The team behind the planned ‘immersive cinema’ film, Blue Highway, have announced that they have moved into pre-production. To be directed by best-selling author, photo-artist and filmmaker, David Marlett (who also penned the screenplay), the film will be crafted to be viewed from within virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMDs), such as the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, or the forthcoming Sony Project Morpheus.
Blue Highway tells the tale of two strangers who pass each other on a lonely highway and are each pulled over and taken to an isolated police station where they’re interrogated about a murder that maybe one or both of them committed.
“The audience will feel as though they’re in the scenes with the actors,” said Marlett. “They’ll be able to look anywhere, a full 360 degrees, up, down, all around. They’ll be ‘there’. It is ‘cinemersia’, an experience unlike anything you’ve had before, and it’s a great fit for Blue Highway.”
Blue Highway has purportedly been written to take advantage of the unique features a VR film can benefit from as well as being designed to avoid the many pitfalls. For example, the film is be largely of a close and intimate nature, with limited locations and a small number of a characters. Plans changed this year when the sale of Oculus to Facebook for $2 Billion grabbed headlines.
“It was an a-ha moment, when it all came together,” said Marlett. “Blue Highway was the perfect material for this new media form.”
Marlett acknowledged that though the technological hurdles are abundant, they being conquered quickly, including; “the virtual sickness issues, and the perfection of a camera (rig of cameras) that will capture 4K, 3D, at 80+fps in 360 degrees spherically, with a manageable digital workflow. We know that by the time we finish our trial work and re-engineering of elements such a blocking, close-quarter acting, production design and so forth, the camera tech will be ready. In fact, we welcome tech companies to work with us to help perfect their gear.”
Blue Highway is currently undergoing a Kickstarter campaign for some of the early tech needed, and discussions regarding collaborations with both industry players and academic departments are also underway. If all goes as planned, the producers anticipate principal photography could commence as early as June, 2015. VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest details on Blue Highway and other forthcoming VR motion-picture productions.