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Unity creators share what challenges and inspires them at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival

, February 9, 2018

We’re proud to wrap up Unity’s first year as official partners of the Sundance Film Festival. Unity and Sundance Institute have a lot in common. We are both long time supporters of independent artists. We both value creation and innovation and we both want to help creators solve hard problems, enabling them to spend more time crafting their stories.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Unity this year, a true soulmate in the field. Their persevering work has created the tools that have made possible so many of the spectacular works in the lineup this year.”

– Shari Frilot, Sundance Film Festival Senior Programmer and Chief Curator

It was humbling to see that over 70% of the interactive content accepted into New Frontier was made with Unity. At the Sundance Film Festival New Frontier exhibit, we witnessed amazingly creative and technical breakthroughs in genres as diverse as VR experiences, AR applications, 360 videos, and interactive films.

We met with these creators and invited many of them to share their stories and learnings with the larger Unity community, inspiring others to push the boundaries of storytelling. For our Storytellers of Tomorrow series, we filmed eleven interviews with XR creators, many with projects in New Frontier. Watch the series to see what inspired Eliza McNitt, The Black Eyed Peas, Tyler Hurd and so many others.

Unity invited bleeding edge creators to share how they are pioneering the real-time revolution. During our presence at the festival, we hosted three conversations on the latest trends and advancements in the film and content creation industries. Digital Monarch Media, Chris Harvey (Oats Studios), John Halstead (Pixar) and Ben Grossman (Magnopus) discussed the magic of Unity’s real-time creative platform in our panel, ‘Real-time Film takes Center Stage’. They shared insight about how tools made with Unity are being used in Hollywood films like Ready Player One and Jungle Book. We learned about the challenges of bringing a beloved Pixar IP from film to VR, and how lighting animators felt like they were playing games—not working—with Unity’s Timeline tool as they created ADAM.

We were thrilled to be invited to participate in other hot topic talks. Vimeo invited Unity’s Adam Myhill and Isabelle Riva to sit alongside the creators of Battlescar on their panel “Film Code and Craft, the Tech That’s Pushing Stories Forward”. The Sundance Film Festival invited Unity’s Danny Lange to share his views on the future of Artificial Intelligence alongside other visionaries including Alex McDowell in their panel “Imagining Work in an AI Integrated Future.”

We also explored conversational AI with Moth + Flame on Dell’s panel “Combining AI and VR to Empower Conversational Cinema”.

Through our sponsorship and involvement at Sundance Film Festival, we hope to inspire all storytellers to take risks, be bold and try new things as you create.

If you’re looking to get started, we recently shared some Asset Store tools and packages that may help you create wide-ranging cinematic and interactive experiences.

We hope we’ve excited you to submit your work to festivals around the world. Need even more inspiration? Check out Film Festivals and VR: Sundance Institute and the Future of Interactive Media from Vision Summit 2017 by Kamal Sinclair, Director of New Frontier Lab Programs, and Hussain Currimbhoy, Festival Programmer.