Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: At the Venice Film Festival this past week, you launched 3 new VR experiences from leading virtual reality studio Future Lighting. For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about Future Lighthouse and the groundbreaking work that the studio is creating with VR Experiences?
Steven J. Posner: At Future Lighthouse we are constantly trying to push the boundaries and take things to the next level, whether it be through full-length cinematic experiences like MELITA, VR gaming experiences like Snatch, or next generation sci-fi storytelling like The ARGOS File. One important thing to remember when working in new immersive storytelling mediums like VR is that you can never stop exploring, because that is how you stumble upon the next revolutionary innovation.
BD: What can you share with us about the recently premiered projects of MELITA, Snatch, and The ARGOS File?
SP: MELITA is a 23-minute, full-feature VR film narrative complete with multiple characters, plotlines, and interactive scenes that centers around the fate of the human species which is in question due to climate change’s irreparable damage to Earth. The cinematic experience follows MELITA, an advanced AI, and Anaaya, a brilliant female scientist, who are appointed to find a new planet that humans can inhabit while they also embark upon a personal journey exploring the meaning of life.
The Snatch VR Heist Experience is a six-minute immersive VR gaming experience that transports you into the middle of a safe-cracking diamond heist alongside Snatch series stars Rupert Grint (Harry Potter film franchise), Luke Pasqualino (Skins, The Borgias), Lucien Laviscount (Scream Queens, Honeytrap), and Phoebe Dynevor (The Village, Dickensian).
The ARGOS File is an interactive, live-action VR experience integrating 360˚-degree stereoscopic footage and cinema-quality visual effects, with unique mechanics for engaging in the narrative. In the story, you are a detective solving a murder by exploring the recorded memories of the victim.
BD: How would you describe your creative process in working on these projects and the talented creators who brought them to life?
SP: The beauty of these different projects is that we had the opportunity to work with different partners on each experience.
The ARGOS File was a collaboration with the Cinaptic creative team that developed the content of the teaser, Nokia OZO sponsored production, and Magnopus provided the cutting edge visual effects and post production for the project.
The Snatch VR Heist Experience was in partnership with Sony and Crackle and was shot over a span of four days in Manchester, England, with each actor filming on separate days.
And MELITA was the conceptual brainchild of Future Lighthouse from start to finish. The project was so ambitious and forward-thinking that upon viewing, we partnered with Oculus to release it exclusively for the first 6 months.
BD: What was your experience in premiering these projects at the Venice Film Festival, and what was the user response from those who participated in the experiences?
SP: The Venice Film Festival is the longest running film festival in existence and undoubtedly a taste maker in the industry. So, the fact that they dedicated an entire island to VR is definitely a nod to the medium.
BD: What do you hope that participants will take away from these VR experiences?
SP: I just hope these experiences help people realize the power of VR as a storytelling tool and how powerful this medium can be.
BD: Are there any other projects on which you are currently working that you are able to share with readers?
SP: Right now, we are really excited to continue our work on the additional parts of MELITA, which will continue the narrative as she tries to find a new planet for humans to inhabit due to global warming.
In addition, in the spirit of Halloween, we are putting the finishing touches on an experience that will definitely have you leaving the lights on.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Future Lighthouse?
SP: Stay tuned, because we have a bunch of cool things in the works. And the greatest part about the experiences that premiered at Venice Film Festival is that they bring a storytelling aspect to VR, and additional parts of the saga will be rolling out over the course of the next few months.