Top Virtual Reality filming projects for 2017
Ahead of next month’s Virtual Reality Summit in London, KFTV takes a look at ten of the year’s most notable Virtual Reality projects, as selected by our readers.
The one-day Summit takes place in London on 5 December and will explore the potential for VR, Augmented Reality and mixed-reality across the creative industries.
Attendees will have access to key industry content creators from Google, Sony, Microsoft, Vice, Sky and the BBC, who will discuss the influence of immersive content.
To find out more, and to book tickets click here.
Top VR projects
Alien: Covenant in Utero
In Utero was made to promote Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror Alien: Covenant. The film allows the user to experience a key scene from the film, but from the unusual perspective of an alien being ‘born’.
The production involved multiple partners, including FoxNext VR Studio, RSA VR and visual effects company MPC.
Director David Karlak will be at the Virtual Reality Summit to talk about the project in person.
Chernobyl VR Project
Produced by The Farm 51 in Poland, the Chernobyl VR Project offers users the ability to explore the site of the former Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in northern Ukraine, which was devastated by a nuclear accident in 1986. The nearby city of Pripyat remains a radioactive ghost town.
The Chernobyl VR Project combines videogame mechanics with educational and movie narrative software to explore both the remains of the power plant itself and Pripyat, which was home to just under 50,000 people when it was evacuated.
The Protectors: A Walk in the Ranger’s Shoes
The Protectors is a 12-minute VR documentary following a day in the life of rangers in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo as they seek to protect the region’s wildlife from poachers. It’s a dangerous job, with 19 rangers having been killed in the park since 2006.
The project was co-created by filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow and VR creator Imraan Ismail, and production involved US and UK-based VR specialist Here Be Dragons.
Draw Me Close: A Memoir
Draw Me Close uses VR with live performance and animation to explore the relationship between a mother and her son following the former’s terminal cancer diagnosis. Canadian playwright and director Jordan Tannahill partnered with the National Theatre and National Film Board Canada on the project.
Carne y Arena
Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Carne y Arena (Flesh and Sand) uses first-hand research and interviews to recreate the immigrant experience from Central America through Mexico to the US border.
The experience places users in the middle of desert scrubland on the US-Mexico border and in the centre of confrontations with border police.
Float: A Cinematic VR Experience: It
Made to mark the release of this year’s hugely successful horror movie It (pictured), SunnyBoy Entertainment’s accompanying VR experience plays off the film’s creepily effective tagline (“You’ll float too”).
The experience allows users to explore the frightening sewers where demonic clown Pennywise dwells in the movie during his child murder spree.
Sea Prayer is an animated VR film that takes the form of a letter delivered as a monologue from a Syrian father to his young son on the eve of an attempted sea crossing to Europe.
The film was made to commemorate the second anniversary of the death of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old boy who died trying to cross the Mediterranean to Greece in 2015.
Sea Prayer was written by Khaled Hosseini, a goodwill ambassador for the UNHCR, and was made by the Guardian’s in-house VR team with VR artist Liz Edwards.
Space Descent VR
Screening in the UK, the 12-minute short Space Descent VR puts the user in a Soyuz capsule to get a feel for the 400 km journey from the International Space Station back to Earth.
Produced by Alchemy VR, it’s the same trip experienced by British astronaut Tim Peake, and the former astronaut narrates the film.
Produced by Dark Corner Studios, Mule is a six-minute VR short where viewers experience the final minutes of a dying man’s life.
Made by Danish VR studio Makropol, Doom Room begins with groups of six people blindfolded in a performance space and goes on to explore ideas of spiritual reawakening. Users are offered an abstract VR experience of clubbing culture, death, religious iconography and a subsequent resurrection.