Two VR films from Taiwan have been selected to play at the XR Experience section of the South by Southwest (SXSW) content festival, organizers announced on Wednesday. Concert film “Beatday – the Beginning – Mini VR Concert’ and stop-motion animation “The Sick Rose” have been hits on the festival scene, since they premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival.
Beatday is a platform that recreates more of the concert experience than can be captured by conventional cameras and allows for greater audience involvement through the use of holograms. The company pitches it as “a metaverse with music as its main focus.”
In 2021, the platform was operated in beta form for two experimental concerts. This year, the platform will debut its first brands at ticketed concerts. Every holographic-concert in the future will issue exclusive limited edition non-fungible tokens, offering users more financial flexibility.
HTC Vive originals, an offshoot of the HTC electronics firm, says that after music performances, the platform can be expanded to deliver fashion shows, advertising services and, eventually, a virtual economic system.
“The SXSW selection not only shows that Taiwanese creative content has a great appeal to the international crowd, but also illustrates that the era of entertainment experience metaverse has arrived,” said Liu Szu-ming, president of HTC Vive Originals in a prepared statement.
The 17-minute “Sick Rose,” tells a pandemic-era story of a sick little girl’s fantastic journey. Along the route to her mother in hospital, she encounters an array of fantasy characters and strange incidents, including a meeting with singing and dancing skeleton birds.
The presentation combines traditional Taiwanese dough figurine handicraft and VR technology. It was co-directed by Tang Zhi-Zhong and Huang Yun-Hsien, and produced by HTC Vive Originals and TurnRhino Original Design Studio.
The production involved 14 months of studio work, use of high-end 360 8K stereo 3D micro-photography, 35 character designs, ten sets comprised of urban buildings and tens of thousands of hand-made components.
It has also played at the U.K.’s Raindance, the Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, and the Red Sea International Film Festival.
SXSW will kick off with Michelle Yeoh-starring film “Everything All at Once,” and operate as an online and in-person event in Austin, Texas, U.S. from March 11-20. Variety’s parent P-MRC made a significant investment in the festival’s parent company last year.