Crowdfunding and distribution platform Seed&Spark is teaming up with Wemo.io, a virtual reality technology and platform company, to launch a diversity-minded grant program to empower independent filmmakers to become part of the growing virtual reality industry.
During the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, both platforms will demo virtual reality experiences for filmmakers and invite them to submit grant proposals for short immersive experiences. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with the aim of content production beginning in early March. The grant program will offer both cash and in-kind support, including equipment loans, on-set coaching, post-production services and funds to pay cast and crew. Grant sizes will be project-dependent. In an effort to promote entry diversity, Seed&Spark will provide production support and educational tools to help filmmakers get comfortable in the immersive production space.
“2015 is essentially ‘Year 1’ for virtual reality (VR). There are close to a million early-stage VR headsets on the market and that number could triple by the end of the year as hardware companies release consumer versions such as Oculus Rift, Samsung GearVR and others,” predicts Neville Spiteri, CEO and co-founder of Wemo.io.
“There’s a content void at the moment,” added Emily Best, the CEO of Seed&Spark. “We’re at the Lumière Brothers stage of VR content right now. The filmmakers who learn this medium first will have a big influence on the culture and style of immersive storytelling. As in other markets, first movers in VR productions have the biggest opportunity ahead of them.”
Filmmakers can contact Seed&Spark at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information about this invitation-only VR grant program.