One company that has wholeheartedly embraced the virtual festival format is Epic Games. Its popular game Fortnite is about to host its third animation festival, following two earlier this year.
Shortnitemares will be held inside the game from October 28 (6 p.m. ET) to November 1 (6 p.m. ET). A program of seven animated shorts will play continuously inside a purpose-built theater, and each film will also have its own virtual screening room.
Coming at the end of Fortnite’s month-long Halloween celebrations, the festival will have a spooky theme. It will feature two world premieres: The Eye, a short from Aaron Sims Creative about a maintenance worker traveling to a distant planet to fix a fallen drone, and We Will Be Monsters, the first in a new mini-series of shorts based on the Universal Monsters franchise.
Both shorts were made using Unreal Engine, the tech behind games like Fortnite that is helping power the growth of real-time animation production. They also make use of Metahuman Creator, a tool from Epic Games designed to facilitate the real-time creation and animation of convincing digital humans.
In the past, Fortnite has hosted a range of events outside its main gameplay, including concerts, films, and panel discussions. The trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet premiered in the game last year.
Image at top: “The Eye”