Last night the Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival made its last stop in Austin. KVRFF has been touring for the past few months with the help of Vrideo and Samsung, and wanted to give them a nod now that they’re winding down. We started this site to celebrate the people and projects bringing the virtual reality industry to life, and these guys have been working their BUTTS off to do exactly that.
We’ve been covering KVRFF since opening night, following along as they’ve done exactly what they said they would. Something that sounded insane when they started planning it over the Summer. They brought 20 of the most innovative cinematic VR experiences to 10 major cities across North America.
I finally had the chance to see it myself when they came through LA. I’ll always remember walking into that warehouse where experimenting indie film makers gave people their first taste of VR. The blind leading the blind a little further into the future. Faces lit up as first-timers witnessed confetti flying from the asses of table-height humanoids. Knees wobbled as they sat high above the world atop 10,000 stacked chairs. Hands covered mouths as they followed a giant rock man in search of a friend. And lungs emptied at the destruction and emptiness of a war-torn Syria.
It was there I finally met Rene Pinnell, the founder of KVRFF and its parent company, Kaleidoscope VR, an agency representing independent VR film makers. As we talked about the event, he caught me off guard. He thanked us for the work we do at VRScout. In his words, “for doing more than you need to.”
It was the day at Oculus Connect that Michael Abrash gave his impassioned speech about our places in history. He shared words spoken to him by Dave Cutler at Microsoft in the 90s that he didn’t appreciate at the time, but would never forget. “These are the good old days.”
It feels true. We’re living in an incredible time. There is so much ground to cover and so many problems to solve that no one person, no single company, can do it alone. Getting to where we all want to be in virtual reality is such a heavy endeavor that all of us together can only push it forward an inch at a time.
This makes for stressful days and a never-ending list of things to do. But on occasion, it allows us all to let our guard down a bit and enjoy this time for what it is. As we sit in swivel chairs, wearing our phones on our faces, mouths open catching flies. Basking in the future and working like mad to make our mark on it. At events like KVRFF, when you get to see person after person having their own “holy shit, this is the future” moment, you can’t help but be happy to be a part of it.
As the guys at Kaleidoscope and Vrideo pick up the pieces after a long three months, we’d just like to take a moment to acknowledge all of their hard work to bring VR to the public the right way.
Thanks for doing more than you need to.