Best Virtual Reality Content from the Tribeca Film Festival 2016
Virtual reality has been featuring at the Tribeca Film Festival – remember Robert de Niro in a prototype of Oculus Rift past in 2014? But not until this year’s show did it feel like a truly essential element, rather than a nice extra. Like the Sundance Film Festival that was organized in January, Tribeca had dozens of virtual reality selections, ranging from the 360-degree Gear virtual reality films to completely interactive HTC Vive experiences. Tribeca expanded its virtual reality experiences out of several different small shows unlike the Sundance, including a “Virtual Arcade” and the Storyscapes exhibit.
After spending the recent two weeks going through the more than 30 entries, the other big dissimilarity that I found is the number of projects that contains some of the cooperative element, whether that meant tapping to locate a landscape or using the motion controllers to play the rhythm games. That is partly because the HTC Vive headset has become available in much more quantity in the recent months, but it doesn’t hurt because Tribeca film festival has stronger ties to the digital art and gaming worlds than the other film festivals. I have put my favorite virtual reality experiences in order to showcase a complete variety of work.
Best of Tribeca Film Festival 2016
Best Cinematic VR: Pearl
The Spotlight Stories format of Google didn’t start as the virtual reality, but it works as smartphone based window to the other worlds. The small films were still a suitably normal for the medium, and Pearl is a mostly good one. It is a poignant animated story about growing up, settling down, getting older, and passing on the things that you love to a new generation, this all is set in a boxy 1980s car named as Pearl. Less theoretically, it is also a simple but also the kinetically animated music video for the for a wistful folk-pop up written specifically for the experience by the Alex Hart. However, the director of Pearl compares it with The Giving Tree, there is a little of ambiguity and bitterness of that book. It may be the closest one that I found crying for its position at Tribeca film festival, but only in a good direction.
Seeking Pluto’s Frigid Heart
There are a number of virtual reality space experiences and games, but Seeking Pluto’s Frigid Heart is one of the best games that some people have said they’ve ever seen at capturing our solar system alone, awe-inspiring vastness. It’s a visualization of New York Times that is based on the data collected from the New Horizons spacecraft of NASA, which passed by Pluto in the middle of December 2015. Pluto is a roiling nitrogen sea. With the towering peaks covered with the methane ice. There is something strange moving about not just being revealed to the dwarf planet’s alienness, but also seeing the complete thing recede into the distance at the, as the New Horizons soars out to be its next goal.
Currently, we don’t have a language for the virtual reality film, let only a language of virtual reality kitsch. This has not stopped the Anthony Ferrante, Sharknado director, from honestly successfully importing the talks of gimmicky 3D movies. About 10-minutes long Killer Deal has some jump scares, but it is initially a piece of windingly goofy splatter-film schlock. This film moves around the story of a salesman attending a machete conversation to hawk, principally a high-end knife (“with Bluetooth!”), looking towards a sinister figure and lurking in his cheap hotel room. Virtual reality makes it more interesting and surprising when the fake blood flies on your face.
At Sundance, we checked out only a small part of Allumette, but the full version of the 20-minute animated short film didn’t premiere at Tribeca until this month. The headsets such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are currently allowing the people to play games for hours, but it still seems like an experience that needs to be expanded with more detail and content. But it’s utterly and unique fantastic art design gets lots of points: it perfectly captures the sensation of a tiny world, with residents and architecture that seems too solid that you want to reach there and touch them. Allumette studio Penrose has assured that there is more virtual reality experience and content coming, and we are looking forward to watching it.
Grateful Dead: Truckin
When I understand the demand of the concert VR, it was actually not one of my favorite things, particularly because seeing a sea with the continuously moving bodies is an easy way to capture every single stitching faults in a 360-degree film. So, I am not sure about what made me like the Jaunt’s recording of a band. I feel nothing real connection with virtual reality, playing a song from a tour that happened in 2015 about which I don’t even remember the happening. It may be the long and wandering nature of “Truckin”, which all but soothed me into a pleasing dream at the hectic Virtual Arcade. Or it may be the that having nothing else to focus on and made it easier to connect with the enormous enthusiasm that millions have for the Grateful Dead. It works in either way.
Best Interactive VR: Old Friend
Former Double Fine artist Tyler Hurd’s Old Friend was precisely opposed, an enthusiastic portion of the animation set for the infectiously delighted song Future Islands of the same named company Future Islands. Originally mean of a plane screen, and then for the mobile headsets, it closed on the HTC Vive, where the space tracking and motion controllers create a set of wiggling and flexible legs and arms. It turns the viewers into the members in a strange and slightly Muppets-esque dance party – although if you went to close to your fellow puppets, then the will bat their hands around you in mock anger, dancing away from your touch. The experience is created by the virtual reality studio Wevr, which also worked on the frenetic Reggie Watts experience Waves – and same like the waves, Old Friend is complete stupidity. But where the recent felt like an over-the-top science fiction parody, the final is a cheerful, completely self-contained small piece of modern pop culture.
It’s funny to think about the HTC Vive experience of Playthings that was created when the creator George Michael Brower dropped a group of the sticky hamburgers on the table, started drumming on them inattentively with his fingers, and thought wait, I should make this in the VR! It is the part of the rhythm game, part excuse to the bang percussive instruments around of a pastel world which is made of donuts, candy, and hot dogs, all set to the music that managed to still catchy after the three hours of the hearing that it plays on the speakers at the Interactive Playground.
As an experience itself, Sens suffered by being trapped on the Gear VR, that makes some people dizzy due to the lack of positional tracking trends. Its almost featureless grayscale landscape is the exciting contrast to most of the virtual reality experiences. Sens drops the users in the center of an empty and big world with nothing but the strange arrow to stipulate in which direction they should to go. Who created those arrows and where are they going? Maybe the next episode of Sens, which will be released this year, contain the answers to this question or maybe not. It doesn’t really matter.
At a festival that commonly shies away from all the things too stereotypically game-y, Dragonflight is just like a sword and sorcery novel that is someway snuck onto a literary fiction shelf in a bookstore. A stripped-down adaptation of an aerial combat game by the Abbot’s Book creators Blackthorn Media, this game is exactly same as it sounds like. You Put a Vive headset and get in the game as a freaking giant dragon and shoot fireballs at the castles. It is both pretty amusing and audacious.
Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness
Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness is a virtual reality companion to the chilling and fascination documentary film Notes on Blindness, which is based on the detailed audio dairies John Hull, who is a theologian and a blind writer. In the darkness of the headset, users watch and rarely interrelate with the surroundings that come as a series of stippled and vague shapes, a visual suggestion of how Hull learned to experience the world through the sound. While it is still described by the Hull, otherwise, it is totally separated from the film, both aesthetically and narratively – and it is all enhanced for it.