Jon Schnitzer has been ready 16 years for virtual reality know-how to evolve up to now. The creator, director and producer of Flatline VR has been fascinated by real-life accounts of near-death experiences since first assembly a pal in 2001 who lived to inform the story of leaving his physique, only to return to Earth. That was the start of years of analysis, exploring the accounts of a whole bunch of people that had eerily comparable tales.

“I thought it’d be amazing to document this, but if you film this you’d just watch someone else’s experience,” Schnitzer stated. “I thought it’d be cool to film something in 3D, but I decided to wait until we could do 3D VR so we could put people into the experience and have that visceral and emotional connection.”

Working with 3D Reside Leisure and Epic Video games’ Unreal Engine four know-how, Schnitzer is now in a position to give folks an correct recreation of 1 girl’s near-death experience by means of the power of virtual reality. The five-minute experience will make its debut at ScareLA on Aug. 5-6 on the Los Angeles Conference Heart earlier than being launched for customers at a later date, with extra info on

Though the primary imagery that involves thoughts with “near death experience” is that of a digicam floating above the physique and looking out again down, that’s not the main target of this primary Flatline VR episode.

“There are so many different variations of the stories, but entering a vortex is a common theme for people from all different cultures and locations around the world,” Schnitzer defined. “That’s actually where the phrase ‘seeing the light at the end of the tunnel’ came from.”

The journey the Flatline VR experience follows is that of Gloria, a younger girl within the 1950s who suffered a miscarriage in a wing of a big hospital and was left alone whereas she bled out.

“They put her in a room and forgot about her in a wing that wasn’t busy, and she was screaming for help for days and nobody heard her,” Schnitzer recounted. “She lost consciousness and died and went through this Flatline experience. When she woke up there were doctors at the foot of her bed. Her husband was in the military and he told her not to tell this account to anybody, so it wasn’t until decades later that she wrote about it in a letter to somebody.”

The phrases written in that letter are the precise phrases that actress Mella Leigh recorded for this VR experience. In one other eerie coincidence, Leigh herself had a direct connection to this challenge.

“Mella had just had a near-death experience in a car wreck right before we approached her with this, and her story had a lot of similarities to Gloria’s story,” Schnitzer stated. “I definitely get the chills when I hear Mella’s voice as Gloria.”

Whereas Schnitzer doesn’t need to spoil the experience by providing a whole play-by-play, he does admit that Gloria spoke of being pulled down right into a spinning vortex.

“That’s what hooked me,” Schnitzer stated. “We wanted to do a vortex different than the way you’re used to seeing one. The vortex accelerates and closes in and it has textures and colors to it that come from all the different years of talking to people who have had different near death experiences, as well as speaking to the scientists that explain why people are seeing these images.– and what types of things you’re actually seeing.”

Past the enlargement and the extraction of the colour spectrum, the sensation of falling and spinning and turning, and the 360 audio experience that’s been designed to disorient you, there’s much more to the experience, together with a component that makes it worthy of a horror pageant. However that’s for folks to attempt first-hand.

“She saw something come after her in the vortex, and how you interact with that is interesting and thrilling and controversial,” Schnitzer added.

The set-up at ScareLA can have members enter the again of an ambulance and lie on a gurney, the place an HTC Vive is positioned on their head. Though the later residence model gained’t include an ambulance, it is going to provide a built-in replay function.

“In addition to Gloria’s version of the account, we have three different commentary tracks where experts are explaining why different parts of her story are happening,” Schnitzer stated. “Each one is a very different point-of-view that goes into the science and what’s typical for these types of experiences.”


The whole experience was created in 4 months by a workforce of 12 folks, together with the audio workforce. It marked a collaboration between Schnitzer’s The Mind Manufacturing facility 3D Reside, the corporate behind Digital Arts, Bioware’s and Cedar Honest’s Mass Impact 4D trip at Nice America.

And if all goes based on plan, this near-death experience is just the start for Flatline VR.

“This was just the pilot episode,” Schnitzer defined. “When I met my friend 16 years ago who had a near-death experience he shared a story that was so epic that I knew I couldn’t pull it off for the pilot episode. We created this gateway episode, which is really emotional and powerful. And hopefully this episode will open the door for us to make the other episodes that I’ve been dreaming about for over a decade.”

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