Earlier this year Facebook announced that it was to close Oculus Story Studio, a division of its VR specialist dedicated to creating new VR movies both for the entertainment of Rift owners and to lay the foundations for other filmmakers. We were sad to see it go considering Story Studio had only lived for around two years and released just three projects in that time.
Maxwell Planck, one of the team’s founders, was also disappointed about the closure. As noted by the Hollywood Reporter, Planck told a crowd at SIGGRAPH in LA this week that the closure was “too bad” as the team “felt like we had more to explore.”
Plank was accompanied by VFX supervisor Inigo Quilez, FX lead Robert Chen and art director Wesley Allsbrook to discuss working on Story Studio’s final project, Dear Angelica. Despite the move, Planck said: “We continue to believe in the potential of VR. We are still working in VR. We believe this is a long journey worth taking.”
Story Studio did some great work laying the foundations of VR storytelling, even if that meant some of its projects presented unexpected issues. Some members of the team continue to work with Oculus on an external basis. Co-founder Saschka Unseld, for example, is working on Through You, a live action 360 experience supported by Oculus.
Story Studio also worked on Quill, its VR creative app that it used to make Dear Angelica. Oculus originally stated that its closure meant that Quill would not longer have any updates. Despite this, it just got a fresh set of new features.