Create NSW & ABC announce latest 2017 VR development slate

Image: Deadlock (still). Courtesy Louella Pleffer

Create NSW and the ABC have announced the latest projects set for production under the 360 Vision VR Development initiative, with six new immersive virtual reality (VR) projects sharing the $120,000 fund and a further three projects chosen to receive separate funding from Create NSW.

Marking the second year of the partnership, the new projects will span a diverse range of subject matter including crime stories, Indigenous adventures and sci-fi thrillers, through to a powerful experience of one refugee’s escape from their home country.

The six project teams will work with Start VR, Rapid Films, LENS Immersive/Acuity Productions, The Pulse and Spectre VR to develop their productions using the latest in VR advancements, with the earliest production set to begin in September this year.

Create NSW CEO Michael Brealey said that the 360 Vision VR Development initiative offers an exciting opportunity for Australian screen practitioners to advance their creative storytelling and reach new audiences.

“Given the emerging nature of VR, when we announced this fund last year, we were excited to see such a great reaction from Australian creatives eager to learn more about this new dimension of storytelling. It’s been interesting to make the leap with so many and we’re delighted to be carrying this opportunity into its second year.

“Along with our supportive partners at the ABC, we funded six strong projects in our first year and our new slate for 2017 development continues this calibre. Each project tells a wildly intriguing story, and we look forward to bringing these experiences to life in the next year.”

David Anderson, ABC Director of Television added, “VR is such a significant development for next-generation film and TV makers, and we’re thrilled to be able to provide up-skilling opportunities for some of these talented Australian storytellers. We look forward to seeing some great new initiatives arise out of this project, and to sharing them with all Australians in the near future.”

Three additional VR projects from female filmmakers and filmmakers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds will also share a further $45,000 in funding from Create NSW.

The separate projects will bring to life influential moments from history, a Bolivian prison experience, and the first in a five-part series that casts a confronting focus on a range of social issues, including domestic violence towards women.

“We are committed to supporting filmmakers from under-represented groups and these projects will bring to life important messages with unique and thought-provoking realism for audiences to experience. We look forward to supporting their development,” Mr Brealey said.

The 360 Vision VR Development projects selected for 2017 are:

ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT (6 X 10 MINS) $20,000
Genre: Visual art / Science and environment/Contemporary and social issues
Company: Handmaid Media, Erth Visual and Physical Inc.
VR Company: TBC
Key Creatives:

  • Writer: Samantha Lang
  • Director: Scott Wright, Samantha Lang
  • Producer: Ella Millard, Samantha Lang

Synopsis: Set in Australia, Anthropocene VR will tell six fables of time, place, beings, non-beings and their interconnections. An anthology of eco-fairy tales for the future.

DEADLOCK VR (6 X 10 MINS) $20,000
Genre: Contemporary and social issues/Mystery/Drama
Company: Every Cloud Productions
VR Company: Start VR

Key Creatives:

  • Writer: Lucy Campbell
  • Director: Martin Taylor
  • Producer: Mike Jones, Nathan Anderson
  • Executive Producer: Fiona Eagger, Deb Cox

Synopsis: Extending from the storyline of the ABC iview drama series ‘Deadlock’, new secrets will be revealed, surprises and hidden agendas will emerge.

WHALE DREAMING: WHEN THE WHALES RETURNED (4 X 3 MINS) $20,000
Genre: Indigenous/Natural history documentary series/Family
Company: The Working Group
VR Company: Rapid Films

Key Creatives:

  • Writer: Uncle Max ‘Dulamunmun’ Harrison, Aunty Rhonda Grosvenor Dixon
  • Director: Dave Klaiber
  • Producer: Susannah Phillips, Abby Hunt, Kate Armstrong-Smith, Matt Klaiber

Synopsis: While the whales start to behave in stranger ways and the oceans warm, Senior Yuin Elder, Uncle Max ‘Dulamunmun’ Harrison, takes us on a journey to reclaim his whale song lines and their burial grounds from NSW to Tasmania, a mission set out for him when he was a boy by lawmen over 80 years ago.

