The first feature film to be shot entirely with 360-degree virtual reality cameras began principal photography in Baltimore on Friday. “Career Opportunities in Organized Crime,” is a comedic, documentary-style film about the Russian mafia. It is set to be the first 90-minute, feature length movie created for dedicated virtual reality headsets. According to film director Alexander Roman, “Viewers will have the experience of being in the movie, right there, with the characters.”
Several major technology companies are set to release virtual reality headsets to the general public early next year. Facebook-owned Oculus has announced an early 2016 ship date for the Oculus Rift Headset. Sony and HTC have similarly announced they will ship their headsets, Project Morpheus and the Vive respectively, in Q1 2016. “Career Opportunities in Organized Crime” plans to be available for download for the headsets upon their release.
“Career Opportunities,” an independent film by Akibimi Productions, LLC, is being filmed simultaneously with Virtual Reality cameras and conventionally with a RED Epic cinema camera. Both versions of the film are to be released simultaneously.
“The intent is to examine the effect of Virtual Reality on the cinematic narrative,” says Roman, “Will the same story have more of an emotional impact when viewed through virtual reality? Will it actually prove more difficult to tell a focused story without being able to control what the audience sees? These are the questions we are hoping to examine with our project.”
“Career Opportunities” stars Rick Irwin and Alexander Mills. The film is set-up as a Russian mafia recruitment film and follows the story of Nicholas Stevenson, their first American recruit.