This week the pioneering VR film MansLaughter, wrapped principal photography and now heads into VR post-production with an expected release date of August 15th of this year. Written and directed by David Marlett, MansLaughter immerses the audience in four simultaneously existing scenes in which deception, murder, passion and greed keep the audience not only guessing, but revisiting the story again and again. “This is exciting, and challenging, and I could not be more pleased with our extraordinary cast and crew,” said Marlett.
The MansLaughter blurb:
Five people in tangled relationships discover an extraordinary opportunity: one of them has won a $265 Million Lotto ticket and is cautiously waiting to turn it in. But delay is not his friend, nor are the other four, as it gives them time for deception, double-cross and murder in order to claim the ticket for themselves. But who will end up with the money? Pay attention all around you to find out. In this revolutionary, original film, you’ll have a never-seen-before experience. After putting on virtual reality headgear (like an Oculus Rift or GearVR), you’ll find yourself in a virtual world, amid a web of lies and murder.
The first of several VR films in development and/or pre-production by Marlett’s prod co, Cinemersia, MansLaughter was born and designed under the influence of both the extraordinary new medium of VR storytelling, along with the limitations of developing-but-still-not-there 360 degree spherical HD camera rigs. “We wanted to create what has never been done before: an HD, cinema quality, narrative, live-action film, placed into the audience’s immersed environment,” said Cameron Ayres, Director of VR Technology for Cinemersia. “So, we worked with a number of experts in gaming and film tech and devised this configuration. David took it from there.”
Besides the production itself being innovative (a first-of-its-kind in the world), the crew of MansLaughter rigged an Oculus Rift into the production computers on set. “That was terrific,” said Marlett. “Not only did it give my cinematographer and I the ability to review VR takes in real-time, but allowed me to better communicate my vision to the cast and crew.”
Shot with RED Dragons, at 6K and 60FPS, and with a linear run time of 14 minutes (with content run time of 60 minutes), MansLaughter will require significant compression to run on current VR HMDs (head-mounted displays) such as the Oculus Rift, Samsung’s GearVR, and HTC’s Vive. With less compression, it will be able to demonstrate the best of what HMDs will have to offer over the next year. Post-production will heavily utilize Unity and a hacked version of Premiere, among other editing tools.
Marlett added, “We have a number of cool VR feature films in the works, and we’re excited about the new strategic partnerships and alliances that will help them come to fruition. I am especially thankful to John Carmack [CTO, Oculus] for his insights that made MansLaughter possible.”
David Marlett is an experienced screenwriter and filmmaker, as well as the author of the 2014 best selling novel, Fortunate Son. For more about him, see www.dmarlett.com.