Focus: Funique, the innovative storytelling studio from Taiwan
Taiwan is a priceless place for immersive storytelling. At the crossroad of artistic creation and hardware innovation, the Funique studio has a highly creative role in advancing the XR industry with a complete line-up of VR films and more ambitions for 8K standards.
Funique, a history in VR
The year 2016 can be called the grand first year of VR. A number of stakeholders presented their VR headsets and equipment at major tech events announcing VR entering the consumer's market. From that year on, VR HMD’s screen stays at 4K quality. For the CEO of Funique, Apu Cheng, who started his career in film long ago and in VR content in 2015, the quality of VR live-action quality is still behind what can be considered “good enough.”
Apu, a master in storytelling with images, realized that the technology and techniques used to produce live-action content were still insufficient. As he could not find existing technology, he founded Funique in 2016 with team members to develop the 8K production technology. Today, Funique’s 8K stereoscopic live-action production technology is still ahead of major players in the world.
Between content creator and technology provider
Funique VR’s team members come from various areas of cinematic content production within the film industry. To make the best VR content, Funique’s team has invested heavily in R&D of VR production, and the outcome is to provide a total VR production solution. Throughout the journey, we got a closer look at what is missing in the ecosystem and have tried VR in dimensions, from short films to macro education content such as the insects. These all lead to good and quality content production.
Furthermore, to present the best quality content, the studio has developed a VR Cinema system operating in Kaohsiung’s VR Film Lab for audiences to enjoy the content. In response to the 5G era, Funique also launched its service lines in VR sports and concert live streaming and providing more possibilities of quality content.
Finding emotions, a creative process
The postproduction director of Funique, Chuan Ming-Yuan is known among VR content creators worldwide and works closely with VR creators to share his understanding of VR storytelling. For him, VR speaks a totally different storytelling language than usual movie filming.
“We have tried so many times in VR production at Funique to understand the characteristics of Virtual Reality more precisely. And we are more than happy to share with film directors who want to set his or her foot in VR,” says Chuan. Funique is like a harbor pilot who maneuvers ships through congested waters, and a navigational expert processing knowledge of the particularity of virtual reality. VR rids the basic concept of camera and lens, bringing audiences directly to scenes on the spot and experiencing the stories live.
Being part of a creative ecosystem
We are delighted that film festivals worldwide are opening to VR content and appreciate our projects. Moreover, we are fortunate to have government organizations such as Kaohsiung Film Archive and creators from Taiwan to work together on original 8K stereoscopic content production and let the world see both Taiwan’s vital content creativity and technology.
Further to 8K stereoscopic VR production, Funique has set up its live VR streaming studio in Kaohsiung. The company has enlarged its technology team and equipment to produce live VR sports and concert content in line with the emerging live VR streaming market and OTT in the 5G era.
Funique Story Studio
- HOME (2019) directed by Kidding HSU
- FIRED (2019) directed by HSIAO Ya-Chuan
- LOOK AT ME (2019) directed by HE Wei-Ting
- THE SMALL BIG (2018) made with Public Television Service
- THE MAKING OF (2018) directed by Midi Z
- MR. BUDDHA (2018) directed by Jung Li
- LIVE STREAM FROM YUKI <3 (2018) directed by Tsung-Han Tsai
- AFTERIMAGE FOR TOMORROW (2018) directed by Singing Chen
- THE TAG-ALONG VR (2018) directed by Pu-Yuan Cheng
- YOUR SPIRITUAL TEMPLE SUCKS (2017) directed by John Hsu
KOSMOS, the XR startup Incubator Platform supported by Kaohsiung City Government, under the Somatosensory Technology Park Project, promoting creative innovation, local manufacturing and exporting total solutions. The incubator platform provides technical support, cross-industry collaboration and business consultation, making Kaohsiung a development base and hub prepping for XR startups before expanding internationally.
Economic Development Bureau, Kaohsiung City Government AD