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Google releases for the first time its VR Doodle to celebrate the French illusionist and film director on the anniversary of his 1912 his silent film: “À la conquête du pole”- On the Conquest of the Pole. The Doodle, called “Back to the Moon,” is a collaboration between Google Spotlight Stories (the company’s VR storytelling arm), Google Arts & Culture, and Cinémathèque Française.
Who was the French illusionist?
French illusionist and film director was Georges Méliès. He was well-known for the use of special effects, and also one of the first filmmakers to use storyboards. His films include “A Trip to the Moon” (1902) and “The Impossible Voyage” (1904), both involving strange, surreal journeys somewhat in the style of Jules Verne, and are considered among the most important early science fiction films, though their approach is closer to fantasy.
You can watch in a 360-degree interactive video if viewing on a regular web browser. “In addition to being a magician, Méliès was an expert storyteller, so it was important for the Doodle to have a clear story. We approached it as if it were a ballet or play you watch at the theatre, where you get to choose where to look. In these situations, the spectator becomes the camera, editing their own film” said Hélène Leroux, project art lead of the Doodle.
Doodler and project art lead Hélène Leroux who is working with co-director Fx Goby of Nexus Studios says in the Google Doodles blog that she wanted to re-create a sense of Méliès’s handcrafted world, chockablock with nods to many of his famed special effects, while also creating a story that could be experienced as if a live performance, where “the spectator becomes the camera.”
So, the VR Doodle is available on mobile and through Google Cardboard and Daydream via the Google Spotlight Stories app. And of course, VR Doodle is also available as a 360-degree video on YouTube.
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