Cooking up a Chinese VR short

360 view: http://vr8.tv/88/3F1840

Earlier this month, immersive content development took an experimental step forward with China’s first improvisational VR “table read” on the interactive cinematic VR short film, FOUR DISHES AND A SOUP. (full article on AWN)

360 view: http://vr8.tv/88/3F187D

Cooking up a Chinese VR short

Hallmarks of Future Sensory Entertainment

While preparing for a presentation at the Beijing Film Academy’s Advanced Innovation Center for Future Visual Entertainment, I considered what I would identify as the hallmarks of future visual entertainment (which could more appropriately be framed as “future sensory entertainment”). Being a fan of the Rule of Three, I settled on the following:

  • Immersive
  • Interactive
  • Intelligent

Of course, I couldn’t stop there (especially once I noticed the “I’s” had it), so I brainstormed “I” words and quickly accumulated these additional hallmarks of future sensory entertainment…(full post on AWN)

Hallmarks of Future Sensory Entertainment

Mixed reality takes off in the Middle Kingdom

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Rick Garson is a unique figure in entertainment. A colorful, controversial executive and entrepreneur, Rick’s range of experience includes promoting Michael Jackson’s “Bad” tour as well as creating and producing the Billboard Music Awards. He career has also been defined by innovation such as his development and promotion of the Rolling Stones’ “Steel Wheels” pay-per-view music special, the first of its kind.

Rick first hit China’s radar in 2008, when he produced the Beijing Olympics’ “Divas in Beijing” concert TV series. Since then, he’s had his hands dirtied and his nose bloodied in the rough-and-tumble world of Chinese events and entertainment. Rather than turn tail and go home, Rick doubled-down and moved to China in 2013.

He’s now breaking new ground in mixed reality with his latest venture, VX Entertainment. VX Entertainment provides world-class content for the immersive media era, and features what may be the first high-end mixed reality showroom (at least the first of its kind in China) combining projection technology, virtual reality and holography.

I had the opportunity to catch up with Rick in his Beijing studio, experience VX Entertainment’s mixed reality showroom for myself (one word review: awesome) and ask some questions about where he is and where he’s…(full post on AWN)

Mixed reality takes off in the Middle Kingdom

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

The playable city

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The city of Bristol has been overrun by a group of virtual animals, created on the Unity game development platform and projected in locations across the city.  Brought to life by Poland’s Laboratory for Architectural Experiments (LAX), the four Urbanimals – a rabbit, a kangaroo, a beetle and a dolphin – are part of the movement to make cities around the world more engaging and liveable.

The Urbanimals unlock the places that are often overlooked as people travel through the city.  They reactivate the space between the buildings to engage people with the environments they often ignore. – Sebastian Dobiesz, LAX

While “smart” cities attempt to become more efficient by embedding technology into the environment, the “playable” city takes a more whimsical approach that speaks to the child in us.  One can see how augmented reality applications will take this ball and run with it.

The playable city