Co-pros are no-go

This week, instead of virtual reality, some cold hard reality: there’s no pot of gold waiting for you at the end of the Chinese co-production rainbow.

Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon and co-produced by Universal, Legendary, LeVision and China Film Group, succeeded in eliciting a universal “Meh” from audiences around the world, earning roughly $172 million USD in China (a figure which once would have been astonishing but now is unimpressive) and around $35 million USD in North America. With combined production and marketing expenses in the neighborhood of $250 million USD, and global revenues expected to peter out at $320 million USD (prior to exhibitors taking their share), it’s safe to say that investors in “the biggest-ever U.S.-China co-production” are less than thrilled.

On the bright side, we’ll hopefully be spared a glut of formulaic Great White Hope films set against the backdrop of other historical Middle Kingdom marvels, pimped by puffy Chinese real estate companies with their eager Hollywood studio mascots in tow. Folks actually have to think now, and that’s a good thing. So, let’s elevate that thinking with some straight talk.

First, the unfortunate fact is that…(full post on AWN)

Co-pros are no-go

The art of indirection

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The following is a transcript of my presentation on VR storytelling principles, “The Art of Indirection”, delivered on December 1st at the 7th International Conference & Exhibition on Visual Entertainment in Beijing.

I’m here to talk about the development portion of the entertainment workflow, specifically related to virtual reality. My own background focused upon production during the first half of my career, the 12 years I spent with Walt Disney Feature Animation. After moving to China in 2008, I shifted my focus to development. This development work began in traditional areas of film and television – which I have taught here at the Beijing Film Academy – and shifted to virtual reality over the past year.

Virtual reality requires a different way of thinking. I believe you’ve heard this already. There have been great comments made today on this point, not restricted to virtual reality, but related to any new means of storytelling. When Demetri Portelli talked about shooting at 120 frames per second in 4k, he said something obvious, but also easily overlooked: the director needs to think differently about how to direct; the actors need to think differently about how to act; everybody involved in the production chain needs to review their assumptions, to adapt and expand upon what’s possible in the new media environment. This applies to VR as well. It’s easy to bring your preconceptions and old ways of working into play. In this respect – and I’m not the first person to make this observation – the current state of virtual reality is very much like the early days of… (full post on AWN)

The art of indirection

“Future Trends In Stereoscopic Filmmaking & Virtual Reality” forum in Beijing

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The Beijing Film Academy, China Animation Association, and the International Animation & Virtual Reality Research Center present a forum on

FUTURE TRENDS IN STEREOSCOPIC FILMMAKING & VIRTUAL REALITY

December 12th & 13th, 2015 in Beijing, China

The creator’s toolbox has never been more powerful than it is today, with rapid advances in digital, stereoscopic & virtual reality technology, and compelling content options.  Yet challenges and questions abound on the cusp of this new entertainment era.  What will the content of tomorrow look like?  How will it be distributed?  Can virtual reality go mainstream?  What hurdles still exist?  How must directors and producers adapt for immersive media?  What does the future hold?

The mission of the Beijing Film Academy’s International Animation & Virtual Reality Research Center (iAVRrc) is to advance the art of animated and cinematic storytelling in China.  Through events such as “Future Trends In Stereoscopic Filmmaking & Virtual Reality”, we provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, approaches & techniques between international experts and Chinese talent.  Over the course of two days, this forum will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions and roundtable sessions on topics including content, distribution, hardware and business models.

To facilitate personal, high-quality interactions at “Future Trends In Stereoscopic Filmmaking & Virtual Reality”, the iAVRrc will invite a select group of 40 distinguished professionals from mainland China and overseas, including creators, engineers, entrepreneurs and educators: all of whom share a passion for the future of emergent immersive media.

Kevin Geiger
Executive Director
International Animation & Virtual Reality Research Center

“Future Trends In Stereoscopic Filmmaking & Virtual Reality” forum in Beijing

Kevin Geiger to head International Animation & Virtual Reality Research Center in Beijing

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Disney veteran Kevin Geiger was announced as Executive Director of the Beijing Film Academy’s new International Animation & Virtual Reality Research Center during the opening ceremony of the 15th Annual Beijing Film Academy Awards in China’s Great Hall of the People.

The International Animation & Virtual Reality Research Center will advance the art of animated and cinematic storytelling in feature film and new media, including virtual reality and augmented reality.  International experts will collaborate with Chinese talent to create exciting new forms of expression to engage audiences in China and around the world.

Kevin Geiger to head International Animation & Virtual Reality Research Center in Beijing