How Do Two Live One Life? VR Playhouse Introduces The Surrogate

As we’ve seen with increasing regularity the idea of using virtual reality (VR) to tell a different kind of immersive story is becoming more and more common place. Sometimes these come in the form of a videogame such as Artifact 5’s intreguing title Anamorphine which is due to come out in the near future. We’ve also seen creatives turn to VR to help craft their messages in more cinematic experiences and we’ve seen many times on the site all manner of topic covered in pieces for the likes of the Sundance Film Festival and Raindance Film Festival.

The Surrogate - ScreenshotToday’s news comes from Los Angeles, California. Home of VR Playhouse, a full-service production company and creative studio that specialises in creating new worlds in immersive media – both VR and augmented reality (AR). Founded by Christina Heller and Ian Forester, the latter of whom recently discussed his ideas for which industries will drive VR’s growth in 2018. The company have produced a broad range of prodjects, some of which we have previously featured on VRFocus.com. Everything from music videos to commercial tie-ups with the likes of Toyota.

Today the team announce a brand new VR experience by Creator and Director Peter Flaherty and Producer
Logan Brown which fuses 360 degree video with a CG environment to produce a look into how technology affects our everyday inter-personal relationships. Produced in a way that, according to the studio, channels the same attitude to contemporary storytelling as popular series Black Mirror.

Called The Surrogate, viewers enter the life of Juliana Bach who after being immersed in a world now overflowing with VR and AR experiences has now started suffering from anxiety from it all. The player takes on the role of a surrogate who Bach has hired to live her ‘physical’ life for her, and now she guides the player as they explore an old house Bach once shared with her former husband. Where you go in the twisting maze of rooms beyond the facade of a modern home is up to you – but how are two people supposed to live one life without living it together?

The Surrogate - Screenshot
“I wanted to take a different approach to how we are dealing with this kind of immersive technology as a storytelling tool by offering the viewer a story that combines cinematic live action with an interactive environment,” explains Flaherty. “The technology inspired me to tell a story that looks ahead to what our shared cultural future may hold in the coming years. I wanted to communicate how powerful this exciting new technology is, but how overwhelming it could be to live in a world proliferated with layered media.”

You can find a preview of the work on the Oculus Store, VRFocus will have more about the work being done by VR Playhouse and other creative studios with the VR medium very soon.