Big news: I’ve launched a new Virtual Reality content studio focusing on non-fiction VR films. Scenic will fund and produce original VR documentary shorts and series made by a collective of renowned independent filmmakers. The films will be released on the company’s website and app and through exclusive distribution partners. The films will be viewable on Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, and other VR platforms.
There’s so much focus on Virtual Reality as a technology, but VR won’t achieve mass adoption without great content. We’re collaborating with an incredible team of award-winning filmmakers to tell non-fiction stories in new ways, because we feel there’s so much potential for VR documentary that has yet to be fulfilled. Documentary film is a powerful tool for creating empathy and a sense of connection to other people and other places in the world. The immersive experience of watching documentaries in VR puts viewers inside these stories, and opens up endless new possibilities for storytelling. Scenic’s mission is to get VR technology and resources into the hands of artists and filmmakers, and give them the freedom to create work that truly breaks new ground.
Scenic’s initial group of directors includes some of the most innovative and acclaimed documentary filmmakers in the world, with multiple Oscar nominations and Emmy awards: Amir Bar-Lev (THE TILLMAN STORY, HAPPY VALLEY, MY KID COULD PAINT THAT), Marshall Curry (STREET FIGHT, IF A TREE FALLS, POINT AND SHOOT), Jessica Edwards (MAVIS!), Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU, DETROPIA, JESUS CAMP), Liz Garbus (WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE?, THE FARM: ANGOLA, USA), Sam Green (THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND, THE LOVE SONG OF R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER), Dawn Porter (TRAPPED, GIDEON’S ARMY), and filmmaker/artist Lucy Raven (MoMA, Whitney Biennial, Park Avenue Armory). These creators are making VR films on a wide range of subjects, from the arts, politics, design, and science, to social issues, personal stories, and more. Scenic will release its first slate of films in summer 2016 and plans to produce over 40 films and series in its first year.