The first commercially available virtual reality devices appeared in the early 90s. In the last decade of the millennium, VR invited to enter the future but the technology of that time did not match up, hence it was consigned to research only. Let us move forward 20 years into the second decade of the 21st century, when a group of gamers in pursuit of more and more immersive experiences propose not only to bring this technology back but also to develop VR in order to make it more precise, comfortable and, most of all, affordable and ready to enter the market. VR devices are being tentatively introduced in the home, and a handful of audiovisual production companies are betting on this new medium beyond video games, creating sensory experiences, exploring genres such as documentary, testing interactive possibilities and, most of all, creating new rules of storytelling since the audiovisual language that has been used for over 100 years in cinema and television no longer works for a brand new medium that is taking its first steps while we have the privilege of observe in front row seats.
Three of these companies that bet on this new medium are Marshmallow Laser Feast (a British company specialised in creating interactive and immersive experiences, and creators of ‘In the Eyes of the Animals’, an outstanding VR experiences that was premiered this year at the Sundance Film Festival), Wevr, (a US company focused on entertainment of all kinds and creators of transport, a platform for VR production and distribution, and Penrose Studios, the creators of Allumette, a company totally devoted to VR, run by a team of professionals that have forged their expertise in such companies as Dreamworks, Pixar and Oculus VR.
In The New Frontiers of VR Storytelling, Barney Steel, cofounder of Marshmallow Laser Feast, Sam Margolius, producer of Run The Jewels “Crown” and Jimmy Maidens, supervising technical director at Penrose Studios will talk of the challenges when it comes to come up with this new language. This talk will be moderated by filmmaker and Realities+D curator Jeremy Boxer.