By Evan DeSimone
Just over a month after announcing its creator-focused “Gear Indie” channel, Samsung’s Milk VR unit is ready to issue the first of its promised creator challenges designed to stimulate VR filmmakers and inspire the next wave of premium immersive content.
The “There In 60 Seconds” Challenge will require filmmakers to create an ultra-short-form VR experience lasting no longer than one minute. During the span, creatives must transport viewers to a unique location that has special significance to them. That might be a tall order, but Samsung is backing the challenge with an offer of prime placement on the Gear Indie VR channel and a $10,000 cash prize for the winner, the first of several promised payouts from the program.
With virtual reality expected to reach a wide swath of mainstream consumers within the next five years, Samsung joins a short list of companies looking for innovative ways to foster the development of new content for the emerging medium. The Gear Indie channel, which operates on Samsung’s Milk VR platform and can be viewed using the company’s Gear VR headset, features work from independent filmmakers working in the VR medium. Samsung is offering several rounds of prizes, including cash and equipment to filmmakers who participate in challenges on the channel.
Submissions for the contest open Nov. 1, and entrants will be judged by a panel of VR industry pros including Jason Rubin, the head of Worldwide Studios for Oculus; Nancy Bennett, the chief content officer at Two Bit Circus; and Anthony Batt, the co-founder and executive vice president of WEVR.