×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Oculus Launches Story Studio to Promote Virtual Reality Filmmaking

Amidst the premieres taking place at the Sundance Film Festival is one for “Lost,” a virtual reality movie that’s the first project to come out of Story Studio, a new inhouse production arm of Facebook’s Oculus that aims to help filmmakers figure out how to produce VR projects.

Led by former Pixar Animation Studios vets, Story Studio is essentially Oculus’ answer to another division that is developing games for when the Rift headset becomes available to consumers later this year. Because VR is still a new, untested medium, Oculus wanted to help Hollywood tackle not only the technical but conceptual elements of developing creative concepts for headsets.

For now Story Studio will focus primarily on animated fare, given that other directors already have started experimenting with live-action films, some of which are also are on display at Sundance.

But it’s also partly because of the background of the 10 individuals running Story Studio.

That includes Saschka Unseld, who serves as creative director. A former Pixar cinematographer, Unseld directed the company’s short film, “The Blue Umbrella.” Maxwell Planck, is Story Studio’s supervising technical director, who spent the past decade at Pixar solving the company’s creative technical problems behind “Cars,” “Wall-E,” “Up,” “Brave and “Monsters University.” Edward Saatchi serves as a producer.

Lost” revolves around a giant robot lost in the dark woods, with the viewer able to crouch in the foliage as they watch the mechanical beast.

The story is meant to unfold in five minutes but is designed to pause depending on what the viewer is looking at, factoring in the ability for audiences to be able to explore the 360-degree environments around them.

Story Studio already has several other projects in development, including “Bullfighter,” in which viewers come face to face with a raging bull; the comedic “Henry”; and “Dear Angelica,” which places audiences in an illustration.

Like its gaming group, Oculus sees Story Studio as a division to have content ready for people to view on Rift or its other headsets that it hopes to sell later this year.

Oculus is showing off “Lost” at the St. Regis, in Park City, with appointments to view the project being taken through an app that can be downloaded on iTunes or on Android devices.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Frank Grillo'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Matt Phelps Tapped as President of Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo's Warparty

    Frank Grillo and Joe Carnahan’s Warparty productikon banner has appointed Matt Phelps president of the company. Phelps will head the Los Angeles office and be responsible for overseeing all film and television projects. “We searched long and hard to find the right fit for Warparty and felt that Matt embodied everything that we were looking [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

  • Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton

    Nexstar Completes Tribune Acquisition, Sean Compton to Head Programming

    Nexstar Media Group has become the nation’s largest owner of TV stations after completing its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media. The deal creates a broadcasting colossus with more than 200 stations serving more than 100 markets, although a number of stations will be divested to keep Nexstar in compliance with FCC ownership limits. Nexstar, [...]

  • Leaving Neverland HBO

    Judge Sides With Michael Jackson Estate in 'Leaving Neverland' Dispute

    A federal judge is leaning towards granting the Michael Jackson estate’s move to take HBO to arbitration in its dispute over the documentary “Leaving Neverland.” Judge George Wu issued a tentative ruling on Thursday in which he denied HBO’s motion to dismiss the estate’s case. Wu is expected to make the ruling final by the [...]

  • Homecoming

    Peak Storytelling Here as Podcasts, Short Form Ride New Wave

    The concept of peak TV is nothing new. But scratch the surface of original content these days, and it’s no longer about television — from podcasts and short-form video, storytelling itself is at a peak. Thanks to audio, video and other new platform companies including Gimlet, Quibi, Wondery, iHeartMedia and Serial Box, listeners and viewers [...]

  • Patti Smith Cambridge Folk Festival

    Patti Smith Muses Over the Many Ways to Tell a Story

    It’s Sept. 11, and Patti Smith has been thinking a lot about people who died. This is understandable. It is, of course, the 18th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and an annual time of mourning for New York City, the city that Smith adopted as her hometown 50-plus years [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content