Fans of the burgeoning art of 360-degree short-form storytelling have probably been enamored by Google's Spotlight Stories, a series of videos designed to highlight the narrative potential of the VR format. The latest one is Pearl, a sort of extended animated music video about a man, his daughter, and the beat-up hatchback car that they share over about 20 years. The short is directed by Patrick Osbourne, and the original song "No Wrong Way Home" was written by Alexis Harte and JJ Weisler and performed by Nicki Bluhm and Kelley Stoltz.
Pearl has been available for viewing on the HTC Vive for a little over a month after it debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival. The YouTube version might not have the deep immersion factor of the VR edition (the perspective of the video never shifts from the passenger seat of the car), but it's still nice for others without specialized VR hardware to be able to view it. (Remember to click and drag the video window to look around.) If you happen to have Google Cardboard or a compatible VR headset, open the video on your phone and there's an option to enable the stereoscopic VR view as well. Strangely, Pearl hasn't been posted to the dedicated Spotlight Stories app.
The short is a little less than six minutes long, and it's heartwarming in a Hallmark sort of way. But please don't try to play a guitar or ukulele while driving a moving car, as can be seen multiple times in the video. If you play a guitar while you're driving, you're gonna have a bad time.