U.K. Action Thriller ‘The Ascent’ Turns to VR for Lockdown Premiere

U.K. Action Thriller 'The Ascent' Turns
The Ascent

U.K producer Mosley Studios and producer-financier Goldfinch are turning to virtual reality for the launch of their latest feature, action thriller “The Ascent.”

Thought to be the first film premiere inside virtual reality, “The Ascent” will bow June 12 at 7 p.m. (BST) via AltspaceVR, and will be available to those with an Oculus headset, or similar.  The event will be called “The VR Film Festival.”

For those without AltspaceVR or access to a visor, the film will also premiere on Goldfinch’s recently launched VOD service Birdbox.Film at the same time.

The AltspaceVR premiere will also include a Q&A with director Tom Paton and cinematographer George Burt.

Burt said: “The VR Film Festival was launched to give feature films a virtual platform to premiere in a copyright-safe environment. Due to COVID-19 we’ve been looking into tech and found AltspaceVR which can host the event with up to 100 people attending. The premiere of “The Ascent” will be the first feature-length movie to have a live audience attending from all over the world in VR.”

While the technology itself isn’t new, designing cinemas in virtual reality could allow film fans who aren’t able to walk the red carpet in person to experience premieres as part of online groups.

“The Ascent” is about a group of mercenaries sent into Eastern Europe in the middle of a civil war, but shortly after the mission the unit find themselves trapped on a never-ending stairwell. To survive, they must revisit their past sins if they ever want to get off.

“The Ascent” was Paton’s third film to premiere at the FrightFest film festival in London in August 2019.

The film stars former “X Factor” winner Shayne Ward, alongside Toby Osmond (“Game of Thrones”), Sophie Austin (“Call The Midwife”), Alana Wallace (“Black Site”), Samantha Schnitzler and Bentley Kalu (“Wonder Woman”).