The film industry is big business and while some are looking at virtual reality (VR) with trepidation others are looking at the enormous possibilities the technology has for bringing a new era to filmmaking. Shorts films like Henry from Oculus Story Studios are paving the way for longer future projects, and now a VR feature film is launching this August for the Samsung Gear VR head-mounted display (HMD).
Titled Manslaughter the film is possibly the first feature film made in VR, and is written and directed by David Marlett, author of the 2014 best selling novel, Fortunate Son. Created with the help of CineMersia, EditVR and dsky, the feature film has been made specifically for the Gear VR, where viewers are brought into a world of a killer, letting them choose how the story unfolds depending on where they’re looking.
In production notes Marlett made available to Fast Company he wrote about his inspiration for the film: “I was (and still am) working to get to direct a remake of THX 1138 as a VR film,” adding, “In that process, I was looking to film just the white void torture scene as a proof of concept. But lacking authorization at the time to do so, I became…inspired by the idea of telling a story in VR in such a white 360 [degree] space….to place you right in the middle of scenes playing out all around you in an unsettling shell of whiteness.”
The film hasn’t been shot in 360 degree video with VR cameras, but with RED Dragons, at 6K and 60FPS, so Marlett could experiment by placing four separate scenes side by side to let the viewer decide how they want to absorb the story.
To see for yourself, Manslaughter will be released on Samsungs VR platform Milk VR on 18th August 2015, and VRFocus will continue to report on the latest releases for the Gear VR as they’re announced.