Two astronauts on a spacewalk captured by a Felix & Paul Studios camera.

Felix & Paul Studios: Explore the International Space Station in virtual reality


Business: Felix & Paul Studios
Number of employees: 75
Head office: Montréal
Program: Quebec Economic Development Program (QEDP)

CED’s support has made it possible: to acquire equipment to increase the capacity for data management. The contribution also allowed the design of virtual reality cameras that can survive in the harsh environment of space.


Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël and Stéphane Rituit launched Felix & Paul Studios in 2013 to explore the new medium of virtual reality (VR) and push back the limits of the cinematic experience. Their first project, Strangers with Patrick Watson, is an immersive experience exploring the creative process of the Montréal artist. It is the first cinematic production in the world to be filmed in 360-degree stereoscopy.


Virtual reality is…
A technology that makes it possible for a person to dive into an artificial world created digitally, using devices such as headsets, gloves and clothing to provide an immersive, interactive experience.

Stéphane Rituit, with the Emmy for Outstanding Interactive Program for Space Explorers: The ISS Experience.
Stéphane Rituit at the Emmy Awards.

In 2014, Facebook announced the purchase of Oculus for $2 billion, and the VR entrepreneurs were enthused by the idea that the technology would become accessible to everyone.

Felix & Paul Studios was commissioned by Oculus and Samsung to create experiential content to fill content libraries with high-quality cinematic creations. The team toured the festival circuit with its project Nomads and won an Emmy in 2017 for The People’s House with Barack and Michelle Obama, which drew NASA’s attention.


A voyage in space

A historic partnership with NASA soon developed. With financial support from CED, Felix & Paul Studios began to develop technologies for two experiences of about 30 minutes each on the Earth: Space Explorers - The Journey Begins. After this realisation, Felix & Paul Studios flew into space in 2018 to film over 250 hours of images with ten astronauts for the Emmy award-winning series Space Explorers - The ISS Experience, the largest production ever filmed in space.

Members of the government and astronauts experience Space Explorers: Spacewalkers.
From left to right: The Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne; the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau; astronaut Reid Wiseman; astronaut Christina Koch; Felix & Paul Studios co founder Stéphane Rituit; and astronaut Victor Glover.

“In 2013, we expected VR to explode everywhere very soon. We thought that in 2015, maximum 2016, everyone would have a headset at home, that billions of people would use the technology. Ten years later, we still have a business relationship with Meta, but we have also developed a new distribution method for our content, location-based entertainment.”

Stéphane Rituit - Cofounder of Felix & Paul Studios

Versatile content

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques holding a VR camera (IVA Cam) created by Felix & Paul Studios, in partnership with Time, on board the International Space Station.
Astronaut David Saint-Jacques aboard the ISS.

Thanks to VR technologies, the studio also developed a unique expertise in creating and adapting content for viewing both at home and in public facilities.

For example, the content initially planned for a home based VR experience was adapted in different ways: a one hour documentary, Space Explorers: Moonrise on the ISS, broadcast on Radio-Canada/CBC; a 180 degree film for viewing in planetariums; and an immersive location-based VR project, Space Explorers: THE INFINITE. Produced in collaboration with the people at Phi Studio and distributed by Infinity Experiences, the immersive experience, which can be explored as an art installation, saw the light of day in July 2021. Spectators are placed at the heart of the experience, with the aim of being fully immersed in an emotional narrative. In 2023, Space Explorers: THE INFINITE returned to Montréal, in the Old Port, and now includes two installations touring North America before heading to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. To date, this project has reached nearly half a million spectators.


Artistic entrepreneurship: Profitable and attractive to the public

In light and shade against a black background, Felix & Paul Studios' virtual reality camera (EVA cam) appears, consisting of a movable articulated arm and a head with several camera lenses assembled in a circular pattern.
Virtual reality camera (EVA cam) from Felix & Paul Studios

To mark its 10th anniversary, Felix & Paul Studios launched a behind-the-scenes series that lifts the veil on the creative process in the Montréal studio. In February 2024, the business also announced it had received the funding needed for its most ambitious project to date, a location-based VR experience based on a new franchise to appear in 2025.

The work done by Felix & Paul Studios has made it possible to popularize VR among a broader audience and demonstrate the infinite possibilities of this technology in the entertainment industry. This inspiring story attests to the potential of artistic entrepreneurship in Quebec and the ability to transform an innovative idea into a prosperous business that is now transforming an entire industry.

Watch on Youtube the series: Inside Felix & Paul Studios - YouTube

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