Category Archives: Film Festivals

Gymnasia VR Review: Unique and Creepy Stop-Motion Puppetry

Gymnasia, the latest project from Felix & Paul Studios, recently debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. It’s also available for viewing at home on Oculus VR headsets, for the price of $4.99.

Clocking in at around six minutes, this short film is strange but engaging, presented in a gothic style that is creepy but not scary. Fans of Tim Burton will definitely enjoy the experience, but it’s worth seeing by anyone interested in cinematic VR and/or animated films.

Although there is not much of a plot, this VR experience is very atmospheric and effective. Set in an abandoned school gymnasium, creepy music plays while children’s shadows appear on the walls around you. Soon a basketball starts bouncing on its own, followed by many more of them, as their sounds reverberate from the walls. Eventually, you are introduced to a pair of animated dolls dressed in gothic outfits, who engage in a bizarre musical performance.

Gymnasia

As with any stop-motion projects, it’s clear that a lot of time and creative energy was spent on this project. The attention to detail of the miniatures is remarkable, and VR enables a close-up view of the artistry at work. I only wish it was longer, with more of a story. Hopefully there will be more to come in the future.

Here is a behind the scenes look at the making of this project:

More information is available at the Oculus Store:

Step into the stillness of an abandoned school and enter GYMNASIA, a place where the ghostly ephemera of a lost childhood await you. Recall the particular sights and sounds of a child’s world through the echoes of ball games, school lessons and choir recitals. GYMNASIA reanimates the memories of those forgotten days.

This ground-breaking, cinematic VR experience is the first collaboration between the National Film Board of Canada, Felix & Paul Studios and Clyde Henry Productions. Blending 3D 360-degree video, stop-motion, miniatures and CGI, GYMNASIA pushes the art of puppet animation into uncharted territory. The first VR experience to induce the elusive anxiety that occurs when the lines between what’s real and unreal are blurred beyond belief, GYMNASIA is a dark dream–unsettling and weirdly wonderful. Duration: 6 minutes 29 seconds.

 

Roy Kachur is a Media Technologist, IT Architect, and VR Evangelist. He has worked in the information technology field since the 1990’s, and in the media industry since 2014. He believes that VR will play a significant role in the future of media.

 

Immersive VR Experiences Planned for London’s Raindance Film Festival

This year’s Raindance Film Festival (to be held in London from September 26 to October 7) will offer 33 Virtual Reality (VR) experiences across multiple categories:

Raindance Immersive Stories: 7 Miracles | World Premiere

  • 7 MIRACLES, the world’s first feature-length cinematic VR experience | Nominated for Grand Jury Prize: Best Immersive Story | Running on VIVE Focus stand-alone VR headset

Raindance Interactive Worlds: VR Games

  • TRANSFERENCE | 30 mins | UK Premiere | Nominated for Grand Jury Prize: Best Immersive Story and Best Interactive Narrative Experience awards | HTC VIVE Pro
  • THE ARCHIVIST | 25 mins | World Premiere | Nominated for Best Interactive Narrative Experience and Best Debut Experience awards | Oculus Rift
  • AWAKE: EPISODE ONE | 20 mins | UK Premiere | Nominated for Best Interactive Narrative Experience award | HTC VIVE Pro
  • INSIDE TUMUCUMAQUE | 15 mins | International Premiere | Nominated for Best Documentary Experience award | HTC VIVE Pro
  • KOBOLD | 30 mins | UK Premiere | Nominated for Best Interactive Narrative Experience award | Oculus Rift

Raindance Immersive Stories: Animated VR Experiences 

  • ARDEN’S WAKE: TIDE’S FALL | 30 mins | UK Premiere | Nominated for Grand Jury Prize: Best Immersive Story and Best Animation Experience awards | Oculus Rift
  • MADRID NOIR – PROLOGUE | 5 mins | World Premiere | Nominated for Best Animation Experience and Best Debut Experience awards | Oculus Rift
  • UMAMI | 15 mins | UK Premiere | Nominated for Best Interactive Narrative Experience award | Oculus Rift
  • CROW: THE LEGEND | 20 mins | UK Premiere | Nominated for Grand Jury Prize: Best Immersive Story and Best Animation Experience awards | Oculus Rift
  • SHENNONG: TASTE OF ILLUSION | 8 mins | UK Premiere | Nominated for Best Animation Experience award | Oculus Rift
  • TRAIL OF ANGELS | 18 mins | UK Premiere | Nominated for Best Debut Experience award | Oculus Rift

