencer to fly like a bird. The project was developed at the Institute for Design Research at the Zurich University of the Arts in collaboration with the BirdLife-Naturzentrum Neeracherried.