Catatonic VR

MPC and premiere Guy Shelmerdine’s VR experience “Catatonic” at SXSW

Catatonic was directed by Guy Shelmerdine for with MPC as partner for the VR post-production, which included stitching, stereo depths, VFX and titles. The experience was captured on location at a derelict mental hospital in Pasadena, CA with’ proprietary VR camera systems. Catatonic’s production value and cinematography bridge the stark terror of a gripping horror film with the inescapable immersion of virtual reality.

“The Catatonic experience blends the real world with the virtual world, whereby audience members become mental patients in a spine-chilling insane asylum,” explained Guy.

Participants are ushered into a custom-built wheelchair by live nurses in 1940s uniforms. The design of the chair resembles a padded cell: a unique blend of comfort and paralysis. The viewer is then befitted with a Samsung Gear headset and headphones.

In the virtual environment, the “patient” / audience member is ushered through the psychiatric wing, experiencing the full brunt of madness within.

Along with the 360º 3D immersion of VR, the patient will also feel jolts emanating from a ButtKicker™, a vibrating device built into the base of the wheelchair. The many moving parts of Catatonic build to a cacophony of terror and depravity one has to experience to believe.

Catatonic officially screened at SXSW in March 2015. The chair will also be popping up at various events around the US where attendees will be offered the chance to experience Catatonic.

Catatonic Official Website.

Interview with Guy Shelmerdine on



Production Company


Guy Shelmerdine

VR Post-Production



Guy Shelmerdine, Edward Robles

Director of Photography

Sebastian Pfaffenbichler

Executive Producers

Chris Milk, Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody, Tamsin Glasson, Samantha Storr

Post Supervisors

( Winkel, Chris Ott


Cass Vanini @ Work

Music and Sound Design

Dražen Bošnjak @ Q Department


Legacy FX

VR Executive Producer

Tim Dillon

VR Lead

Alex Harding

Creative Technologists

Eric Renaud-Houde, Stuart Schwartz, Chris Vincze

2D Team

Aleksandar Djordjevic, Jonathan McKee, Carl Fong, Gigi Ng, Jim Spratling

CG Lead

Chris Bernier

Title Design

David Estis, Diana Park




Adrian Seery