Google Spotlight Story: “Pearl” Gets Oscar Nomination

Google Spotlight Story: “Pearl” Gets Oscar Nomination

If you haven’t seen this charming 360-degree short film from Google Spotlight, now is a good time to check it out – it just became the first VR film to be nominated for an Academy Award.

Created by Patrick Osborne, the same director behind Disney’s Oscar-nominated short film “Feast,” “Pearl” follows a little girl and her folk musician father as they travel around the country, living out of the family car. Using HTC Vive, viewers can look around the car, stick their heads out of the sun roof to see the landscape go rolling by, and watch as Pearl grows up, heads out on her own and carries on her father’s legacy.

It’s part music video, part road movie, and entirely immersive, thanks to it being a 360-degree animated short that lets viewers tilt their phones to look around in the car and find their own vantage point as the story unfolds around them.

“Pearl” is one of a number such Spotlight Stories that have come out of Google, which in the past cooperated with animation legends like “Ariel” creator Glenn Keane and Aardman Animations of “Wallace and Gromit” fame, and is currently working on a new project from “Book of Life” director Jorge Gutierrez.

However, it was the first such project to also support a full-fledged VR headset with the HTC Vive, allowing viewers to move around in the car and even stick their head out of the sun roof.

Google officially debuted “Pearl” at the Tribeca Film Festival last April, and subsequently released it on YouTube as well as on the HTC Vive.

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