Oculus launches Story Studio lab to make VR movies

The new in house lab debuted its first short Lost at Sundance Film Festival
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The Oculus Rift is for gamers. Right? It looked that way with Oculus VR showing off more game demos at CES, making them available on the Samsung Gear VR and buying hand tracking companies at the end of 2014.

Essential reading: Everything you need to know about Microsoft HoloLens

But this week Oculus VR saddled up to Sundance Film Festival in Utah and 'screened' a four minute short film named Lost on the Cresent Bay model of its VR headset.

This was alongside announcing details of its new Story Studio dedicated to making more cinematic VR movies with some levels of interaction between viewer and characters. The Oculus Rift is now for film lovers too.

The Story Studio is a small lab within the Facebook owned company; its staff have Pixar and Industrial Light and Magic on their CVs so we think this VR movie effort is in safe hands. Plus Oculus will open its doors to Hollywood guest directors looking for a crash course in making VR flicks.

Brendan Iribe, Oculus' CEO, reportedly showed a prototype Rift to a major (for now anonymous) director who immediately wanted to make a feature film. For now, if Lost is anything to go by it will be short films to start with. And the movies are likely to be 100% CG animation as Oculus says the camera technology isn't quite ready to shoot live environments and actors.

Oculus showed off poster artwork for upcoming titles including Dear Angelica, Bullfighter and Henry. There's not much to go on but the selection seems to nod to the Pixar tradition with robots, hedgehogs and balloons.

Whimsical 360 degree animation you can look around and interact with? We can't wait.


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She now works for Wired.

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