Film students win Virtual Reality contest

Film students win Virtual Reality contest

Wagner winners in this photo: Renata Pastuszak (front center left, peach-colored shirt); Jonathan Dontchev (far right).

At last Friday's Samsung Creators Awards ceremony in Manhattan, two Wagner College film and media studies majors — Jonathan Dontchev, a junior from Michigan, and Renata Pastuszak, a freshman from Connecticut — won first place in their respective categories. The competition was to create the best 360-degree, virtual-reality videos. The winners in each category took home a $10,000 grand prize.

Dontchev, who entered the competition in the gaming category, wants to pursue a career in directing and producing film and television.

Pastuszak, who competed in the 4D experience category, aspires to be a director, is passionate about creating films that provoke thought.

Entrants in the contest were judged on four criteria: genre suitability, creativity, technical quality and storytelling.

Below, watch the winning VR videos by Jonathan Dontchev and Renata Pastuszak in the 2016 Samsung Creators Awards competition. Use your cursor to move vertically and horizontally within the video. Suggestion: Start each video, then pause it for a minute to let your computer or viewing device cache as much footage as possible before you play the film and adjust your perspective.

‘The Kings of Union Square: A 360 Visual Game’ – Jonathan Dontchev

‘Deaf’ — Renata Pastuszak

You are immersed in the perspective of the main character in this action-based narrative. Your character’s journey to the city ends abruptly when an attacker slams his hands into your ears. The scenes are designed to give you an emotional viewing experience. No one was injured in the making of this video. The camera was mounted to the main character’s head in a stable manner to allow the viewer to experience the story with depth. The video ends with the characters being unable to answer the question, “Will I be able to hear soon?”