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Google Spotlight Stories’ Age of Sail Gets Sneak Peak at Annecy

Google Spotlight Stories showcases four of its VR animated projects at Annecy International Animated Film Festival.

Google Spotlight Stories have brought some of its virtual reality (VR) animated projects to the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France. The VR projects being showcased include Age of Sail and Piggy.

2018 will mark the third year that Google Spotlight Stories has team with VR @ Annacy to offer its VR projects to the festival.

Google Spotlight Stories creators spoke about their VR short films as a panel, where they spoke of the limitations and possibilities of 360-degree immersion. Panellists included Age of Sail Director John Kahrs and Piggy creator Jan Pinkava.

Talking about Age of Sail, Kahs said: “I wanted this piece to operate in a less stylized universe, because the audience should believe the world is real – to feel the peril and the exhilaration of being in a storm, to be vulnerable.”

Age of Sail tells the story of an old sailor named William Avery, who is adrift in the North Atlantic and who finds and rescues a teenage girl who was mysteriously lost at sea. The VR short is said to be the longest and most complex project produced by Google Spotlight Stories to date. A sneak peak of the film cocking in at 1.5 minutes was shown during the festival, with the final running time expected to be between 10-12 minutes.

Piggy is a tribute to classic comedic cartoons where the audience get to control the tming of an expanded visual gag.

“The plot of ‘Piggy’ is a series of classic cartoon gags, but now the viewer controls the timing just by deciding where to look,” co-director Pinkava explained, “This is the first time we had a character interacting directly with the audience, and its presence in the story is actually the story,” he added, explaining that the minimal plot aims to offer a maximum 360 immersive experience, where the viewer has a decisive role in the story, as both watcher and watched.

For future news on Google Spotlight Stories VR projects, keep checking back with VRFocus.

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