VR Filmmakers Explore New Platforms at Sundance Festival

At the Sundance Film Festival, there was evidence that that some of the pioneering virtual reality companies are expanding — or shifting — their purview from VR movies into other genres. Sundance’s New Frontier program, which launched five years ago, highlighted VR filmmaking. At this year’s festival, long-time VR producers such as Felix & Paul are still engaging in virtual reality projects, but others are exploring augmented reality, connected devices and artificial intelligence in their interactive stories. Continue reading VR Filmmakers Explore New Platforms at Sundance Festival

Sundance Festival VR Offerings Include Sensory Experiences

At the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, the New Frontier exhibit features 20 VR experiences and 11 installations touting the latest in technology, with new VR headsets, haptic controllers and even vibrating suits. The Synesthesia Suit, with its 26 vibrating actuators, was created by a Japanese team and Tetsuya Mizuguchi, who, 15 years ago, created a “trance vibrator” accessory for his Sega Dreamcast game “Rez.” Now, in Enhance Games’ “Rez Infinite,” the Synesthesia Suit wearer “feels” the game, flying through cyberspace to a techno beat. Continue reading Sundance Festival VR Offerings Include Sensory Experiences

NBA, Oculus Release 25-Minute VR “Story of the NBA Finals’

Oculus, the NBA and a production company called m ss ng p eces (as in “missing pieces”) just released a 25-minute virtual reality film, “Follow My Lead: The Story of the 2016 NBA Finals.” About the dramatic game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, the film, narrated by actor Michael B. Jordan, is the NBA’s first major VR effort. Previously, in early 2015, the NBA worked with Samsung to create 360-degree videos, and the Cavaliers’ LeBron James starred in a VR short produced by Felix & Paul. Continue reading NBA, Oculus Release 25-Minute VR “Story of the NBA Finals’

Vrse Changes its Name to Within and Raises More VC Money

VR company Vrse has changed its name to Within and received $12.56 million in funding, led by venture firm Andreessen Horowitz. Other Within investors include 21st Century Fox and Annapurna Pictures. This is just the latest example of the huge sums that VR and AR companies have been able to garner. Magic Leap raised $793.5 million earlier this year, and Disney spearheaded a $65 million round for VR firm Jaunt. Comcast also led a $6.8 million Series A funding round in VR studio Felix & Paul. Continue reading Vrse Changes its Name to Within and Raises More VC Money

Facebook Pushes 360 Videos, Both Branded and Independent

Facebook, which has begun to build VR-like 360-degree videos into its site, now allows users to enjoy a true VR experience on the Samsung Gear VR. The company also launched a microsite to provide potential 360 filmmakers with best practices, guidelines and FAQs. VR producers, Vrse’s Chris Milk and Aaron Koplin also show the best way to make immersive video. Facebook has jumped into VR to stay fresh and, while offering users a chance to enjoy VR, also add some juice to its own VmaRketing. Continue reading Facebook Pushes 360 Videos, Both Branded and Independent

VR Reigns in New Frontier Category at Sundance Film Festival

In the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier exhibition, virtual reality is making a strong showing with 11 VR installations at this year’s festival. The projects range from a high-flying experience through the skies of San Francisco to a first-person perspective of a college assault as well as a number of compelling examples regarding how news gathering and documentary storytelling is evolving. The technology is advancing so rapidly that creators already have new ideas about how to produce the content. Continue reading VR Reigns in New Frontier Category at Sundance Film Festival