Virtual Reality

Reel FX Investing in the Future of VR for Social Good at Sundance 2017

Written by Reel FX

While virtual reality continues to strengthen its footing across entertainment, gaming, advertising, journalism, education and numerous other sectors, many skeptics are still asking: how can VR make an enduring impact?

Dallas, TX/Santa Monica, CA-based Reel FX has stepped up with Oculus’ $1 million ‘VR for Good’ initiative, dedicating their internal talent and resources to inspire social change through immersive VR content that promotes empathy. Having crafted and developed award-winning VR projects for the likes of 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, AT&T, Shinola, American Express, Hilton, GMC, Google and Legendary among others, Reel FX jumped at the opportunity to become more involved with Oculus’ exciting new initiative. In addition to their director Elliot Dillman crafting a 360 video for LA-based nonprofit Harmony Project, Reel FX leveraged their robust post-production resources. Reel FX editor Chris Collins cut Dillman’s film “In Harmony” and editor Quan Tran cut the “Notes to My Father” film on child trafficking, directed by Jayisha Patel. With a full studio that has produced Golden Globe-nominated feature animated films to original immersive storytelling, their entertainment and technology chops were essential to elevate the production values on these cause-driven immersive films to create the most vivid experience for viewers.

This is a continuing dedication to cause-driven VR work for Reel FX, having previously teamed up with AT&T’s ‘It Can Wait’ campaign to allow viewers to truly understand the horrific possibilities of distracted driving. The VR experience creates an unprecedented level of immersion to give viewers a 360 degree, lifelike account of what it is really like to text/post/video chat while driving and the potentially deadly consequences of glancing at your phone while driving. You can view a look inside the impactful experience, which was included in a panel discussion at SXSW 2016 and went on a 100-city tour, HERE. Reel FX also created the award-winning #enlistme 360 Skydive for GMC featuring Josh Duhamel taking two wounded veterans on a dive of their life to support injured service members awaiting life-changing smart homes.

Reel FX has been at the forefront of the burgeoning virtual reality industry, launching their dedicated VR/AR/Interactive division in 2014 as the sector was just beginning to gain its footing. Since then, they have continued to innovate by leveraging their superior technical capabilities and award-winning storytelling talent to create immersive stories that engage and reverberate with viewers long after the headset is removed.

The nine rising filmmakers and nonprofits that make up the VR for Good will debut their immersive films at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival from January 23 – 25, with a VIP viewing day on January 22. The Oculus House will run January 20 – 26.

About the author

Reel FX

About Reel FX
Reel FX develops and produces award-winning animated films, virtual reality experiences, mobile/interactive content, live-venue projects, and commercials. Based out of Dallas, Texas and Santa Monica, California, the company has over 23 years of experience working with studio partners like Fox, Warner Bros., DreamWorks Animation and Universal Studios as well as national advertising agencies and global brands. In 2010, Reel FX announced the launch of its feature film banner, Reel FX Animation Studios. Its slate includes the Golden Globe-nominated The Book of Life with 20th Century Fox and Free Birds with Relativity Media. The two films have grossed a combined $210 million worldwide. Multiple feature-length animated projects are currently in development. Reel FX Commercial, the studio’s turn-key short-form division, crafts a variety of broadcast and digital content, music videos and themed attractions. The studio’s newest division, Reel FX VR, launched in 2014 and has already developed dozens of world-class VR interactive activations and 360º narrative content for innovative brands, such as 20th Century Fox, Acura, American Express, AT&T, Frito-Lay, GE, GMC, Hilton, Legendary Pictures, Lionsgate, Porsche, Samsung, and the U.S. Air Force, and for all leading VR headset platforms including Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR and Cardboard.