Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset for video games, but Condition One is looking to use the technology to create immersive movie experiences. “Zero Point” will be the company’s first documentary, and the studio has released an interactive trailer for the film.
“Zero Point” will be directed by Oscar nominee Danfung Dennis, founder and CEO of Condition One. The first immersive movie for Oculus Rift, it will use the headset to create a 3D 360-degree experience that viewers can control. The documentary focuses on virtual reality researchers and developers and features scenes from the E3 gaming convention and military training exercises at Camp Pendleton and research labs.
Dennis said in a statement, “With 'Zero Point,' we wanted to showcase the profound importance of virtual reality by placing viewers in unique scenarios that they otherwise might not find themselves in.”
The director discussed the process of creating a documentary that’s a 360-degree experience with the Associated Press. Instead of the framing, cutting and editing seen in conventional films, Dennis had to create much smoother transitions as a cutaway from a scene would be too jarring in a virtual reality setting.
Another aspect to developing a movie for Oculus Rift is giving up creative control of the experience, as the viewer dictates what is being seen, but Dennis likens the experience to one found in video games. The director believes that a narrative film can also be created for Oculus Rift with directors using audio as a way to guide viewers through the experience.
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"I'm finding that a new generation of storytellers inspired by gaming and cinema will have to create a new visual language with the syntax and grammar of how to tell a story with this technology. We're just beginning down that path right now," Dennis told the AP.
The interactive trailer for "Zero Point," where users can control the camera using their mouse, can be viewed here. The film will make its way to Oculus Rift development kits later this year.