On the country’s first stereoscopic VR horror short film

A still and a poster of Crackle, directors Eddie Avil and Ashley Rodrigues  

It’s a burnt-down house at Virar Resorts in Maharashtra, with five friends coming together for a holiday, and 16-17 cameras placed around them. We are on the sets of Crackle, the country’s first stereoscopic VR horror short film, directed by Eddie Avil and Ashley Rodrigues of the Mumbai-based production house VR Storytellers. The atmosphere for the viewer promises to be equally intense — imagine the impact if one knew a ghost was chasing you down in VR-3D format. That’s the USP of the film too. The filmmakers, elaborating on the first-of-its-kind VR short film, say, “VR has the opportunity to put you right in the middle of content, interact with it. Going ahead, you might even touch the virtual object, including the actor; you will be able to feel the intensity, like cold, heat, water — cinemate your senses beyond visual and aural aspects. It’s a profound technology that will change the way we consume entertainment.”

They know they are a little ahead of time in India — the absence of an ideal platform to showcase their content is an obvious disadvantage. “It’s a very expensive medium, and there a lot of technological problems; you are shooting/processing data from 16-17 cameras. Taking one camera at a time and giving it a 360-degree dimension,” Avil says.

On the country’s first stereoscopic VR horror short film

The filmmakers realise it’s a niche, but it isn’t without unique takeaways. “Horror is the perfect candidate for 360 VR. We are in a haunted house; now imagine there’s a person chasing a protagonist — it will elevate the fear onto another level. We are also planning to build VR content across the web series format for content studios; ALTBalaji, Jio are getting into VR. Content creators will have more reason to prepare content in the future,” Rodrigues feels. They feel it will take at least a year to see developments around VR/AR/MR with the 5G technology having a lot of say in it. “However, this is an attempt to build an ecosystem, bring many players together and even host a virtual reality conference later this year in October,” he adds.

On the country’s first stereoscopic VR horror short film

That millenials are consuming more digital content than ever, binge-watching, enjoying a lot of content-on-demand than other options, is a factor that’s giving them hope. “There are so many who may hold Shah Rukh Khan’s hand two years from now. You could feel like a protagonist that the film is surrounded by. There won’t be the bulky glasses that you see now; firms are trying to create lenses that can record stuff. The groundwork is being readied,” Avil’s buoyant. They have done their research work well. The duo have found that people going to cinema halls will diminish in the coming years, spare the superhero genre, one that features a superstar or a rare small film that grows on strong word-of-mouth.

“It’s a challenging space for an actor; you have to throw away all the fundamental rules of filmmaking, it becomes more of a theatre backdrop. There’s bound to be more improvisation, long shots, actors need to remember their lines better. No actor can feel that he’s not part of a shot,” Avil quips. The duo plan to send Crackle to VR film festivals abroad, gain some mileage and bring the content back to India. “We are talking to a couple of OTP players already, in making the content accessible to Indian viewers,” they sign off.

Our code of editorial values

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 8:55:51 PM |

Next Story