It’s already been a big week for virtual reality (VR) filmmaking. The 2015 Sundance Film Festival is currently taking place in Park City, Utah, USA with a wide range of VR projects on display while Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) creator Oculus VR has announced its own VR film division, Oculus Story Studio. Now film-focused crowd-funding platform Seed&Spark and VR technology platform Wemo.io are launching a new grant program aimed at getting diverse, independent filmmakers involved with VR technology as quickly as possible.
The grant program is to be presented at the Sundance Film Festival today at the Seed&Spark Debutante Ball at 11:30am PST. Following its announcement, filmmakers will be able to submit applications for 2 – 5 minute projects seeking funding and production. The amount of money issued will depend on the project itself, with applications reviewed on a rolling basis. The organisers hope to begin production on the chosen entry in early March 2015, with the success filmmaker also receiving support in the form of equipment loans, on-set coaching, post-production services and more.
“Getting independent storytellers comfortable with immersive storytelling is essential to realizing the dream of VR and making it a new entertainment medium,” Wemo.io co-founder Anthony Batt said of the program, which aims to create content for a broader audience. “Never before have filmmakers been able to get so close to walking in someone else’s shoes. Stories told in the immersive space can have an incredible impact on audiences. Accordingly, the more diverse the stories, the greater the empathic space we grow and share.”
The program is currently invitation-only, although filmmakers can reach out to Seed&Spark at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information. VRFocus will continue to follow this program closely, reporting back with any further updates.