Have you got a Samsung Gear VR handy? If so, you are in total luck, because what seems like one of the most exciting VR ventures is about to hit the web. It is made by Skybound Entertainment (the creators of The Walking Dead TV show) and Samsung. Going by the name of “Gone”, this VR show aims to kickstart a new type of content. It is media made for VR, not transformed to it.
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So, what exactly is “Gone”? In a nutshell, it’s some kind of virtual reality show. No, it’s not a game. You won’t be making your choices or controlling the characters. The user is pretty much a follower and engulfs himself in the environment, story and feelings.
The story will revolve around a couple and their little girl, who happens to disappear (hence the name “Gone”). Director of media development Rachel Skidmore explains that “the plot here is centered around how quickly someone can disappear. This little girl goes missing in broad daylight, and her mother’s life spirals into a personal investigation.”
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Clips are cut off in 6-minute pieces of content recorded in 360-degree video. This means you can turn your head around to look at everything around you. The scenes are recorded in beautiful scenery and interesting locations, with clues hidden along the way. There’s also hotspots (glowing things) you will see from time to time. These allow you to look at the story from another perspective.
I can’t wait to see what Gone is all about. It certainly sounds like an interesting experience many of us have never quite witnessed. For starters, it’s a new medium altogether. It’s not like you could put this show in a TV or theater, right? And it creates a level of involvement and interaction that changes your whole understanding of the narrative. What if you miss an important clue because you didn’t look all the way behind you at a key point of the movie?
This is why the team decided to make the show a little slower. You are experiencing things in real time, so it takes a while for things to happen, giving you enough time to look around and explore. The hope is that people will get involved in the story and hopefully re-watch it, just in case they miss anything.
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Recording this movie is also said to have a whole suite of challenges. Remember these scenes are recorded in 360-degree video, so where does the camera crew go? Skidmore mentions the need to hide behind bushes and other odd things. Pretty interesting, right?
Want in? Samsung Gear VR users will be able to get “Gone” from Samsung’s Milk VR service. Sadly, us Google Cardboard users won’t be able to enjoy it just yet, but I suppose that is the privilege of paying for the Gear VR and sticking with Samsung’s platform. Maybe it will spread to other VR platforms soon enough! We will have to wait and see.