Virtual reality just got a major nod from Hollywood today with the latest premier of a virtual reality film named “Lost” at Sundance Film Festival. This immersive cinema release is the first project out of Story Studio, a new in-house production arm of Facebook’s Oculus that aims to help filmmakers sort out how to produce VR projects.
The project is led by former Pixar Animation Studios vets and is a great move by Oculus’ Story Studio who until recently, had only created a division focused on developing games for their head mounted displays this year.
Virtual reality is still a new experimental medium for content creators and Oculus is keen to help the film industry deal with the technical as well as conceptual elements of developing VR cinema projects.
Although Story Studio is primarily focused on animated storytelling for now, the introduction of VR into hands of more creators will drive innovation in experimenting with live action.
The latest announcement is getting a ton of buzz in the VR and cinema industries with the introduction of key Pixar talent. Saschka Unseld will be Story Studio’s creative director. A former Pixar cinematographer, Unseld directed the Pixar’s short film, “The Blue Umbrella.” Maxwell Planck, is Story Studio’s supervising technical director, who spent the past decade at Pixar solving the company’s creative technical problems behind “Cars,” “Wall-E,” “Up,” “Brave and “Monsters University.” Edward Saatchi serves as a producer.
“Lost” is based on a story of a giant robot lost in the woods. The viewer will be able to crouch as they watch this robot find its way in the woods. The viewer will also be able to explore 360-degree environments around them. The story is designed in a way that it can be paused depending on what the viewer is looking at in the film.
Story Studio already has several other projects in development, including “Bullfighter,” in which viewers come face to face with a raging bull; the comedic “Henry”; and “Dear Angelica,” which places audiences in an illustration.
Oculus is hoping that the content will be ready for people soon and will be available for Oculus Rift and other headsets in market hopefully by the end of this year.