The Film Festival Doctor (Yes, she’s a real doctor!) Dr. Rebekah Louisa Smith, always keeps her eye out for the new and emerging film festivals and one festival which recently caught her attention was the unique V.R. Film Festival. She was lucky to interview the lovely George Burt, the Director of the festival. Below George explains why his festival is different from other V.R. fests.
- George Hi, welcome to The Film Festival Doctor’s blog 🙂 could you kindly tell my reader a little bit about yourself and your awesome new film festival The VR Film Festival?
Hello! I’m a cinematographer who’s worked with Writer/Director Tom Paton for the last decade. In the last five years we have made six movies that have all had successful releases worldwide (including Pandorica, Black Site & Redwood). During the lockdown we started using our VR headsets more often and wondered if anybody was watching movies or using it as a platform to share their work with an audience.
- How is your festival different from the typical type of VR festival which filmmakers and audiences are most used to?
Well a lot of big festivals have already implemented a VR section into their existing events but this is usually for interactive VR content.
The VR Film Festival is a platform that allows audiences from around the world to meet inside VR to watch live premieres together without needing to leave the comfort of their own homes.
- At this moment in time, the world is currently in the middle of a pandemic which is when the VR Film Festival launched – why was this time period the right time for you to launch the festival?
Like mentioned before, this festival was created during the lockdown here in the UK to give audiences and filmmakers a platform to meet and watch films in a safe environment.
- Tell us more about the Oculus Go headset which audiences need to use in order to watch films that are part of the VR festival?
There are many different headsets you can get to watch the VR Film Festival. Oculus are one of the biggest suppliers of VR headsets so I would recommend starting with the Oculus Go or Quest depending on your budget.
- How did the VR premiere of your feature film which you were the DOP for THE ASCENT go?
The premiere for the Ascent went so well and I want to thank the 268 people who turned up to the event. We were incredibly lucky to have IndieWire’s chief critic and executive editor Eric Kohn who hosted the event for us and did the Q&A with myself and Tom Paton.
- How can filmmakers submit their films to your festival, what is the process?
Get in touch with me directly as we want to see your films – here the email we’ve setup for the festival: [email protected] – also follow us on Instagram – thevrfilmfestival & Twitter – @TheOfficialVRFF
- With regards to the VR Film Festival – what are you finding the most challenging things to figure out since the CV19 pandemic hit, did it affect your festival?
VR is a virus free environment so its pretty future safe for now
- What are your views with regards to online film festivals?
They’re good, however the best thing about the VR Film Festival is that the movies are screened in a VR 3D setting and screen recording can be tracked through the app.
The Film Festival Doctor is very much looking forward to collaborating with the VR Festival Further as it’s a game-changer in the world of film festivals and is well ahead of the competition!
Coming Next Week – Rebekah explores and discusses in detail the new ‘hybrid’ film festival model which will be an exciting new way to engage with audiences and films.