BBC Research & Development’s (R&D) experimental The Turning Forest VR fairy tale launches next week for Daydream, Google’s mobile VR offering available free to all audiences.
The Turning Forest is an enchantingly-surreal VR story produced by BBC R&D in collaboration with virtual reality production studio VRTOV.
In a magical forest, a young child stares into the eyes of a fantastical creature. Together, the two embark on a journey that transports audiences into an entrancing realm of folkish dimension and boundless imagination.
The Turning Forest was created as part of the BBC’s ongoing work exploring emerging technology and new storytelling mediums for future audiences.
Behind the magic, The Turning Forest pushes the boundaries of what’s possible with VR and immersive sound, featuring an award-winning spatial soundtrack at its heart. It showcases BBC R&D’s vision for new listening experiences over headphones and how it can be used to provide greater immersion in 360 degree environments.
Having debuted at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, The Turning Forest was originally created for the Oculus Rift. It has now been enhanced further to improve the spatial sound design, introduce new controller interactions and include lots of new surprises to discover in the magical forest. The sound was adapted from an original soundtrack commissioned for S3A: Future Spatial Audio for an Immersive Listener Experience at Home, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
The Turning Forest is an experimental project that helps the BBC better understand VR’s potential to inform, educate and entertain. It is being made available to audiences as part of the BBC’s open approach to innovation, allowing audiences to try and feedback on the BBC’s latest ideas.
“The Turning Forest is unique in that it’s been designed from the sound up, using state-of-the-art audio to help transport people to a magical world,” explained Zillah Watson, Executive Producer, BBC R&D. “It takes advantage of decades of research and experience from our own R&D team, partners and universities to create a beautiful soundscape that we hope people will love. We’re delighted to bring this latest experiment to even more audiences and we can’t wait to hear what they think.”