Virtual reality is poised to change the world of entertainment. No longer will viewers watch television programs and movies, they’ll become immersed in them.
February 12 marked the eighth annual Lumiere Awards, honoring the best in VR and 3D. “I think it’s a medium in and of itself where there are different styles of storytelling that work better in VR and certain ones work better for film.” Director Jon Favreau told PEOPLE. “Hopefully they’ll complement each other, but if done properly, you could have a good experience either in VR alone or in a communal setting to see the movie.”
Let’s look at VR in the entertainment industry by the numbers.
16: The number of VR films showcased at the Sundance Film Festival’s VR Palace. An additional 12 featured VR components. These films were viewed using headsets such as PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift. The first Sundance VR film premiered in 2011. “We’re at a very interesting moment in time where this technology and interest in it is accelerating in a very hyperbolic way,” said Shari Frilot, chief programmer and curator for Sundance’s New Frontier said. Nonetheless, the VR market for non-games is in its infancy. In 2016, sales totaled $10.9 million. Source: LA Times and San Francisco Chronicle
8: The number of VR films that will be screened at the Boulder International Film Festival in March. The films will be shown at the Virtual Reality Pavilion. “It is going to be pretty cool,” the festival’s co-founder and director, Kathy Beeck, said. “We’ll have eight virtual reality films screening at Galvanize, and we’ll have a whole variety of different headsets — from very high tech to cardboard ones. Source: Daily Camera
$11.36 million: The amount VR entertainment startup Dreamscape Immersive raised in Series A funding. Investors included Bold Capital Partners, the investment firm run by 21st Century Fox, IMAX, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Steven Spielberg, Warner Bros., and Westfield Corporation. The company was founded by Walter Parkes, former studio head of Dreamworks, and Kevin Wall, founder of Control Room. Source: Social Tech
1: The number of VR multiplexes Dreamscape Immersive plans to open in Los Angeles in September. The theatre will show original productions, although the company has yet to release the types of films that would be shown. The experience will, “walk freely with friends within a virtual world, where they see themselves, interact with objects and each other, and experience worlds previously accessible only in their imaginations,” Dreamscape Immersive said. The company calls VR the fourth entertainment platform after 2D, 3D and IMAX. Source: Mashable
1: The number of VR films produced by FoxNext, a new division of 20th Century Fox. The film will have a Planet of the Apes experience and will be produced by VR company Within. Fox’s previous VR division, Fox Innovation Lab, produced a short VR film and a Martian VR project. Source: Fast Company