There's a fair bit of VR-compatible 360-degree video content out there for people to enjoy, but so far it's been pretty much restricted to scenery, porn, and phone launches that nobody really wants to watch in 360-degrees anyway. Samsung's clearly had enough of waiting for something new and interesting, so it's making its own TV shows for VR.
Well sort of. The company has announced a new 'Pilot Season' similar to what Amazon does with some of its original programming. Basically it found some indie filmmakers and gave them money to develop pilot episodes for potential ongoing series, giving them a Samsung 360-degree camera to get the job done. Six pilots have been released today on Samsung's new VR video app, exclusive to the Gear VR, though only one them actually utilises Samsung's own camera tech. Here's a basic rundown of all six:
“&Design” (Sibling Rivalry and Curious Octopus)
An original episodic series about design that will change the way we look at the world. The series presents design in its intersection with science, technology and anthropology, weaving an array of items that link each episode by a universally humanistic theme. . . . From designed objects we rely on but rarely think about, to bizarre inventions, to artifacts from other cultures, “&Design” will invite us to see the world in a new way.
“Bro Bots” (Breaking Fourth)
A scripted sci-fi comedy series in VR, set in a New York City of the future. In the not-so-distant future… robots are everywhere. They talk like us. They walk like us. And they have really big personalities. Two British robots – Otis and Roberto – arrive in New York and join the NYPD. Otis acts like a Downton Abbey butler. Roberto is rough and tough, from the other side of the tracks. They are best friends. Bro Bots is an irreverent, quirky, VR buddy-comedy series.
“The Interpretation of Dreams” (Graham Sack & Sensorium)
In 1899, Sigmund Freud published his magnum opus, The Interpretation of Dreams, which shocked the world and forever changed our understanding of dreams and the unconscious mind. This episodic narrative fiction series reimagines each of Freud’s original case studies — “the Ratman”, “Dora”, “Anna O”, “Irma’s Injection” — as visually luxurious, psychologically complex, and emotionally haunting immersive VR dreamscapes. Each episode unfolds as a mystery to be solved.
The Earth is evolving and digesting our human footprint. Now humanity has a choice—stay or leave. Lightcatcher is an odyssey that revolves around earth and its people in the year 2150. Get lost with five adventurers as they travel through unique environments—enduring hardships and triumphs in the new world. Explore subterranean caves, soar in zero-gravity and grapple sky high canyon walls.
Set in a collection of real world locations, this fresh, funny and irreverent VR series directed by Sam Cadman challenges its viewers to spot eight surreal and unexpected Easter eggs hidden within each episode. Sam’s Surreal Gems is the antithesis of overly familiar futuristic and fantastical VR, rather, this series will celebrate the truly entertaining and wonderfully funny possibilities within the real world already around us.
“Voyages – Pilot” (Kaleidoscope)
A virtual reality animation that takes you on an epic journey from birth to death. Comprised of six distinct movements, “Voyages – Pilot” guides you through the emotional arc of an entire life. Experience what it feels like to be born, to grow up, to grow old, and to eventually die. The pilot features original music from Amon Tobin, Little Dragon, Jonny Greenwood, Elliot Cole and Roomful of Teeth.
There's also a trailer for Pilot Season, but that's only available as a standard non-360-degree video.