”HTC VIVE ORIGINALS's first VR animation 《Gloomy Eyes》 is on a Roll
Winning both Annecy International Animated Film Festival’s Cristal for the Best VR Work2019/06/23
HTC, the global leader in smartphones and virtual reality design innovations, collaborated with French XR animation production company Atlas V to co-produce and distribute immersive VR animated film The Encounter, the first installation of Gloomy Eyes trilogy. After being selected for the Sundance Film Festival and winning the Best Storytelling at the SXSW Film Festival, Gloomy Eyes triumphed once more as it received the Cristal for the Best VR Work in Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Gloomy Eyes also won the Golden Mask Award in the 2019 NewImages Festival VR competition. Earlier on this year, HTC announced that Jam Hsiao is invited to participate in the mandarin voice over for the asia version of Gloomy Eyes. Jam Hsiao is getting ready to go into the recording studio to tell the story as the character grave keeper. This is the first time for Jam Hsiao to participate in a VR animation, and he is eager to try and look forward to this crossover collaboration.
The 43rd Annecy International Animated Film Festival held its grand opening in June in Annecy, France. Annecy International Animated Film Festival is the world’s oldest and largest international animation film festival, and along with International Animation Festival Hiroshima, Ottawa International Animation Festival, and Zagreb World Festival of Animated Films, the four festivals are considered the four most important animation film festivals of the world. The Encounter, the first installment of the Gloomy Eyes trilogy, stood out with the other nine animation works selected from over 90 submissions from over 30 countries, and received the Cristal for Best VR Work award. This year is the second year of the NewImages Festival which was held in Paris from 19th to 23rd. NewImages Festival was founded by the Forum des Images, a organization dedicated to the promotion of films, digital films, documentaries, and virtual reality films. HTC VIVE ORIGINALS’ two VR films were selected by the VR competition of NewImages Festival, including the VR animation Gloomy Eyes and the VR short film Mr. Buddha directed by Lee Chung. On June 22nd, the organizers announced that the 2019 NewImages Festival VR competition Golden Mask award goes to Gloomy Eyes.
Gloomy Eyes is named as the world’s first immersive VR animation, and is also the first international co-produced animation work for HTC VIVE ORIGINALS, France XR animation production company Atlas V and Argentina Animation Studio 3Dar. Their partners include American company Ryot Studio, Arte, CNC, Unity, and Rhones Alpes. The first installation of the trilogy Gloomy Eyes, The Encounter, has been nominated by various international film festival since earlier this year, including being selected in New Frontier by the Sundance Film Festival, awarded with Best VR Short Film Award in the 38th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, and awarded as Best Storytelling in the SXSW Film Festival. This time it is honored with Cristal for the Best VR Work in the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and the Golden Mask award given by the NewImages Festival VR Competition.
Known for making VR films such as The Deserted and 5×1, HTC VIVE ORIGINALS’ VR work has been at the center of attention in the film industry. The collaborative effort of co-producing and making VR animation with Atlas V represents that HTC VIVE ORIGINALS is planning on speeding up its content production chain on the global market with animation. After receiving the news of the win in the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, HTC VIVE ORIGINALS’ president and co-producer of Gloomy Eyes Liu Szu-Ming said, “The ultimate goal of a good story is to be told to the world. We are committed to integrate the film and television resources of the Chinese and Western industry, and to provide a more diverse immersive experience for audiences all over the world.” Gloomy Eyes will be screening for four days in Qing Dao for the Sandbox Immersive Festival from the 24th.
Gloomy Eyes used real-time game engine computing, with the flexibility and all-rounded free movement function, allowing viewers to walk freely within the animation as if they stepped into the world of the story in person. The story tells of a little boy Gloomy who stole from the mayor, which led to him hiding in the forest to stay away from the bounty hunter. During the process, he accidentally fell love with a little girl, but she is the niece of the bounty hunter. A romantic and innocent love story begins. Renowned Hollywood actor Colin Farrell narrated Gloomy Eye trilogy’s first installment The Encounter. HTC has invited Golden Melody Awarded Singer Jam Hsiao to interpret the mandarin version of Gloomy Eyes. Jam has been interested in performing his original videos on his personal Instagram. Recently he will go into studios to tell the story of Gloomy Eyes as the grave keeper. When asked about his first challenge of performing in a VR film as voice over, Jam left the audience hanging by saying, “I’m ready for this. Just wait and see.”