As virtual reality continues to grow from a hard core tech interest into a mass market product, the content being produced for the platform grows beside it. It was once unthinkable that a full 360 video could be rendered successfully on something with an attractive form factor. Today, however, the VR film industry is booming, taking over major shows like Sundance, and producing projects that are increasingly more ambitious in scope. This Christmas, the industry will be taking another leap via one of its first feature length stories titled: Jesus VR – The Story of Christ.
With a projected runtime of 90 minutes, Jesus VR is one of the very few VR film projects to attempt a feature length runtime. Many developers have shied away from such a project out of a hesitancy to ask an audience to remain inside of a headset for that length of time. Jesus VR’s creative team – Autumn Productions and VRWERX – clearly think differently.
Jesus VR is being executive produced by Enzo Sisti. A man who has been credited on such films as The English Patient and the 2004 Mel Gibson phenomenon, The Passion Of The Christ. This pedigree certainly lends itself to a project like Jesus VR, and Sisti’s lack of direct VR experience is being compensated by fellow producers from VRWERX: Russell Naftal and Alex Barder.
Jesus VR began filming in October 2015 and wrapped in that same month. It was shot completely in 360 4K video on location in Matera, Italy – the same city that provided the highly convincing backdrop for Passion of The Christ over a decade ago.
Director David Hansen’s desire was to create an experience that transports viewers directly to Jesus’ side from the moment He begins His ministry via baptism, to the moment of His crucifixion.
“The viewers truly feel they are there with Jesus and his disciples,” Hansen said. “This is the most powerful story of all time and virtual reality is the perfect way to tell it.”
There is no price yet for the film, but it is slated to be released around Christmas time this year on all major VR devices including: Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and HTC VIve.