From the National Film Board of Canada to Google, we are seeing an unprecedented push into interactive, non-linear animated storytelling. Now another deep-pocketed player has entered the fray: Facebook’s Oculus Rift.
Oculus formally launched its in-house Story Studio division last month at the Sundance Film Festival. The production studio will explore non-linear and augmented reality storytelling concepts made possible by Oculus’s virtual reality headset, which will become publicly available later this year. Reports from Sundance suggest that the Rift experience is very unique and provides the most immersive animated experience yet.
Taking a cue from Google, which called upon former Pixar director Jan Pinkava to serve as creative director of their Spotlight Stories group, Oculus has hired another Pixar alum Saschka Unseld (The Blue Umbrella) to be the creative director of Story Studio. Other Pixar veterans have also been brought aboard including Max Planck, who serves as supervising technical director, and animator Ramiro Lopez Dau who is overseeing the animation for some of the films as well as directing a project of his own called Henry.