Ever look at a beautiful little GIF and wish it were a bit longer and more interactive? Well, the New York Times hears you, so they’ve created 10 virtual reality short films which transcend the concept of GIF and video alike. Take Flight is a collaboration between Australian director-photographer Daniel Askill, the New York Times Interactive VR website, and NYT’s annual Great Performers Portfolio, an annual photographic series featuring 10 of the top actors from 2015. With the right combination of movement, music, and mood, each of these approximately 1-minute-long short videos reenacts famous scenes from film that have enchanted audiences for years.
Pick a scene — any scene! — from film history and you’ll find magic behind most of ’em. A young boy riding a bike with an alien in tow, across a bright full-moon; An enigmatic tap-dancer who takes to the ceiling with the same confidence as any flat surface; A hero fighting in the pouring rain, floating in air like a peaceful zen-master. These are but a few of the images which come to symbolize years of technological feats, as well as imaginative creativity on-screen. And along with capable technical crews, these scenes are elevated to a whole new level, challenging the actors to simulate movement across space and time.
Oh, and here’s another super awesome thing about these short films: they’re virtual reality videos you can interact with on your phone. Just download New York Time’s new free smartphone app. When paired with Google’s Cardboard virtual reality viewer, a selection of videos will come alive and create fully immerse experiences for viewers. (Viewing these videos with YouTube 360 is a bit buggy from a desktop, however.)
Below are four of our favorite short films from this breathtaking series:
Take a sneak peak at the gallery below and make a stop at the New York Times website for the full videos and VR experience!
Videos and Images Courtesy: Daniel Askill and New York Times Interactive