Last week VRFocus reported on the 74th Venice Film Festival (VFF) taking place this summer in Italy. As with a lot of film festivals around the world, the event will also be home to several virtual reality (VR) films with three set to premiere, Melita, Snatch and The Argos File.
Melita is a 20-minute animation created by Future Lighthouse. Consisting of three parts, with the second and third still in the development, Melita tells the story of two strong female characters on their quest to save humanity due to climate change’s irreparable damage to Earth.
“What really sets this apart from other VR experiences is a combination of cinematic movement, character development, actors, and dialogue,” said Nicolás Alcalá, director Melita and CEO of Future Lighthouse. “The experience pushes the boundaries of VR cinematic narratives and visually appears as though the viewer has been placed inside any of your favorite animation films”
The Argos File is a VR proof of concept create by Cinaptic in collaboration with Future Lighthouse and Magnopus. The film is an interactive, live-action VR experience integrating 360-degree stereoscopic footage and cinema-quality visual effects where find themselves as a detective solving a murder by exploring the recorded memories of the victim.
As a first-person experience The Argos File incorporates augmented reality (AR) overlays to add extra layers of engagement for viewers whilst featuring a mockup of future intuitive controls allowing users to rewind, pause, and fast-forward the memories.
“We wanted to imagine a world that took our most complex fears about the modern age, and explore it within the intimate, sensory-overload experience of VR,” said Joshua Rubin, writer and co-creator of The Argos File. “What do we become as a culture when every moment we experience is saved and shareable, and in constant danger of being hacked?”
“The different elements allow viewers to piece together emotionally-charged fragments to solve the mystery, and understand the context of the main character’s final moments,” said Josema Roig, director of Argos. “This truly explores what VR really is, and addresses the question of who am I? Why am I here? Why should I care?”
Lastly there’s the Snatch VR Heist Experience featuring Harry Potter star Rupert Grint. An off-shoot of Sony Pictures Television’s Crackle programme Snatch which first aired last year, the experience transports viewers into the middle of a safe-cracking diamond heist alongside Grint, Luke Pasqualino, Lucien Laviscount, and Phoebe Dynevor.
“VR gives the viewer power and controls over the outcome,” said Future Lighthouse CEO Nicolas Alcala. “Our goal is to teleport you alongside Rupert Grint and his thieving friends to make you feel the adrenaline of the heist. We want the viewers to have agency over where they want this caper to go.”
The experience is platform agnostic, and currently available on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and Samsung Gear VR.
For further VFF updates keep reading VRFocus.