Joe Hunting, director of the HBO film “We Met In Virtual Reality,” is starting a production company called Painted Clouds, focusing exclusively on virtual reality filmmaking. The company aims to create original films and series using real time VR, including the popular platform VRChat.
For Painted Clouds, productions will make use of virtual cinema cameras which Hunting helped design; they will utilize full body and facial tracking technology to capture the environments and characters that make up VRChat.
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“I’m thrilled to be moving forward in my aspirations to create progressive, diverse and emotive films using VR with Painted Clouds,” Hunting said. “I formed Painted Clouds with a passion to build a collaborative studio dedicated to real-time VR film production. Filmmaking inside VR feels like home to me, and I intend to build a talented crew of like-minded artists to continue fostering this playful cinematic form.”
Hunting’s “We Met In Virtual Reality,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2022, is a documentary showcasing online connection through virtual reality, also filmed exclusively in VR. Taking place amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the film illustrates the nature of virtual expression and interaction whilst people were physically isolated. Variety‘s Peter Debruge called Hunting’s documentary “a warmhearted, often humorous look at the sociology of such spaces.”
Additionally, Hunting is launching Painted Clouds Park, a VRChat world intended to serve as a production studio and “flexible event space.” It will be Painted Clouds’ headquarters for collaborative media events, educational workshops and experimentation with VR filmmaking technology.
Hunting’s next directorial project produced by Painted Clouds will be an original narrative series, slated for pre-productioin in 2024. The logline reads, “Filming inside VRChat, the project is an original dramedy with an overarching mystery, which follows a relatable group of online friends exploring a social VR platform with consequences both inside and outside the game.”
Both Hunting and Painted Clouds are represented by Cinetic Media.
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