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Sundance Curator: Facebook, Sony and Samsung ‘pave the way’ for VR Films

Following the reveal of Oculus Story Studio last week, there’s little doubt that virtual reality (VR) films are going to be one of the defining uses of the tech in years to come. And with Samsung pushing its own Milk VR video for the Gear VR smartphone-based HMD and Sony Computer Entertainment working on its Project Morpheus HMD for PlayStation 4, there’s plenty of room for the medium to grow. In fact, according to a curator at the Sundance Film Festival, these companies and Oculus VR owner Facebook are set to ‘pave the way’ for VR films.


Shari Frilot, curator of the festival’s New Frontier installation, recently said as much in an interview with The Video Ink. “There’s a certain validating quality to it,” she said of the companies becoming involved with the tech, “but there’s also the resources, experience, and the financial power and infrastructure that these companies can provide to something that’s quite experimental at this stage. It paves the way for others to make the leap to this medium.”

Frilot went on to talk about Facebook’s $2 billion USD purchase of Oculus VR and how it put the technology in the spotlight, noting that it helps on the level of ‘pop culture awareness’.

“Companies like Sony, Samsung, and Fox have infrastructures that they’re invested in bringing things to market. So they can be there to work with the content creators to get things finished, and to pick up the slack financially to make sure that works get made and advertised. Remember, anything that you’re trying to put out there that’s telling a story also has to be marketed, so all that experience of marketing and distribution will be tapped to grow this field of virtual reality.”

At the 2015 edition of the festival, which took place last week in Park City, Utah, USA, Oculus VR showcased Lost, the first of its five VR films from Oculus Story Studio. Frilot’s own New Frontier installation featured nine different films that used VR HMDs while Samsung brought Gear VR to the event with some other videos. It’s safe to say the medium was out in full force, then, and certainly gained some positive attention. VRFocus will continue to follow any and all applications of VR, reporting back with any further updates.

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