The birth, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ have been depicted on both the big and small screen, and now the biblical story of the Messiah is coming in virtual reality this Christmas. A 90-minute film titled Jesus VR – The Story of Christ is coming to screens from Autumn Productions and virtual-reality production firm VRWERX, Variety reports.
Jesus VR – The Story of Christ is executive produced by Enzo Sisti, whose credits include The English Patient and Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. The film was shot in 2015 entirely in 360-degree 4K video on location in Matera, Italy, the ancient village that was also the setting for Passion of the Christ. David Hansen directed and produced the movie, alongside producers Johnny Mac and VRWERX’s Russell Naftal and Alex Barder. VRWerx previously created a VR game based on the Paranormal Activity film franchise
— AlgoVR (@AlgoVirtual) June 30, 2016
The script for Jesus VR was penned by Andre van Heerden. Hansen and Mac’s Toronto-based Autumn Productions will finance the film. The producers promise a “you-are-there” virtual reality experience of Jesus’s life, “from his baptism to the Sermon on the Mount, and from the Last Supper to his crucifixion.”
“The viewers truly feel they are there with Jesus and his disciples,” Hansen said in a statement. “This is the most powerful story of all time and virtual reality is the perfect way to tell it.”
Sisti added in a statement, “I am beyond thrilled to be a part of this groundbreaking project. It’s as exciting a take on the story of Christ as I’ve ever seen and its production values will absolutely set a new benchmark for virtual reality.”
There have hundreds of films made based on the Old Testament and New Testament, depicting characters or figures from the Bible. Five of the most successful films ever made about the Bible have been: The Passion of the Christ, Ben Hur, The Robe, The Ten Commandments, and the animated feature The Prince of Egypt. Back in 2006, Christianity Today listed the top ten film that “ascend to the top of the cinematic pack.” There are also several B-movie horrors centered on Jesus Christ as a vampire or a demon hunter on Earth.
The cast of Jesus VR – The Story of Christ includes Tim Fellingham as Jesus, Mish Boyko as Peter, Christian Serritiello as Andrew, Rhys Howells as Judas and Matteo Carlomagno as John. The film’s religious adviser is Father William Fulco, who also consulted on The Passion of the Christ.
— Upload (@UploadVR) June 28, 2016
As virtual reality in cinema picks up steam, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group has appointed Jake Zim as the Senior VP of Virtual Reality at Sony Pictures Entertainment. According to the announcement, Zim, who previously served as Sony’s Senior VP of Digital Marketing, will be responsible for building a “slate of narrative VR content” for the group. Zim’s VR credits include collaborating with The Void to create the Ghostbusters: Dimensions experience to help promote the new movie.
Google is helping filmmakers transition to VR storytelling by partnering with IMAX to build VR cameras for Hollywood. Google’s VP of Virtual Reality, Clay Bavor said, “IMAX is known around the world for its immersive visuals and audio. We’re really excited about what we’re going to be able to do with them.” Samsung has also announced plans to establish its own VR-only movie studio.
Jesus VR– The Story of Christ will be available on major mobile and premium VR platforms including Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and the HTC Vive. According to these companies, pricing has not yet been set.
What are your thoughts about experiencing the story of Jesus Christ in virtual reality?
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