So far Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) creator Oculus VR has largely associated its technology with videogames. The company recently released its first internally-developed project in HeroBound: First Steps and intends to keep on working on titles with Head of Studios Jason Rubin. However this week sees Oculus make its first steps into what it calls ‘VR cinema’ with the announcement of a new internal team, Oculus Story Studio. The group’s first 360 degree film, Lost, has also been unveiled.
As The Verge reports, Lost is a five-minute real-time computer generated piece that runs on the Crescent Bay prototype of the Oculus Rift. Directed by former Pixar animator Saschka Unseld, the experience allows viewers to interact in some ways, altering the story and ultimately the running time. The film will be one display throughout the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, USA this week. In fact, Oculus VR has already launched an Oculus Studio Story app on both iOS and Android allowing those attending the event to register for a slot to see it in person.
As for Oculus Story Studio, the company reportedly has around 10 people working in the team. Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe reasoned that the division was formed after the company started showcasing the Oculus Rift to members of the Hollywood community, quickly realising that it didn’t have any of its own content to showcase the potential of VR filmmaking. The team plans to stay small so that it can easily adapt to changes in the technology and how that might affect how VR films are created.
Oculus Story Studio could certainly prove to be a hugely important announcement from the company in the weeks and months to come. For now, it reveals a company that’s plans are starting to evolve from the videogame beginnings it originally attached itself to and into the full blown platform that many know VR will become. VRFocus will continue to follow Oculus Story Studio and its projects, reporting back with any further updates.