January 25th, 2017

VR has a ‘Pearl’ in 2017 Oscars.


Considered by many as one of the most prominent players of uprising Fourth Industrial Revolution, Virtual Reality has another reason to celebrate this season. Just years into its launch, Virtual Reality has already achieved the supreme recognition in one of the fields that it is supposed to make a huge impact – The Motion Picture Industry.

Pearl a VR Short Film is one of the 2017 Academy Awards Nominee in the Animated Short Film Category With 14 nominations, ‘La La Land’ is ruling the news and ‘Moonlight’ is shining and in between ‘Spotlight’ has found its way through. No, the 2015 film is not running for Oscars again but ‘Pearl’ is the product of Google’s Spotlight Series that feature virtual reality Stories. Google, the Internet giant has made it’s way into academy awards too. One might start wondering if there is something they cannot do! The film’s director Patrick Osborne seems to be making a hobby of entering the Academy Awards.

He had previously won an Oscar for his Short Film, Feast in 2014, which was screened along with Disney’s ‘Big Hero 6’. His recent outing, ‘Pearl’ tells the story of a girl and her dad spanning across several years. The narration is quite unique in a way that, the story is told from the perspective of the passenger seat of a car. In google’s words “The story is about the gifts we hand down and their power to carry love and finding grace in the unlikeliest of places”. Through its immersive experience, users can pan around and witness different landscapes using iOS Cardboard or the Android Youtube App. The video in the Youtube Web provides lesser interactivity and if watched using HTC VIVE viewers can also move around the car. But the remarkable thing about the film is not just its visual aura. This is a film with a ‘heart’ and it holds your attention emotionally too. At the end of this six-minute film, you will most likely pause yourself, take a deep breath and let the emotions settle in. This just goes to underline another pivotal fact. Content is the King. Technology just supplements it.

Though there are few prominent exclusive Virtual Reality Awards like THE VR FEST and PROTO AWARDS, the first major outside achievement for a VR film was the Emmy Award for ‘Sleepy Hollow’, created by Canadian Studio Secret Location in 2015. The VR was based on the Television Series of the same name. The VR won Emmy for Visual Design and User Experience, which is not a well-known award offered by the Television Industry and that itself was an indicator that VR is getting closer and closer to being popular. The very next year, Oculus Story Studio won the second VR Emmy for its film ‘Henry’. ‘Henry’ was awarded the best original interactive program and Oculus became the first VR Production team to take home an award.  After two years of impressing the Emmy’s, VR has now gone a step further and they are knocking at the doors of Academy Awards. Three consecutive years of success and maybe twenty years from now, teachers might tell students in the classroom that this is the period in timeline where VR Revolution started to take a significant turn. Oh wait, they won’t tell, they would show! 

February 26th is when the awards will be announced. We are virtually waiting.

VR 2017

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