STX Entertainment aims to push the boundaries of virtual reality with their latest project, a short-form film titled “The Limit”. Directed, produced and co-written by Robert Rodriguez, whose filmography includes hits ranging from Sin City to Spy Kids, the live-action film stars Michelle Rodriguez as she plays a genetically enhanced weapon of mass-destruction hell-bent on destroying the covert agency that created her.
Senior Associate Editor at Wired, Angela Watercutter sat down with Robert, co-writer Racer Rodriguez and Executive Producer Andy Vick to discuss the motivation behind the film and some of the challenges and opportunities that creating a film in VR presents.
Until now, VR has been reserved for gaming and and short cinematic experiences. This will be the first story-driven experience of its kind. Unlike the video content that exists on the VR market right now that fails to keep the attention of the audience, this project’s story will have all of the height, realism, and drama of a real film, according to Robert, who described the project as a full movie squeezed into 20 minutes.
One aspect of production that the producers found useful was the utilization of a new cinematic VR format, which is a middle ground between the traditional widescreen and 360-degree video, according to Vick, who described the format as “IMAX on steroids”. The viewer watches the plot unfold from the POV of a secondary character, which makes them feel like they’re a part of the action, according to Robert.
This exciting new content hopes to bridge the VR gap between casual technology users and early adopters, according to Robert, who says what makes this project different is that “people know how to consume movies”. It remains to be seen whether or not that turns out to be true when it comes to VR, and more importantly if people like to consume movies presented in the medium.
All of the unknowns when it comes to VR entertainment have been holding producers back from utilizing the technology, according to Vick. He says that people like to wait for someone else to make the first move in film making to see if it works, but he isn’t one to sit around waiting for someone to beat him to it.
“The only way to figure it out is to jump in and figure out what the limits are of VR,” Vick said.
The team dove head first into the new medium, and they aren’t sure what will come next. There’s a possibility that the IP will be converted into anything from a feature-length film, to a television series, to a video game, according to Vick, who said they are eagerly awaiting constructive feedback from the community following the release.
“The Limit” is set to release November 20th on all VR platforms. Vick confirmed that there will be a price tag on the content, but believes that it will not be a large barrier for those looking to watch the film.