If you still haven’t dipped your toes into the world of virtual reality, the Academy Awards just gave everyone another reason to pay attention to the emerging format.
Google’s VR film Pearl has been nominated for an Oscar in the category of best animated short film.
Released in 2016 as a part of the Google Spotlight Story series, Pearl tells the heartwarming story of the relationship between a father and his daughter over the course of their lives.
Centered in a hatchback car, the story seamlessly moves from high and low moments in the lives of both family members as you, the viewer, get to immersively experience the passage of time and emotions from the passenger seat of the car, right next to the characters in the film.
“I continue to feel proud of the world wide team of artists and coders that made Pearl a reality,” Patrick Osborne, the director of the film, said in a statement. “Thanks especially to the pirates of Google ATAP for rallying behind our little labor of love and thanks to the Academy for this morning’s recognition!”
The nomination of Pearl for Hollywood’s most coveted award is the first VR headset-compatible film ever tapped for the honor, and sets the stage for more VR films to compete for the attention of Hollywood and mainstream viewers as the platform continues to expand beyond gaming.
The roughly five-minute film can be viewed for free on the HTC Vive or on YouTube as a 360-degree video (above), optimized for the Chrome browser.
“Pearl is dedicated to all parents and those that create beauty and possibility out of everyday life,” David Eisenmann, the film’s producer, said on Tuesday. “Thanks to the Academy and the heart and spirit behind Google Spotlight Stories and our global crew that made it possible.”