A new wave of standalone VR headsets are coming but long before these, there was Samsung’s Gear VR. Powered by Oculus, the Samsung-specific platform has seemingly languished by the wayside, filled with nothing more than what can probably be best described as tech demos. In an attempt to show that it means business, Samsung has launched its Pilot Season initiative to fund and help indie filmmakers create VR content, which has so far yielded six episodic original series exclusive to the Gear VR.
Virtual reality has yet to shed its stigma as a purely entertainment platform but, let’s face it, it’s great for entertainment. Especially immersive ones that are best experienced with the viewer right in the middle of the action or drama rather than a mere detached spectator. But VR content doesn’t just happen by magic. Someone has to make them and that someone may need a little help, especially financially for that to happen.
Although not exactly for just any VR content maker, Samsung’s Pilot Season program tries to woo larger indie filmmakers to make a name for themselves in the VR market. The program gives them access to the expensive 360 ROund professional 360-degree camera and a spotlight on Samsung’s VR Video service.
So far, six studios have signed up for that program to produce new series touching different genres, topics, and treatment. This includes a documentary-like “&Design”, sci-fi comedy “Bro Bots”, psychological mystery “The Interpretation of Dreams”, and hidden object travelogue “Sam’s Surreal Gems” among others. These six series can be accessed from the Featured section of the Samsung VR Video service using a Gear VR with Controller. Samsung makes no mention of compatibility with the older Gear VR headsets.