19 Apr APEX premiering at Tribeca 2017
APEX is the new VR title from director Arjan van Meerten at the Dutch studio House of Secrets. After the acclaimed VR music video Surge was released in 2015, a follow-up has been highly anticipated. On April 21 the wait will be over, as APEX will premiere at the Virtual Arcade program at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.
The stylistic, sober, yet fiery style that persists throughout the experience of APEX, accompanied by an immersive soundtrack, might be somewhat familiar to those that have seen Surge. However, APEX tells its own story. Not necessarily through traditional storytelling, but rather by submerging the viewer into an all-encompassing landscape. There is destruction, but there is also beauty in what you are seeing. APEX means to overwhelm and inspire.
Director Arjan van Meerten has found inspiration for APEX in metal music. Playing in his own bands from age 16 and going to death metal concerts from early on, he wanted to convey the surge of energy that goes through the crowd as the heavy guitar music roars through the speakers. No better way to express this feeling than through VR as it is such an “intense and immersive way to experience music”, Arjan says.
The soundtrack of the experience itself holds an important key to conveying this experience over overwhelming energy. As with Surge, Arjan made his own music for APEX. Not death metal, but rather ear-shattering electronic music. The symbiosis of image and sound makes it so the viewer gets really engulfed in the experience. Deliberately, as Arjan says, for he “like[s] it when people take off the headset and have to adjust to the earth again”.
“A lot of the most interesting virtual reality is coming from individuals or really small teams doing it really as a labor of love”, says René Pinnell of Kaleidoscope VR. Because VR these days, while foreboding a big shift for animators and creators, is still privy to just a small audience and market, a great playground arises for creators that are not up for confirmation but want to listen to their own artistic voice above all.
Anthony Batt at Wevr agrees that “it’s truly startling in its originality and artistic power. Because Arjan creates both the music and the visuals, you get a profoundly personal vision that comes across in this uncompromising work.” For René, APEX is “definitely more than a music video. Whenever you listen to a song you have these waves of emotion. And being inside of Apex is like diving inside the music and what you see is amplifying those emotions. It’s like it is hardwiring into your brain and demanding that you feel this fear and wonder.”
APEX is made by Arjan van Meerten and produced at House of Secrets. For the full credits and more information, please visit http://houseofsecrets.nl/press-item/apex/
Press contact for House of Secrets is Daniëlle de Jonge, danielle [at] houseofsecrets [dot] nl, +31 (0)20 261 9139