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Darren Aronofsky-Produced VR Series, ‘Spheres,’ Sells to CityLights for Seven Figures — Sundance 2018

"Interstellar" actress Jessica Chastain narrates part one of three.

A still image from SPHERES: Songs of Spacetime by Eliza McNitt, an official selection of the New Frontier VR Experiences program at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

“Spheres: Songs of Spacetime”

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Spheres,” a three-part virtual reality series executive produced by Darren Aronofsky, was purchased for seven figures at Sundance. The buyer is CityLights, a Los Angeles-based, VR financing and distribution studio founded this month. “Songs of Spacetime,” the 13-minute, Jessica Chastain-narrated first episode, screened last week in the New Frontier section at the festival’s newest venue, The Ray Theatre.

Read More:  Darren Aronofsky: ‘Keeping Audiences on the Edge of Their Seat Is Our Job, Especially in Today’s World’ – Toolkit Podcast

Aronofsky and his “Noah” co-writer, Ari Handel, oversaw production through their Protozoa Pictures banner. All three chapters were directed by Eliza McNitt, writer of “Fistful of Stars,” another space-set, VR experience that debuted last year at South by Southwest.

A still image from <i>SPHERES: Songs of Spacetime</i> by Eliza McNitt, an official selection of the New Frontier VR Experiences program at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

“Spheres: Songs of Spacetime”

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

“‘Spheres’ explores the songs of the cosmos,” said McNitt. “Most people think Space is silent — it’s not. We’re excited for CityLights to help bring this experience to the world as we pioneer a new path to create and distribute immersive stories.”

“Spheres” will first be accessible to those with Oculus Rift headsets before CityLights rolls out a wider release on additional VR platforms. Oculus and Intel helped fund the undertaking.

A still image from <i>SPHERES: Songs of Spacetime</i> by Eliza McNitt, an official selection of the New Frontier VR Experiences program at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

“Spheres: Songs in Spacetime”

Courtesy of Sundance Institute

“We’re incredibly excited to work with Eliza and the entire team on ‘Spheres,'” said CityLights co-founder Joel Newton. “The ambition and generative nature of the vision for SPHERES perfectly fits with our mission to bring content to broader audiences and showcase the types of experiences only VR can deliver.”

Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein of the electronic band Survive — which scored season one of “Stranger Things” — wrote original music for “Spheres.” Watch a trailer for episode one below, which transports viewers inside a black hole.

SPHERES: Songs of Spacetime Trailer from Eliza McNitt on Vimeo.

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