The method of story telling is slowly changing with new technology becoming more available to everyone. Google has been playing with storytelling in Virtual Reality with Spotlight Stories, a part of their Advanced Technology and Products (ATAP) division they kept after the purchase of Motorola back in 2011. Today, they’ve launched a new Google Doodle to celebrate a milestone in the life of French illusionist and film director Georges Méliès which you can experience as a Spotlight Story.
The Spotlight Story is produced by London based animation and film company Nexus Studios, the Spotlight Story celebrates the release date of Georges Méliès greatest masterpieces: À la conquête du pôle (The Conquest of the Pole, 1912). The work of Méliès is very significant in cinema, where his illusions and camera tricks helped in the future development of many special effects techniques in cinema.
Laurent Manonni, Director of Heritage at The Cinémathèque Française says that ‘The magic of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg today could not have been possible without Méliès’ development of techniques across theatrical machinery, pyrotechnics, optical effects, horizontal and vertical dropouts, camera stops, crossfades, overprints, conjuring, editing effects, and color effects on film.’
While the Spotlight Story focuses on his film, Conquest of the Pole, his work on other films including Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) and Le Tunnel sous la Manche ou le Cauchemar franco-anglais (Tunneling the English Channel) will be equally well known to film buffs and get a nod in the Spotlight Story released today. The description for the Spotlight Story reads:
People visiting Google.com on both desktop and Mobile will see the Spotlight Story as the Google Doodle for today with a link below the search box that takes you to a landing page. The page gives a description of the Spotlight Story and then prompts you to install the Google Spotlight Stories app from Google Play or the iOS app store – or links you through to Steam and the VivePort store which can view Spotlight Stories as well.
If you don’t have a headset, or a compatible device, you can always simply view it as a 360-degree video on YouTube.
The short video is very well produced, using the 360-degree space quite well. The video takes a slightly darker turn about halfway through which may be a bit much for younger kids, but it’s pretty good otherwise.