Raindance Immersive Stories: 360º Films

  • DINNER PARTY | 13 mins | UK Premiere | Nominated for Best Cinematic Experience award | Oculus Go
  • KING OF INFINITE SPACE | 6 mins | World Premiere | Nominated for Best Cinematic Experience award | Oculus Go
  • JUDI DENCH: MY OAK TREE VR | 4 mins | World Premiere | Nominated for British Award: Best UK Experience award | Oculus Go
  • THE EVOLUTION OF TESTICLES | 6 mins | International Premiere | Nominated for Best Social Impact Experience award | Oculus Go
  • THE DAIRY INDUSTRY | 6 mins | World Premiere | Nominated for Best Social Impact Experience award | Oculus Go
  • MY AFRICA | 9 mins | European Premiere | Nominated for Best Social Impact Experience award | Oculus Go
  • MY AFRICA: ELEPHANT KEEPER | 5 mins | European Premiere | Nominated for Best Social Impact Experience award | HTC VIVE Pro
  • YETI AND SPAGHETTI | 5 mins | World Premiere | Nominated for Best Animation Experience award | Oculus Go
  • HOTEL ZENTAI | 38 mins | World Premiere | Nominated for Best Cinematic Experience award | Oculus Go
  • OPINIONS | 6 mins | World Premiere | Nominated for British Award: Best UK Experience and Best Music Experience award | Oculus Go
  • THE SUN LADIES | 7 mins | UK Premiere | Nominated for Best Documentary Experience award | Oculus Go
  • UKIYO CAVE: SURELY | 5 mins | World Premiere | Nominated for Best Music Experience and Best Debut Experience awards | Oculus Rift
  • GRENFELL: OUR HOME | 15 min | Nominated for Best Documentary Experience award | Oculus Go
  • WINDOW TO OUR WORLD | 6 min | World Premiere | Nominated for Best Social Impact Experience award | Oculus Go
  • BEING ME | 7 min | World Premiere | Nominated for Best Social Impact Experience award | Oculus Go
  • CRACKLE POP | 10 min | World Premiere | Nominated for Best Debut Experience award | Oculus Go
  • KINCH & THE DOUBLE WORLD | 14 min | World Premiere | Nominated for British Award: Best UK Experience and Best Cinematic Experience awards | Oculus Go
  • NOTHING TO BE WRITTEN | 7 mins | World Premiere | Nominated for British Award: Best UK Experience, Best Documentary Experience and Best Music Experience awards | Oculus Go

Raindance Interactive Worlds: Multi-Person Experiences

  • CHORUS | 10 mins | UK Premiere | Nominated for Best Multi-Person Experience and Best Music Experience awards | HTC VIVE Pro
  • THE APPLE | 25 mins | World Premiere | Nominated for Best Multi-Person Experience award | HTC VIVE Pro and VIVE Focus
  • IS ANNA OK? | 10 mins | London Premiere | Nominated for Best Multi-Person Experience and Best Documentary Experience awards | Oculus Rift

Additional details and ticket information are available at Raindance’s official website.

 

Immersive Cinema Projects at New York Film Festival 2018

The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced their lineup of Virtual Reality and Immersive Cinema projects to be shown at the 56th New York Film Festival, taking place on October 11-14, 2018. Featured projects will include Walt Disney Animation’s first ever VR short Cycles.

untitledOver the course of NYFF’s final weekend, audiences can experience wide-ranging selections of Virtual Reality and Immersive Cinema with several World Premieres including: What Goes Up/Must Come Down, a combination of VR and video installation that takes viewers through the gorgeous Instagram sensation of the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival and the environmental destruction the lanterns cause once tourists leave; Blue Bird, an immersive animated VR film that feels like a painting come to life; and Hope Amongst the Haze, a journey into the citizen-led effort to rid the once pristine beaches of Mumbai of the trash that overwhelms them. Additionally, Convergence will present the U.S. premiere of Cycles, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ first ever VR short, a brilliant meditation on what makes a house a home.

Complete details are available at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s website.