Virtual reality has had its false starts, but since the 1990s – when rudimentary 3D tech (and films like Lawnmower Man) gave mass audiences a hint at what might be possible – VR technologies have slowly but certainly crept into our daily lives, from flight simulator training to Google Street View and the Oculus Rift.
Eric Darnell is at the forefront of conversations about cinematic VR and the narrative possibilities of the medium. The director of DreamWorks animated features the Madagascar series and Antz, Darnell last year cofounded Baobab Studios, described as one of the ‘Disneys of early VR’.
In this discussion, he’ll broach some of the big questions with which pioneers in his field are wrestling. How do you keep a viewer’s attention when there’s a 360-degree field of view? How do you manage questions of pace, rhythm and suspense? What kind of communal cinematic experiences can we expect to have with VR? And what can VR contribute to the future of storytelling?
This event will form part of a VR symposium at MIFF. Full session announcements and tickets options (including multi-session passes) will be available via miff.com.au from Friday 8 July. Presented in partnership with Melbourne International Film Festival.
Eric Darnell’s career spans 25 years as a computer animation director, screenwriter, story artist, film director, and executive producer. He was the director and screenwriter on all four films in the Madagascar franchise, which together have grossed more than $2.5 billion at the box-office. Previously, Eric directed DreamWorks Animation's very first animated feature film, Antz. Eric earned an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree in experimental animation from The California Institute of the Arts.
Katy Morrison is the co-founder of VRTOV, an award-winning virtual reality (VR) production studio whose work has been featured at Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam amongst others. Katy was the producer of VR experiences The Turning Forest (2016) and Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel (2016), both commissioned by the BBC.