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Brief Published: 21 Feb 2014

Zero Point: Oculus Rift’s First Film


Oscar-nominated American director and photojournalist Danfung Dennis will be the first to release a virtual reality film using immersive Oculus Rift technology, which could shape the future landscape of ultra-engaged entertainment. 

Dennis’ short film Zero Point is the first to be shot in 3D, 360-degree video optimised for the Oculus Rift virtual reality head-mounted display – which was originally conceived for the gaming industry. It’s implications for cinema, however, were explored at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where moviegoers could interact with videos through the device. See our full coverage here. And visit Anywhere Retailing's Future Innovations where we look at the retail implications of the device. 

New virtual technology provided by prototypes like Oculus Rift has allowed Dennis to work on more impactful projects, where viewers experience a narrative as one of the characters themselves. Zero Point’s footage was gathered at the E3 2013 gaming expo in Los Angeles, as well as the West Coast Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in the US, offering viewers a taste of both loud gunfire and murmuring crowds.

The device also offers the same specs boasted by new spatial storytelling tools like IDNA – an immersive prototype that allows users to shift their perspective on a story based on how they hold their iPad. Like IDNA (read more here), Oculus Rift requires viewers to swivel their heads to focus on different aspects of the 360-degree narrative.

Keep an eye out for the film, due sometime this spring, which features interviews with virtual reality experts and game developers who consider its part in a potentially new dystopian world.