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Penrose Studios – Creating New Worlds of Virtual Reality and Storytelling

Meet Film Director and Founder - Eugene Chung

Penrose Studios is composed of artists, engineers and storytellers collectively inventing and defining the language of real-time cinema for augemented and virtual reality.

Eugene Chung, Founder of Penrose, is a film director and previously Head of Film & Media at Oculus virtual reality, which was later acquired by Facebook for $2 billion. While at Oculus, Eugene co-created Story Studio, bringing together storytellers and artists from Pixar. Prior to Oculus, he was with New Enterprise Associates and Pixar Animation Studios. He holds degrees from University of California, Berkeley and Harvard University.

Eugene Chung says “Allumette" is a story about loneliness, love, and loss. It’s a bit of an accident the way Penrose’s VR movie came to be named. Allumette means “matchstick” in French, and it was the temporary name for the title character in a private screenplay that was not intended to be seen by the outside world. Gradually the name grew on us, and as Allumette’s world came to be built around her in virtual reality, so the name stuck.”

“It’s a very deeply personal story, and it’s one that really just traces back to the age-old conventions of storytelling from thousands of years ago. But it’s done in this entirely new and exciting medium of virtual reality.”

“It’s about the love between a mother and her orphan child,” Chung says. “The trade-offs that people have to make in order to sacrifice themselves to the greater good. “When you’re being told a story you’re often disassociated from your body and you’re listening to what the other person is saying,” Chung says. “In virtual reality, because you have the ability to interact, it actually becomes a difficult challenge. But it’s a challenge that we at Penrose are incredibly excited to be tackling.”

You can find Penrose’s works on Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Sony PlayStation V.


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