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Sundance: Virtual Reality Film "Hue" Aims to Increase Compassion


Movie goers attending the opening of the Sundance Film festival in Park City witnessed the growing of a new format, virtual reality or VR films. One of the VR films, Hue, uses human interaction to help the character deal with depression.

When you first see Hue, his outline is black, made more distinct because of a plain white background - a colorless space with a desk. Through the use of a headset and a hand controller, the viewer virtually interacts with the cartoon. Hue responds and gradually the room begins to fill with color.


The director of "Hue," Nicole McDonald, also uses color to represent her characters emotions, in a virtual reality film that debuted during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. She uses the film to share what she says is a universal story of sadness and ache.


“And so," McDonald said, "I think right now we have a lack of empathy and compassion in our society. I think VR is a beautiful tool to connect with ourselves. Because if we are thick in it, right, we are thick in our sadness. Sometimes we need someone to help lift us up- and that’s kind of the whole story.”


When McDonald was nine years old she took a basic coding class using only green monitors.


“And the instructor said that some day we were going to have more colors with interactive," McDonald said. "And I took it literally, and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we are going to have more colors than what is in the rainbow.’ Ever since then I’ve always just thought, every interactive piece I’ve ever made, I’ve thought ‘does it show more colors’? And then one day I was talking to someone and I said, ‘It doesn’t show more colors.’ Then Hue was born."

Hue will be interacting with participants now through Jan. 29th at the Sundance Film Festival's VR Palace.