Google Spotlight's VR gem 'Pearl' nominated for Academy Award

It happened to cars, now it's happening to movies. The hybrid is upon us.

Ever since VR started hitting its nascent stride a few years ago, there were whispers in the wings of what this might mean for Hollywood. As a potentially extraordinary storytelling medium, VR was always well placed to capture the hearts and minds of silver screen producers and directors, not just gaming nerds.

In a tacit nod to this new 'reality', Google Spotlight's 'Pearl', a bittersweet tale set to music of a father and daughter bonded together over the years, has just been Oscar-nominated in the 'Best Animated Short' category. When you add this to the project's other significant wins over this last year (including this week's Annie Award for Best Music), it's easy to see that there is a definite trajectory.

Pearls' inspired audio treatment (produced by the hugely talented folks at Pollen Music Group) lends a true feeling of 'being there', while the balance between the diegetic and non-diegetic elements of the music (played back both through scene props and sung by the characters) creates a sort of dreamy consciousness flow that fits perfectly with the atemporal back and forth of the narrative.

VR developers, as well as Hollywood directors, who are struggling to figure out the right way to approach story in this brave new world, could do a lot worse than to examine this excellent piece of art, that harkens back to a simpler time of family, feeling and freedom.

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