VR Narrative

I'm making an animated short called “P I L O T.” The story is a direct continuation of the first Alien film and a love letter to H.R. Giger.

I have wanted to make this film since I was a kid. Only now, since VR has given artist a natural way to animate and 3D model, am I ready to take on the challenge. I will be posting progress as the short grows and comes to life.

The Spark

Alien had a massive impact on me as a kid. Everything about it. The mystery, brutalism, atmosphere, score, editing, and especially the design. It inspired me to become a creative professional and eventually make this short.

The mystery around the Space Jockey has stuck with me over the years. I always wanted to see that unknown character as a terrifying creature. I believe that was its original intent. It could have been as iconic as the alien itself. The design is just as legendary. This short will be a love letter to that direction.

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Story

Synopsis: A crew of five and one synthetic, aboard the Waylan Yutani emerging technology research vehicle ‘Futami 002’, drop down on an alien planet to make contact with Futami 001. As the the crew collects thrilling scientific data they encounter a horrific world beyond their understanding.

This story is a direct continuation of Alien and it's themes. All films made after Alien are ignored (sorry Aliens). The direction Prometheus takes is the reason why im making this short in the first place. In this narrative the Space Jockey (Pilot) is a terrifying creature much like the alien itself. Its a visual reflection of the vast uncaring universe.

Given this short is only a slice of a longer narrative I will use mechanics that enable for efficient story telling. For example I’ll use monologue to anchor the story around a single character. This will tighten the focus so I can move quickly through character interaction and story beats. Also, I will focus on key scenes that drive the narrative and flavor the world. Im going for a very moody feel so there wont be a lot of hand holding. Viewers will benefit coming in having watched Alien for context.

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VR and 2D Consumption

Phase 1 will be a 2D video, drawn and animated in VR with Quill, and rendered in Blender with Eevee. Phase 2 will be an immersive VR narritive experience. The VR version will maintain the same linear story ark with a different pace and delivery given viewer agency. This will be a whole design effort in itself. I’ll be working on this project for a very long time.

Design

Even though this will be heavily influenced by the first Alien film, I will need to explore new territory. The Space Jockey will be alive in this short so I need to design how that would look. Also, there will be two new space ship designs, a new space suite, characters, uniforms, weapons, etc. This will be the hardest part to get right. I need to balance a new direction while maintaining authenticity to Giger’s and Ridley’s work on Alien.

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