Google heads to the Annecy Film Fest in full force with two, never-before-scene Spotlight Stories.
The biennial Annecy International Film Fest is currently in full-swing as creators from around the world gather in France to showcase their latest achievements in the field of animation. Google returned once again with its interactive Google Spotlight Stories series, delivering a handful of gorgeous, lovingly-crafted VR adventures that push the boundaries of modern animation.
Two of these Spotlight Stories, Piggy and Age of Sail, made their official debut at the eclectic festival, finally giving hungry fans a look at the bold new projects. An interactive VR “experiment,” Piggy tells the story of a jogging pig and his insatiable lust for delectable cake. Viewers will play both the role of viewer and the talent as they influence certain aspects of the experience from the bleachers of the stage-like setup.
“We asked, can you make a funny show when the audience controls the timing?” spoke Google in a statement. “The plot of Piggy is a series of classic cartoon gags, but now the viewer controls the timing just by deciding where to look.”
Utilizing eye-tracking technology combined with 6dof tracking, users can trigger certain animations depending on what their attention is focused on during the stage performance. All while Piggy maintains constant eye contact, responding to your choices with emotions such as surprise, guilt, annoyance, shame, hope and “righteous indignation.” This ensures there’s something interesting happening no matter where you’re looking during the experience, with no two viewings ever being the same.
Directed by Jan Pinkava and Mark Oftedal and produced by Camille Cellucci and executive produced by Karen Dufilho, Piggy lasts approximately 3 – 3 ½ minutes and will be available on Google Spotlight Stories app for iOS & Android, on Daydream, Steam and Viveport.
Available as a sneak peak, Age of Sail tells a more serious tale of compassion and redemption. Set during the year 1900, Age of Sail follows the story of William Avery (played by Ian McShane), a sailor alone and adrift in the North Atlantic. After rescuing a mysterious young woman (played by Cathy Ang) stranded in the waters, Avery discovers a new found sense of hope throughout Google’s longest and most visually-ambitious Spotlight Story to date.
“I wanted this piece to operate in a less stylized universe because the audience should believe the world is real, to feel the peril and the exhilaration of being in a storm, to be vulnerable,” spoke director John Kahrs.
Age of Sail was produced by Gennie Rim (duet, June, Dear Basketball) and David Eisenmann (Pearl, Son of Jaguar) and executive produced by Karen Dufilho and Jan Pinkava. No word yet on when we can expect a full release.
Among these new offerings Google also stopped by with several popular Spotlight Stories already available out in the wild. Attendees can celerbrate the life and work of Georges Méliès in Spotlight Atories Back to the Moon, or get a behind-the-scenes look at the production of Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs with “Isle of Dogs: Behind the Scenes in Virtual Reality,” an immersive experience offering face-to-face interviews with the cast of dogs on set.
Annecy International Film Festival began Monday, June 11th and will run until Saturday, June 16th in Annecy, France.
Image Credit: Google