Oculus VR is getting into the movie-making industry. The Facebook-owned company has created an in-house division called Oculus Story Studio tasked with researching and creating virtual reality movies. Its first film, a short called Lost, is debuting this week at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Lost is described as a real-time computer generated virtual reality experience designed for the current Oculus Rift prototype. The short runs anywhere from a few minutes to up to 10 minutes in length. Why the variation, you ask?
The length of the film depends completely on the viewer. Lost isn’t simply a static experience; it’s evolves and reacts to the viewer, changing the pace of the storytelling depending on what actions the viewer takes.
The idea for Story Studio came about almost by chance. Investor Marc Andreessen urged Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe to show the company’s VR technology to Hollywood. Acting on the recommendation, Iribe met with a major Hollywood director who immediately took to the tech and wanted to make movies with it.
The problem is that Oculus VR didn’t know anything about the filmmaking business or how its technology could be used. Hence, Oculus Story Studio was born.
When Facebook purchased Oculus VR, several suspected the company’s gaming roots would eventually fall by the wayside. As we’ve continued to watch the company struggle with finding an input solution that makes sense and given today’s announcement, those deep-seated fears are slowly becoming reality.