Around the time Oculus VR began experimenting internally with the creation of tech demos, investor Marc Andreessen, impressed with what he'd seen, urged Brendan Iribe, Oculus VR's CEO, to show them off to Hollywood. Andreessen believed the medium was a perfect fit for that industry. Iribe, in turn, showed his company's prototype Rift technology to an unnamed, major Hollywood director. That director, responding the way most do when they first encounter modern-day virtual reality, enthusiastically implored Iribe to join forces and create a feature film with it. Iribe immediately balked and shot down the offer. "I don't know the first thing about movies," he says of that initial conversation.
That was then. Today, Oculus VR plans to figure out the entertainment industry in a big way. With Story Studio, an in-house innovation lab focused on exploring and sharing tools and techniques to craft entertainment experiences within VR, the Facebook-owned company is embarking on a different path. Outside "guest directors" will be brought in to work with the studio and lead Creative Director Saschka Unseld, a former Pixar director, in what is essentially a VR workshop. And along the way, Oculus hopes to refine what it means to inhabit VR on a cinematic level, beginning with its first animated short, Lost, which will debut at Sundance.
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