‘Allumette’ Is the Longest VR Animated Film So Far And It May Make You Cry
The main selling point for VR has mostly been video games. The companies behind the major headsets, such as the recently released PlayStation VR, the HTC Vive, and the Oculus Rift are all leading the charge for VR. A big part of that involves marketing their headsets as exciting new ways to play games. This is looking likely to be the best approach to convince consumers that VR isn’t just another gimmick, but rather it’s a technology that’s here to stay.
But despite this focus on games, filmmakers are also making full use of VR. Passively watching movies while sitting in your local theater or on your couch may not be the norm for much longer.
Directors and animators, like Penrose Studios’ Eugene Chung, are experimenting with the visual medium to create films that make you an active participant in their worlds. Imagine watching the latest Star Wars flick in VR, where you’re headfirst in the action, surrounded by beloved characters and colorful settings. Or perhaps you want to witness a high-octane, sand-swept chase scene in Mad Max like never before, with demented marauders screaming in your face. VR might very well be the next big step for film.
The potential is there, but it’s still a ways off. Currently, more bite-sized VR films are leading the charge, and setting a precedent for what an excellent VR movie should, and can, be. Examples such as Invasion! from Baobab and Gnomes and Goblins from Hollywood-caliber director Jon Favreau all validate that mindset.
Now, most recently, Chung’s critically acclaimed and captivating 20-minute animated feature, Allumette, is pushing that notion even further. The movie, which is about the titular girl and her adventures in a captivating floating city, is a viewing experience you won’t want to end and — if early impressions from Upload staff and other VR enthusiasts is any indication — it holds the power to even make you cry.