Virtual reality (VR) as an entertainment medium is still relatively young, at least speaking of this more modern generation of the technology. One of the areas where it developing at pace is in the field of cinematography. Both the hardware and that being created with it has developed leaps and bounds in only a few years. Major film festivals such as the Raindance and Sundance film festivals, Vancouver International Film Festival, Venice Film Festival and more have made a focus of VR. Moving from individual tasters to full on established sections of their shows.
And, of course, there have been a number of VR experiences that have achieved high praise and critical acclaim. Yesterday however a VR installation scored a major first and a landmark moment for the industry by securing a first ever Oscar, and a special honorary Oscar at that.
It was awarded to the production Carne y Arena, which premiered at another film festival taking a growing interest in VR, the Cannes Film Festival, earlier this year. Carne y Arena is a seven minute follows immigrants from Mexico as they look to cross the border into America and attain a better life for themselves. The audience is able to not only follow the overall tale of those featured but are also able to follow any one of the characters throughout.
It which was produced by Mary Parent, the Vice Chairman of Legendary Entertainment, and was officially selected by four-time Oscar winner, Alejandro G. Iñarritu (The Revenant, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), 21 Grams) and a three-time Oscar winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (Y Tu Mamá También, Children of Men, Gravity).
The film was also praised by the President of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, with Carne y Arena “opens for us new doors of cinematic perception” according to John Bailey
Those who want to experience Carne y Arena can do so at a number of art houses and cultural centres around the world. It’s currently on display at the Tlatelolco Cultural Center in Mexico City and the Fondazione Prada in Milan whilst Americans can be immersed in the film at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It is also set to be brought to China in the near future according to plans by Legendary Entertainment’s parent the Wanda Group.
As things develop further in the world of VR film VRFocus will keep you right up to date with all that is going on.