Digital studio Jamwix, based in San Francisco, is making the low-budget indie available for free as a download through Jamwix.com.
Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s “From Beyond,” the film already was shot in 3D, making the transition to Oculus Rift as a virtual reality feature a little easier using Jamwix’s Chimera software.
The company is essentially using “Banshee Chapter” as a way to show how Chimera can turn films into an immersive 3D experience on Oculus Rift devices.
But Facebook is also likely to be keeping a close eye on the reception of “Banshee Chapter” on Oculus Rift, considering it completed its $2 billion acquisition of the virtual reality headset maker in July, and has been aggressive in courting content makers to develop entertainment for the device ever since. It’s unclear just how many Oculus Rift devices are in consumers’ hands.
Until now, studios have provided short experiences through Oculus Rift headsets to promote “Interstellar,” “Pacific Rim” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
“Banshee Chapter” was shot by director Blair Erickson — also Jamwix’s co-founder — in a POV style and revolves around a journalist who searches for a missing friends who has experimented with secret mind-altering government drug tests created by the CIA. Film stars Katia Winter (“Sleepy Hollow”), Ted Levine (“Silence of the Lambs”) and “True Blood’s” Michael McMillian.
“This is an incredibly exciting moment for technology and entertainment. We were thrilled to begin unlocking the potential of the next generation storytelling experiences in virtual reality,” Erickson said.
It’s no surprise Erickson was eager to experiment with Oculus Rift, given that he was a creative director of Omnicom’s interactive agency Millions of Us, developing interactive transmedia experiences for clients like Warner Bros., Fox, Activision and Ubisoft, among others.
XLrator Media released “Banshee Chapter” in the U.S. in December on most VOD platforms.
Sunchaser Entertainment’s Stephanie Riggs, and Corey Moosa and Sean Akers of Quinto’s Before the Door, produced the film with Christian Arnold-Beutel.