This is a huge deal.
Sundance has just seen its first massive VR film deal. VR financing and distribution venture, CityLights, has acquired Spheres, a three-part VR series that lets you explore the depths of space, even drop into a black hole in VR.
The exact amount of the “seven-figure” acquisition was not revealed, but sources close to the deal told VRScout Spheres was bought for $1.4 million.
The Spheres series was Executive Produced by Protozoa Pictures’ Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel and produced by Jess Engel, Arnaud Colinart, and Dylan Golden.
The full series will debut on the Oculus Rift in 2018, after which CityLights will expand the distribution of the series. Spheres was created with support from Oculus and Intel.
Secured on Kaleidoscope, a funding platform for immersive art and entertainment, the deal is the first ever seven-figure agreement for a VR film brokered during the Sundance Film Festival, marking new territory for the medium.
The first episode, Songs of Spacetime, narrated by Jessica Chastain, premiered this weekend in the New Frontier Section of the Sundance Film Festival. Songs of Spacetime invites users into the heart of a black hole to uncover the hidden songs of the cosmos. In this interactive VR experience, the breakthrough discovery of gravitational waves transforms how we see the Universe.
“We’re incredibly excited to work with Eliza and the entire team on SPHERES,” said CityLights co-founder Joel Newton. “The ambition and generative nature of the vision for SPHERES perfectly fits with our mission to bring content to broader audiences and showcase the types of experiences only VR can deliver.”
The series features original music from Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein of SURVIVE (Stranger Things) with sound design by Craig Henighan.