Virtual reality (VR) is a new medium which allows an array of creative talent to challenge the way we experience art. Whether it’s something as simple as an IMAX-style experience at home, or completely changing your viewpoint so that you’re a part of the film itself, moving between characters and breaking free of the frame.
VR has become an important part of every major film festival, and I’m excited that Viveport has become the go-to destination for film festivals. We’ve worked with the BFI London Film Festival, New Images, Raindance, IDFA, Stereopsia, Venice, and many more.
The Venice Film Festival felt like another landmark last year. The judging panel was comprised of three incredible names, one of the most exciting line-ups I’ve seen to date.
Celine Tricart led the panel – she’s a pioneer in VR and has rightly won awards at every major festival, including last year’s Venice Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for Best Immersive VR. Celine’s work is captivating and pushes the boundaries every time.
Asif Kapadia joined Celine. Asif has an amazing catalogue of work and is the director of acclaimed documentaries, Senna, Amy, and Diego Maradona – if you haven’t seen them, I urge you to track them down. He is a master of storytelling, demonstrated beautifully in everything he does, so it’s great to see such an artist join the panel.
The final judge was Hideo Kojima. A legend who has helped to change how videogames are made and experienced, and make the world recognise the art of storytelling in games. Kojima-san has previously spoken about his hopes for VR, and how it has great potential for creators.
Having such a visionary panel is a great cause for optimism for the future, VR is attracting the top talent from across the world, and is only going to get better.
Hardware and content creation is also getting easier and more intuitive every day. In the past, we’ve seen VR used to help create major motion pictures like Ready Player One and John Wick – helpful in production and direction. New technology is always coming through to help high-end film making to be even more accessible, and things like face-tracking and physical trackers keep breaking down the barriers for techniques like motion capture.
And as you see with the Venice Film Festival there are more and more people creating content for VR, not just with VR. The genius mind behind The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau, also released Gnomes & Goblins this year – another new way to experience storytelling in VR.
I’ve talked about the film industry a lot, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Last year also saw the Victoria & Albert Museum in London launch its first VR experience, with Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser, supported by Vive. Icelandic artist Kristjana S. Williams was commissioned to create new content for the exhibition, and Vive/PRELOADED to create a sensational immersive experience. It was the first time the prestigious museum had experimented with a VR-based exhibition and another brilliant example of how new technology can be used to share stories.
And let’s not forget the fashion show with RYOT and the Fashion Innovation Agency at the London College of Fashion, helping the next generation of talent to explore their creativity. Unencumbered by the limitations of physics, they designed some truly stunning work which changes how you think about fashion.
2021 is going to be another amazing year for content creators, and I can’t wait to see what they dream up next.