THE OBSCURE (3 X 15 MINS) $20,000
Genre: Science Fiction/Neo-Noir/Thriller
Company: Kartini Ludwig and Chekhov’s Gun Pictures
VR Company: LENS Immersive, Acuity Productions Pty Ltd

Key Creatives:

  • Writer & Director: Tel Benjamin
  • Producer: Kartini Ludwig, Lucy Rennick, Jemma Douglas

Synopsis: In the year 2091, a small group of the human population known as The Obscure have gained the ability to communicate with each other through their memories and imagination. A seasoned detective and a young mute girl must unravel the conspiracy and truth behind a masked gang who are hunting down The Obscure guided by a mysterious leader with an unknown agenda.

THE RIFT (5 X 5 MINS) $20,000
Genre: Science Fiction
Company: Deadhouse Films Pty Limited
VR Company: The Pulse

Key Creatives:

  • Writer & Director: Enzo Tedeschi
  • Producer: Rosie Lourde, George Kacevski, Enzo Tedeschi

Synopsis: When a scientist recreates a WW2 era secret weapon from an obscure German blueprint, she inadvertently stumbles through a time-space rift that transports her into an ancient culture that is a nexus for notorious disappearances throughout human history.

WAR TORN: A REFUGEE VR EXPERIENCE (3 MINS) $20,000
Genre: Factual Documentary/VR Locomotive Experience
Company: Crow Crow Productions
VR Company: Spectre VR

Key Creatives

  • Writer: Mark Grentell, Rick Pearce
  • Director: Rick Pearce
  • Producer: Alana Russell, Mark Grentell

Synopsis: Designed to simulate the POV experience of a refugee escaping their home whilst caught in the middle of a violent clash between warring militants. The viewer will be placed in a locomotive trajectory and moved through the VR experience, where they will be confronted with scenes and images that will immerse them in the world of a refugee.

Separate projects supported by Create NSW funding are:

MOMENTS – (6 X 5 MINS) $15,000
Genre: History/Contemporary and social issues/Factual documentary VR series
Company: Collective Reality
VR Company: GreenhouseFX 3DVR

Key Creatives:

  • Writer: TBC depending on international partners
  • Director & Producer: J’aimee Skippon-Volke
  • Technical Director: Osvaldo C Alfaro

Synopsis: Original footage and photographs from both Australian and global events are combined with cutting-edge animation, visual effects and audio techniques, as well as freshly shot or green-screen performance captured elements to rebuild entire environments where personal stories, and inspirational historical insights are shared through audio overlays. Stories could include Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and Women’s Civil Rights In Australia.

PRISON X VR (5 X 5 MINS) $15,000
Genre: Contemporary and social issues/Factual
Company: United Notions Film
VR Company: TBC

Key Creatives:

  • Writers, Directors & Producers: Violeta Ayala and Dan Fallshaw

Synopsis: Prison X takes place in one of Bolivia’s most notorious prisons, San Sebastian, a virtual citadel inside a crumbling old colonial house. As soon as you set foot inside Prison X you are a prisoner, locked in…“Welcome to the prison system”. Accessed via the Virtual Reality headset, a police officer asks your name and your experience begins, you are trapped with no way out and you’re at the mercy of the system.

THE QUIET DISCOMFORT SERIES, Part 1 – The Sound Of Violence (5 X 5 MINS) $15,000
Genre: Contemporary and social issues
Company: Urban Theatre Projects
VR Company: Humense

Key Creatives:

  • Writer & Director: Rosie Dennis
  • Producers: Julieanne Campbell, Liza-Mare Syron
  • Associate Producer: Tracey Corbin-Machett
  • VR advisor: Lynette Wallworth

Synopsis: A first-person interactive experience of a domestic dispute between a woman and her partner in a suburban home in Western Sydney. The first in a five-part series on violence towards women, passive racism, homophobia, depression and addiction.

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Published: 29 August 2017