‘Jesus VR’ Coming This Christmas From ‘Passion Of The Christ’ Producer

by Joe Durbin • June 30th, 2016

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.

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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.

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  • Steve Biegun

    90 minutes for a VR film? That file is going to be massive! I would have a hard time getting my phone to play a 360 video for 90 minutes let alone convincing myself to put a headset on for that long – regardless of content.

    Also, targetting Playstation VR as a platform for cinematic video? Interesting.

  • bschuler

    Of course.. THIS.. couldn’t be an Oculus exclusive… LOL! I would only watch it if it was Jim Henson.. not David Hansen.

  • Nashoba Darkwolf

    Great… just what we need more one dimensional, fictitious stories to clog our VR. How about something a little more constructive like a VR movie about real heroes or inventors? How about a VR movie of Nikola Tesla? You know people that actually existed.

    • hyperskyper

      Please be quiet.

  • Jan Herca

    Amazing that a full film in 3D 360 is finally going to be released, and amazing theme for a film!! This type of historical accounts are ideal for a VR film because add a lot of re-viewing and exploration to the experience. In films you always have the camera pointing to the main character, in this case Jesus or whoever, but the abaility to look around and see the other people and the surroundings. If they use good special effects for the landscape and the historical surroundings, it could be and amazing film. Cant wait.

    • It doesn’t say 3D, it says 360 4K but I have not seen any press that includes stereoscopic 3D in the description. I hope it’s true VR (360 3D 4K) but not sure it will be. Fingers crossed. A lot of folks think 360 is enough for VR but personally, I think stereoscopic is important.