Eliza McNitt’s virtual reality film experience ‘Spheres’, which includes Darren Aronofsky as an executive producer, will premiere at the Telluride Film Festival. It will be the first VR project to screen there. McNitt wrote and directed ‘Spheres’ which was then acquired by CityLights at Sundance for a reported low- to mid-seven figure deal.
‘Spheres’ is broken up into three parts, with which viewers can interact. The first, ‘Chorus of the Cosmos’ is narrated by Millie Bobby Brown, was premiered in Venice’s VR Island earlier this year. In it, the planets “sing” for audience members who interact with it. Jessica Chastain narrated part two, ‘Songs of Spacetime’, which focuses on black holes and gravitational waves. That segment made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival. The third segment, ‘Pale Blue Dot’ details events from the Big Bang to the edge of the cosmos and was narrated by punk rock legend Patti Smith, and it made its debut at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
“I wanted three women from different generations to capture the voice of our universe at different stages. I grew up when voices of science were Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson. I was hankering to have those voices be women, voices of the cosmos to inspire women of all ages to engage in science. We didn’t want people to just think about science, but to really feel it.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter:
Indeed, the three films allow the viewer to jump inside a black hole, dive inside planets, play with the melodies of planets in orbits, manipulate particles through space and feel energy building from the Big Bang, among many other interactive experiences captured inside the experience.
The music was composed by ‘Stranger Things” Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, with sound design by Craig Henighan, who has also worked on ‘Stranger Things’ and on Aronofsky’s ‘Black Swan’. McNitt provided them with actual recordings of sound from space, including Saturn’s rings, to inspire them and to be incorporated as they saw fit. She also collaborated with NASA and Columbia University, incorporating never before seen photographs.
“It’s a balance of science and art,” McNitt explained.
‘Spheres’ will premier on Oculus Rift with plans to expand wider from there.
Here is the trailer for the second segment, ‘Songs of Spacetime’: