Virtual Reality & Film Director
 
 
 
 

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about

I am a VR and Interactive Filmmaker. I'm inspired equally by cinema and games, and learned how to code when I was young. I loves projects that involve a mix of storytelling and experiential technology.

In my own work, I try to challenge the viewer to get involved and decide how the story should develop. A recent example is a VR game I am making called Storm, which is being released for Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.

Last year I travelled to Honduras to make a VR film with Water.org, showing how access to clean water changes people’s lives. Before that, I worked with Paloma Faith, who dressed as a Geisha to co-star alongside Graham Coxon in Desire, a surreal short film for Converse. And I filmed cycling champion Christian Vande Velde riding down the Malibu mountains at 40 mph, in a Virtual Reality film for Lexus, as well as working with legendary Anime director Koiji Morimoto on Attraction, an interactive manga film.

 
 
 
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STORM VR

Storm is an episodic Virtual Reality survival game. You wake up in an intense snowstorm, you’re slowly freezing to death. You don't know where you are, who you are, and how you got here. But the ear piercing wind and nail biting cold drive you forwards. You have to get warm, or you will die.

Storm evokes our primal instincts - survival. The beautiful, cinematic weather elements in the game were all built in Unreal Engine.

You find yourself stuck outside of a small hut, in a severe snow storm. You can see a car, probably yours, stranded nearby, half covered in snow.

As you look around for ways to get inside the house, your body gets colder, your limbs freeze up, and the storm intensifies. Your challenge is to find and combine several items lying around the building to gain entry, but as you slowly move forward a bigger question rises: who are you?

 
 
 
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ROK VR

Rok is a Virtual Reality film for Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard, inspired by a mythological creature from thousands of years ago. Rok is a very old story of a creature brought back to life using cutting edge, 360 live-action footage and 3d animation. And of course, the voice of the legendary English actor Simon Callow.

The film captures the thoughts of an old tired creature, longing for a time in the past. This VR experience allows you to fly alongside Rok, a giant, winged-creature who once inspired fear, and hear him consider his place in a modern world.  Rok was filming in Ireland along the Atlantic coast.

 
 
 
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COMMERCIAL WORK

 
 

PRIUS PROTOTYPES

The new Prius is the perfect getaway car. We set out to prove just that, with three technology experiments, each invented to show off a different feature of the car. Each of the experiments involved a complex mix of technological challenges and all visual effects had to be done in-camera, without any post-production effects.

I worked closely with Saatchi&Saatchi LA and the folks at Toyota to film three spots, each showcasing a different feature of the brand new Prius. Our ads include a smoke-emitting piano, a dancer navigating through a room full of shifting laser tripwires and an LED light creating intricate patterns behind the moving car.  


POLO VR

To celebrate Piaget’s new Polo S watch, the brand invited fans to experience the epitome of timeless luxury: the Polo match. I directed Piaget’s first-ever 360° VR experience that allowed fans everywhere to experience Polo head-on, making the otherwise elusive sport accessible to everyone.


RE: SHAKESPEARE

I partnered with Samsung and the Royal Shakespeare Company to launch a new app starring famous actors, a rapper and a beatboxer to bring Shakespeare to life for 11-18 year olds. The Android app, called RE:Shakespeare, features interactive games and videos and is hosted by RSC ambassador, David Tennant. It also features actress Tamsin Greig, beatbox artist Shlomo, rapper and poet Akala, and RSC director, Iqbal Khan. These charismatic mentors unlock Shakespeare’s language, transforming difficult lines into fun lyrical challenges and helping students to reinterpret, re-mix and perform Shakespeare like never before.


ATTRACTION

I worked with DDB Paris and the legendary director Koji Morimoto of Akira and Animatrix fame, to work together on an interactive film that would discourage teens in France from smoking.  The plan: Create the worlds first interactive anime, and allow the viewer to be an active part of a traditionally animated short film, using the newest webcam motion tracking technology.

WATER.ORG

I worked with Water.org to make a powerful and emotional 360º VR film, premiered at the launch of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. The film sheds light on the challenges that come with not having clean drinking water, showing someone’s life before and after they have water access.


LEXUS ELEVATE

I partnered with Lexus and Team One in LA to create “Elevate,” a cinematic VR experience starring Christian Vande Velde, who talks about his love for cycling, his life experiences, and ‘why he rides’.

Viewers see the world from Christian’s perspective, as he rides through a 360º view of the iconic mountains in Malibu. Using groundbreaking technology and an camera work that is unique in VR cinema, you get a unique and unprecedented perspective of what cycling means to people like Christian.


FIND YOUR WAY TO OZ

“Find Your Way to Oz” is a Google Chrome Experiment I directed for Google and Disney. It allows you to take an interactive journey through a Kansas circus. You are swept up by a massive storm which leads you to the land of Oz. In this project our goal was to combine the richness of cinema with the technical capabilities of the browser to create a fun, immersive experience that users can form a strong connection with.


THE BLACK DIAMOND

Mother London have long positioned the Stella Artois brand with the cool side of classic French cinema. For their latest campaign they wanted to bring on-board immersive theatre innovators Punchdrunk, to work with Anrick and their own creatives in order to combine an immersive mix of real-life cinematic theatre and online interactive storytelling.

I created the interactive online film to offer the users their own perspective on the Black Diamond story. Orchestrated around the key locations in East London, the Black Diamond follows the diamond as it passes from person to person and is eventually reunited with its rightful owner.

 
 
 

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SPEAKING & WRITING

 
 

AUG '16

INTERVIEW BY 99U

Adobe's 99U did an interview with me, focused on my Virtual Reality work, and how to 'Adopt New Tech Before Everyone Else'. Read more: Here

Aug '16

ESSAY: SHOOTING IN 360°

A short photo essay I made with some lessons learned in Honduras, while filming for Water.org, and many beautiful photos from our trip. Read more: Here

 

 

AUG '16

SCHOOL OF MACHINES

I worked with the School of Machines on a month-long Virtual Reality workshop for young passionate people in Berlin. 

May '16

OFFF BARCELONA

I did another talk at the wonderful OFFF Festival in Barcelona, talking about my latest work and the technical challenges to make great creative work. 

 

 

APR '16

CAMPAIGN USA ARTICLE

A short article in Campaign USA, about Future Proofing VR, and how we can make VR experiences that last 10 years, not just 10 minutes. Read more: Here

APR '16

NORDIC VR MEETUP

I spoke at the Nordic VR Meetup in Copenhagen about Lexus Elevate and Water.org, two recent VR films, and looking at how day-to-day VR production works. 

 
 
 

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CONTACT

 

WEST COAST
Michelle Craig
michelle@unit9.com
+1 424 3957 397
Los Angeles

EAST COAST
Tom Sacchi
tom@unit9.com
+1 646 717 0250
New York

EUROPE & ASIA
Piero Frescrobaldi
piero@unit9.com
+44 7825 855510
London