The second night of the 69th Emmy Awards saw a number of nominations for virtual reality content, including rendered experiences and 360 video spanning a diverse swath of genres. Taking home an Emmy this year was The People’s House: Inside the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama, a 360 video created by Felix & Paul Studios and Oculus Studios that gives you a guided tour of one the most important buildings in the world, led by former US President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
The People’s House: Inside the White House took the 2017 Emmy for ‘Outstanding Original Interactive Program’. Six total nominations for VR content were spread between that and the category for ‘Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media Within a Scripted Program’. The latter was won by Westworld’s interactive website DiscoverWestworld.com, a web portal to the sci-fi program’s fictitious resort that lets you book stays and peruse Westworld’s various amenities.
Felix & Paul Studios is known for creating highly polished VR videos covering everything from made-for-VR performances for Cirque du Soleil to a 40 minute-long 360 video that explores the life of a funny, but depressingly broken family through the eyes of a robot toy. The common thread among all of their VR projects is the attention to detail and production quality, making the company’s offerings a clear a cut above your standard 360 videos.
This isn’t the first VR experience to win an Emmy though. Sleepy Hollow’s VR experience picked up an Emmy in 2015 for best ‘User Experience And Visual Design’. One year later, Oculus’ Henry, the company’s Pixar-esque VR cartoon that follows the woes of a lonely hedgehog, won the Emmy in ‘Outstanding Original Interactive Program’ category—making Felix & Paul’s video the fourth to do so behind Google’s juried win with Pearl just a few days ago for best ‘Outstanding Innovation in Interactive Programming’.
While the company’s production studio Oculus Story Studios—which saw the release of Lost, Henry, and Dear Angelica—is now shuttered, Oculus is still active in seeding creatives with development funds, earmarking $50 million of the $250 million they recently committed to invest in VR content exclusively for external investments in “non-gaming, experiential VR content.” The similarly named Oculus Studios, the company’s publishing house, is still active however.