As part of its milestone 65th year, the Melbourne International Film Festival presented a Virtual Reality program for the very first time. As MIFF’s Technical Partner, Visual Playground engineered the development of a custom synchronous playback platform for cinematic/non-interactive VR on the Samsung Gear VR, providing audiences with the unique opportunity to experience fully immersive cinema.
‘The whole team at Visual Playground were a central part of the project’s success for us, their expertise, professionalism, and positive approach to a complicated requirement created a streamlined and successful way of presenting immersive content to MIFF’s large scale public audience,’ said Al Cossar, MIFF Programmer.
Public screenings of virtual reality are still in their infancy, as audiences come to the technology for their first time. VR presentations in overseas settings are often characterised by over-demand, inaccessibility to content, operational haphazardness and technical instability. VP delivered a reliable synchronous platform, that allowed MIFF to maximise the amount of short form content it could play across a week-long VR presentation.
VP’s technical operation role also encompassed working with MIFF volunteers within public sessions, operations staff and public audiences of all different kinds, ensuring sessions ran smoothly throughout.
Melbourne International Film Festival is the largest and longest-running film festival in the Southern Hemisphere. Presenting a program of nearly 350 films across 17 days, MIFF is a major cultural event celebrated both locally and internationally.
As part of the festival, Visual Playground also launched the short VR film, Jafri by Director Michael Beets. A collaboration between the Otto Empire and Visual Playground, the first production by the newly formed PLaTO Reality, the film has since screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.
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