The deadCenter Film Festival is names for its location in the very heart of Oklahoma City, and has become the largest film festival in Oklahoma. The festival first offered a virtual reality (VR) line-up in 2017 with its VR Lounge, which attracted a great deal of positive feedback. The 2018 event went much further with a full technology conference called techCenter, which focussed on VR, augmented reality (AR) and other cutting edge tech such as drones.
The deadCenter festival is now opening its calls for the 2019 festival, and the event organisers are keen to offer more in the way of VR and AR experiences.
Lance McDaniel, deadCenter executive director, says that it is only very recently that creators have begun to get the grips with how to effectively tell stories in VR, saying: “We’ve been going to Sundance (Film Festival) for eight years and seeing tons of virtual reality, but it never felt like storytelling. It always felt like the immersive environment. So, it was only the last couple of years that I felt like filmmakers have really started figuring out how to enhance storytelling and not just create these beautiful worlds,” McDaniel said. “We look at deadCenter as a storytelling festival through film.”
McDaniel says that Kim Voyner, the CEO and founder of WonderTek Labs was crucial in ensuring that deadCenter could offer rich immersive storytelling in VR: “A lot of the content that has been available feels very early demo, content of an emerging tech, which is what it’s been,” Said Voyner, “For me, the fact that we had content that’s as mature as it is to share in 2018, to be able to show at deadCenter, is really remarkable.”
“People are interested in virtual reality, but I think part of it is that people are interested in what’s new, what’s next, what’s happening,” said McDaniel, “But I give Kim Voynar tons of credit because when she programmed our virtual cinema last year, she was so inspiring to me personally that I raised the money and went out and did a virtual reality film.”
Further information about the deadCenter Film Festival and its submissions process can be found on the official deadCenter website. For future coverage on VR-related events, keep checking back with VRFocus.