In September, Within partners with MWMi to showcase five mind-bending 360-degree journeys from YouTube sensations SOKRISPYMEDIA
Virtual reality gets seriously fun this month when Within partners with MWMi to release five irreverent, wildly creative and highly entertaining experiences created by MWMi collaborator, SOKRISPYMEDIA: Channel Surfer, Internet Surfer, Do Not Touch, Video Game Vehicle and Tiny Tank. All videos — billed collectively as SOKRISPY DREAMS — will be available for streaming September 12th.
SOKRISPY was founded by Sam Wickert and Eric Leigh as a space to experiment with up-and-coming immersive filmmaking techniques in conjunction with cutting-edge visual effects. The result? Amusing VR creations that tap into a youthful zeitgeist of video games, internet memes and new media.
This month, we invite you to follow along as we roll out a series of behind-the-scenes stories featuring Sam and Eric on the Within blog. We’ll pick their brains about their krispy creations, and learn about the complicated VR wizardry that makes their work so unique. Until then, here’s a closer look at their videos:
“Channel Surfer” helped put SOKRISPY on the map as VR creators. It was the piece that caught the eye of MWMi, which soon offered to partner with Sam and Eric in order to produce the series of immersive shorts, collectively known as, SOKRISPY DREAMS, which is featured alongside “Channel Surfer” on Within.
In “Channel Surfer” a hapless TV viewer gets sucked inside his grandmother’s television set and begins appearing in his favorite shows and movies. Spoofs on “The Walking Dead,” “Back to the Future” and “South Park” ensue.
The premise of “Internet Surfer” is simple, but the results are hilariously complicated. A young man fumbles with his grandmother’s antiquated desktop computer before somehow hurtling inside the internet itself. He quickly locates a 3D mouse cursor, which he carries around with him into various nooks and crannies of the world wide web.
At one point he morphs into a cartoon character before popping up inside a female YouTube influencer’s bedroom while she explains a cool new jacket to her fans. Meanwhile his grandmother is desperately trying to locate her lost grandson, and the email she types pops up in real time just behind him, launching him back out of the internet in the form of a handy “You’ve Got Mail” paper airplane.
The protagonists in this colorful experience miraculously figure out that they can enter the canvases at their local museum. One by one they step inside various pictures before running from one to the other, taking on the color, texture and hue of whatever masterpiece they happen to occupy at the time.
Swirls of pigment and layers of thick paint crack and pop as the interlopers frolic inside the frames and the characters inside each react to them accordingly. One woman posing for a portrait gives an intruder a swift slap across the face, while a simulacrum of “American Gothic” falls off the wall in a scuffle and the pitchfork, quite literally, hits the gallery floor.
The popular VR pastime of gaming gets the SOKRISPY treatment in “Video Game Vehicle,” which finds two young gamers rounding the corner into a deserted alley in their car. The driver explains to his bewildered passenger that a controller on the dash has the power to transport them to some very unexpected places.
In the blink of an eye they are inside a video game on a digitized city street.
“We’re from another dimension,” they announce as a giant soldier tries to blast them with a bazooka. This scenario is too frightening for the passenger, so his guide drops them into another, less threatening game: Super Mario Brothers. Mario and Luigi are nowhere in sight, but the gamers find that they can use their car to bop the bricks containing the magic coins and power mushrooms that regulate time and energy in the game.
This fun-loving scenario doesn’t last long. Soon the friends find themselves back in the alley dodging bullets fired by a Terminator-like behemoth while their car morphs into an armored vehicle equipped with a pair of very lethal-looking machine guns.
This four-minute experience was shot using a Yi Halo camera with the aid of pyrotechnics, a 100-foot motion control track and a stunt team. The result is a stunning 360-degree video in ultra HD 3D with specialized audio (read: you really should watch these in a good VR headset).
The short cuts back and forth between two scenes. The first is a living room where three guys play a video game in VR headsets. The second is inside the actual game where the guys fight in a chaotic desert battle. We see the guns they are wielding from their perspective as explosions crash around them and enemy combatants ambush them and are quickly obliterated.
The conflict collides with real life as the video game suddenly appears to be happening to the gamers in the flesh. The players are now real, as is the landscape of old stacked tires, abandoned shipping containers and bleak dirt.
The gamers in their living room decide to “Never sign out. Not ever.” Which is kind of how you might feel after watching the SOKRISPY creations.