There’s a new talk of the town at the Sundance Film Festival this week, and no, it’s not that indie movie with the comedic star showing off his serious acting chops. It’s a virtual reality headset.
More specifically, it’s the still-in-development Oculus Rift and what maker Oculus VR has now decided to do with it. While initial applications focused primarily on games and interactive experiences using a controller, the announcement of Story Studio sees a shift towards less-interactive films.
Oculus will herald this new direction today with the premiere of Lost, a short film directed by Saschka Unseld, who previously worked at Pixar and directed its 2013 short, The Blue Umbrella. The film only lasts a few minutes in length, but it’s not entirely fixed, passive entertainment: depending on your decisions and how long you linger, it can stretch on upwards of 10 minutes.
Story Studio is described as an “in-house innovation lab” and “VR workshop” by Engadget, and the team is focused on bringing in great talent and working with them to generate distinctive, cinematic, and well-designed virtual reality viewing experiences.
Aside from the ominous, atmospheric poster and concept art of a very friendly-looking robot, we don’t know much about Lost just yet. But with an ex-Pixar director, other former employees of Pixar and Industrial Light & Magic, and Oculus’ ever-improving tech, the company may very quickly put itself on the map as a source of innovative cinema.