We got to participate in Film Victoria and ACMI’s free VR Lab as part of the VR Industry Day, November 2016. Producer Simon J Green was a successful VR Lab participant and, thanks to those kind organisers, had the opportunity to develop our VR concept with a range of experienced VR content creators from VRTOV, Sandpit, StartVR, Grumpy Sailor, Visual Playground and PLaTO Reality. Here he is, letting you know what it was like.
First I wandered around the playground of VR experiences and demos, trying some I’d done before like the excellent NYTs solitary confinement piece, and new fun like the carnival games in Vive that were just good old fashioned, Wii style fun.
Anyone with a Tilt Brush setup in Melbourne, I wanna talk to you about hiring your space. My god, the possibilities… (pls share!) pic.twitter.com/DOf3jrn0vn
— The X Gene (@TheXGeneAgency) November 3, 2016
Finally got to try Collisions, the first VR film with stories from Aboriginal Australians. The possibilities of such incredible spaces and people were under-utilised, but the highlights were the drone shots as Nyarri Morgan used his fire craft to light the scrub and the central element of the nuke going off as Nyarri told his story. His story was the best part, and I’d have loved to see more focus expanding his story into a visual, 360 medium. Awesome to see it all coming together and paired with ILM.
The session with the other creators was the best bit. Everyone, even the mentors, acknowledged we were all so new and fresh in this, so everyone was learning from everyone else. Still, we got great tips on the little things you can only discover through practical creation. And then I met three groups of people I’m now collaborating with.The workshop was an excellent leveller. There were older, more experienced traditional filmmakers in the room who, frankly, have not been the most open and willing in other settings, but who in this space could only be at the same level as the rest of us. It broke down some very tired, rather useless hierarchies, allowing us to all connect as creatives.
Something I took away was feeling that my team are making great progress in the business and distribution side of the industry, which is giving me so much confidence going forward as we turn The X Gene into a dedicated VR company. That came from, again, openness and a willingness to share both the ups and downs of our experience. As a result, those who saw my strengths, I could see strength in, and we came together to work on stuff after the lab.
I could feel our relative beginner nature, but in this context it was completely appropriate and appreciated, because we’re all starting out. What I loved was the openness. Our industry, I’ve found, keeps their doors closed, but with newer generations of makers and technology, those barriers are breaking down. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was delighted with the people I met, both the other participants and the mentors.
— Simon J Green (@simonjongreen) November 3, 2016
Enormous thanks to FilmVic and ACMI, and all the mentors and companies who gave their time, gear and expertise to the days. We’re creating a new medium with people around the world, and finally, Australia is participating on a relatively equal footing. For now, enjoy an egalitarian medium.