Today during the Sundance Film Festival, Oculus has announced Story Studio University, and initiative by the company to “inspire and educate the next generation of VR filmmakers.”
While games are an obvious starting point for virtual reality, perhaps the next nearest use-case is VR film: narrative driven experiences which are more about story than gameplay.
Talk to any pioneering VR filmmaker and they’ll tell you that the medium is in its infancy, that ‘the language of VR film is still being discovered’, not unlike the early days of traditional film which saw attempts to transpose radio and theater onto the screen, only to eventually blossom into its own medium entirely. The distinction between VR games and film is already blurry at times—as some VR film experiences like Oculus’ Henry are interactive and rendered in real-time, just like a game—and will probably only get blurrier.
To help get the gears turning for young pioneers to help define the new medium of VR film, Oculus has announced Story Studio University. Under the Story Studio brand (Oculus’ in-house VR film studio), the initiative will initially take the form of a series of VR film workshops at New York University and the University of Southern California starting on February 13th with a masterclass in April, the company announced on their blog.
Oculus says they’ll be sharing registration details soon, including “an ever-growing library of new technical assets [and] video tutorials from Oculus and other leading VR studios.” Last year Story Studio released the UE4 project and digital assets for Henry to the community.
At the Sundance Film Festival, Oculus is highlighting a number of VR filmmakers and their work: