samsung gear vr first look aa (5 of 9)

To paraphrase the folks at Oculus, virtual reality could end up having an equally, if not bigger impact on films than it will on games. Samsung also seems to share similar visions for VR, as it has announced three new virtual reality experiences scheduled for this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Samsung’s new cinematic VR experiences have been developed by Felix & Paul Studios and were created using live action 3D 360 degree recording technology. Each of these short films will be shown off through Samsung’s Gear VR headset at the festival’s New Frontier exhibition from January 23rd to February 1st.

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Here’s a brief summary about each of the short films, taken from the press release:

  • The World Première of Herders – Mongolian pastoral herders are one of the world’s last remaining nomadic cultures. For millennia they have lived on the steppes, grazing their livestock on the grasslands. Through a series of virtual reality experiences, the viewer is invited into the reality of a nomadic family of yak herders. (7 minutes)
  • Wild – The Experience – Fox Searchlight and the Fox Innovation Lab present this virtual reality experience drawing from the film Wild. Viewers enter a fully immersive media environment to join an intimate moment on the Pacific Crest Trail between a woman, Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon), and her mother, Bobbi (Laura Dern), a vision from the afterlife. (3 minutes)
  • Strangers with Patrick Watson – Viewers are invited to spend an intimate moment with the musician in his Montréal studio on a winter’s day. (5 minutes)

Virtual reality may still in its infancy as an artistic medium, but there is plenty of potential to create new and interesting interactive experiences, through both games and film. We could certainly see more of this type of experience in the future, as VR continues to grow.

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Samsung is heading to Park City to showcase content from Felix & Paul Studios on the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition powered by the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Recognizing the crossroads of film, art, and media technology as a hotbed for cinematic innovation, New Frontier is a venue showcasing innovative media installations and panel discussions that explore the expansion of cinema culture in today’s rapidly changing media landscape.

As part of this year’s exhibition, taking place from January 23 – February 1, attendees will find themselves immersed in the three cinematic virtual reality experiences created by Felix & Paul Studios, using Samsung’s Gear VR technology:

· The World Première of Herders – Mongolian pastoral herders are one of the world’s last remaining nomadic cultures. For millennia they have lived on the steppes, grazing their livestock on the grasslands. Through a series of virtual reality experiences, the viewer is invited into the reality of a nomadic family of yak herders. (7 minutes)

· Wild – The Experience – Fox Searchlight and the Fox Innovation Lab present this virtual reality experience drawing from the film Wild. Viewers enter a fully immersive media environment to join an intimate moment on the Pacific Crest Trail between a woman, Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon), and her mother, Bobbi (Laura Dern), a vision from the afterlife. (3 minutes)

· Strangers with Patrick Watson – Viewers are invited to spend an intimate moment with the musician in his Montréal studio on a winter’s day. (5 minutes)

Felix & Paul Studios is currently focused on the development of original narrative and non-narrative virtual reality experiences in collaboration with a range of leaders in the entertainment and virtual reality industries. The program will be available to experience at New Frontier, located on the top two floors of the historic Claim Jumper, at 573 Main Street in Park City. Admission to all New Frontier installations is free.
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