Nokia has announced a partnership with film crowdsourcing website Tongal to help create compelling new VR cinema content, to be captured with their newly announced OZO 360, 3D camera.

Nokia made a splash today as they announced they’re to enter the VR industry, albeit perhaps not in the way you might have expected. Their new professional grade, 360 degree, stereoscopic 3D camera is designed specifically for VR movie-making and Nokia wants to spur creative ideas for what to capture with it.

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Enter Tongal, a website born from the frustrations of the costs associated with movie making today. It’s a creative community where companies can present briefs to the site’s users along with prize money, requesting creative input on how to fulfil that brief.

Nokia hopes to harness this pool of talent to cultivate ideas which can then, through the use of the new Ozo camera, be brought to life in virtual reality.

The project, entitled ‘Look Around You‘ is Tongal’s first virtual reality project and will offer the chance for budding filmmakers to pitch their ideas for a series of 120 second shorts. From the press release:

The project consists of a three-part competition – a concept, pitch and video phase – during which any of Tongal’s 80,000+ community members can submit ideas and videos that take advantage of the extra immersion and dimensions provided by the OZO camera. Two filmmakers with winning pitches will produce their short using the camera along with technical and post production support from Nokia, and as a grand prize, the creator of the final winning short will receive their own OZO.

“With the launch of the OZO VR Camera, we really want to get people excited about the possibility of this technology at one of its purest levels, which is storytelling,” said Guido Voltolina, head of presence capture, Nokia. “I’m excited to finally put this tool into the hands of Tongal’s community and the VR community everywhere.”

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Nokia is providing two prizes of $1,000 to anyone who submits a winning 500 character idea in the Concept phase. In the Pitch phase, two winners who submit a detailed proposal based on the winning concepts will take home $20,000. The final Video phase will it the two Pitch winners against each other to execute their plan, with the final winner taking home an Ozo camera as a grand prize.

Not a filmmaker type, but think you’ve got a cool idea? Anyone can easily submit a concept on the project page here for a shot at the initial $1,000 prize.

It’s an interesting approach for Nokia, and one that’s almost certain to produce a wide array of creative approaches. Despite the rush of interest in cinematic VR, not to mention the flurry of investment money, we’re still at the very dawn of discovering what linear virtual reality storytelling can offer. This move may help kick us at least into the stone age.

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