Google made it’s first VR and 360-degree interactive doodle in memories of Georges Méliès. Georges Méliès was a French film director and illusionist who lead to many technical and narrative developments in the earlier stage of cinema.
Georges Méliès was an innovator of special effects, such techniques as substitution splices. His films include A Trip to the Moon (1902) and The Impossible Voyage (1904), both involving strange.
Google’s “Back to the Moon” Doodle runs for two minutes and follows an illusionist as he chases the queen of hearts on an adventure that spans the stars and oceans. In a tribute to Méliès’ sometimes diabolical worlds filled with skeletons and ghosts, the Doodle also features an evil green man who attempts to kidnap our hero’s beloved queen.
One particularly dainty moment happens when the illusionist finds a pearl and blows into it, turning it into a balloon of the sun that floats to the top of the video. The video really makes use of the 360-degree space, so you have to swivel the video (or your head if you’re using a headset) to follow the action.
“In addition to being a magician, Méliès was an expert storyteller, so it was important for the Doodle to have a clear story. We approached it as if it were a ballet or play you watch at the theatre, where you get to choose where to look. In these situations, the spectator becomes the camera, editing their own film,” said Hélène Leroux, project art lead of the Doodle.
The interactive Doodle is also available as a 360-degree video on YouTube.