Over the past couple of years, film festivals have become more accepting of immersive and interactive storytelling mediums, such as virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree film. Further demonstrating just how far immersive cinema has come, the prestigious New York Film Festival will premiere its first VR Cinema experience by showing interactive VR thriller Fire Escape.
Fire Escape draws inspiration from the work of Hitchcock to create a VR experience where the audience is perched atop a fire escape, making choices about which neighbour to spy on, until unexpected revelations come to light.
The cinematic VR experience was created to add and interactive element to the usually passive act of watching a movie. Players watch over a Brooklyn apartment complex from a fire escape, idly texting a friend and watching or listening in on conversations until it transpires that a murder has taken place. From there, the player’s choices become increasingly vital as they become entangled in what could be a dangerous web of crime as suspicion.
Thirty New York Festival attendees will be able to don a Lenovo Mirage VR headset in order to engage with the experience using the Mirage controller. A Q&A session and group discussion with the creators of the experience will be available after the screening.
Fire Escape is the creation of iNK Stories, a creative studio that recently won the Tribeca Film Festival Storyscape Award for Best Immersive and is best known for its work on 1979 Revolution: Black Friday and HERO.
The New York Film Festival is set to run from 28th September to 14th October. A press preview of Fire Escape will be held on 5th October, followed by showings 11th-13th October. Further information and tickets can be found on the New York Film Festival website.
For future coverage of new and upcoming VR projects, keep checking back with VRFocus.