Virtual Reality Musical

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Virtual Reality has been making its rounds through medical school, engineering, and even underwater. And now, it’s headed towards the Arts department. At the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Georgia, the students are making history by becoming one of the first institutions to use virtual reality for a musical. Recently, they showcased their first VR musical, bringing together 116 from 14 unique programs over a course of 20 weeks to create their 360-degree story. “Say It With Music.”

The film was shown as a part of a VR showcase at the recent Savannah Film Festival in which students were able to watch a snippet from different vendors. The music for the movie was motivated by Irving Berlin’s composition, “Say It With Music.” The plot follows an unexpected romantic connection between two servers at a restaurant. Viewers get to use sound cues to continue with the narrative and can experience a 360-degree perspective that showcases the multiple plotlines best.

Even though VR devices are still not entirely common, this institution already has experience with it in the previous year. The SCAD sent out 10,000 pairs of Google Cardboard, a VR set by Google, to students who had already been accepted to the institution, and to potential students, to allow them to visit the campus virtually. They worked with the Collaborative Learning Center (CLC) for these projects, bringing together students from all fields, such as film, animation, dramatic writing, and production design. The CLC brings professionals into student work to challenge them with real-world challenges. For example, the students SCAD have created advertising campaigns and prototype plans for NASA, BMW, Google, and Disney.

The VR musical that the school produced is a first in a line of stories they are going to produce. Michael Chaney, a professor of film and television, explained that: “We consulted with the leading pioneers in this industry and we ourselves are becoming pioneers.”

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