The late Gene Roddenberry was once at the forefront of science fiction — with Roddenberry 360°, his son Rod might be following in his footsteps. The new venture is dedicated to creating 360° and VR entertainment, starting off with a short 15-minute film called White Room: 02B3.
The film itself isn’t new — it’s been scooping up film festival awards since 2012, taking home Best Short Sci-Fi Film at the 2013 Phoenix Film Festival. This week marks the first time that the interested public will be able to experience the film the way it was meant to be seen — in 360 degrees.
It’s a new frontier for entertainment, and it could be a lot less gimmicky than the previous one, 3D. This is one of the first stories that has been told using a 360 degree presentation — using a VR rig (or a smartphone, moving it around to change viewpoint), viewers can place themselves in the action and have a radically different experience than the next person, just by virtue of giving more attention to one area of the room over another. Roddenberry 360° and other fledgling VR studios are keen to see where they can take this idea, and it could result in VR experiences a lot more interesting than the mock helicopter flights we’re getting now.
White Room: 02B3 tells the story of six people who wake up in a white room with no recollection of how they got there. Six confused strangers stuck in one place, plus one gun in the middle of the table? The drama creates itself. The short stars Breckin Meyer, Tamlyn Tomita, David Blue, Rachel True, Doug Jones, Tony Janning, and Milynn Sarley, and if all that film festival hardware is any indication, it should be a solid choice any way you watch it. If you want the 360° version, you can get that now as an Android or iOS app for $3.