Virtual Reality

VR has been one of those things I’ve been debating about for months as to whether or not I should dip my creative toe in to. I’ve donned the headpiece/eye set before but those experiences paled in comparison as to my experience this past New Year’s Eve at a friend’s house where I also wore earphones. I crept through the jungle shooting at dinosaurs, I traveled the world, I took a roller coaster ride, I even took aim with a Glock down range, yet in the back of my mind I kept thinking about the entertainment experience. What is this and how is it best consumed?

Was I entertained? Absolutely. But I feel VR is more suited for the arcade and short form content where the creator wants a single viewer to empathize with the content they’ve created or to play a game. It’s an isolationist experience albeit an awe-inspiring one. Chris Milk is probably the best at creating stories in VR right now. He’s been a master at using the latest cutting edge technologies to tell his stories.
I’m very curious as to where this medium will go. Will it be consumed by single user consoles or in 100 person auditoriums where the attendees rent their headsets and earphones after dropping $30 for the experience? How do you keep something like that clean? Will people be required to stand or will they sit? These are all trivial challenges I know, but things to consider.

If I were to produce and create in this medium, I would want complete environmental control where I could raise or lower the temperature, inject smells, create wind, and control the humidity, thus creating for audiences not just the single user. There is far too much isolation in our world with everyone spending copious amounts of time in their own world and not sharing real experiences with others.

One Reply to “Virtual Reality”

  1. Zeke.
    I’ve followed your career here in the valley for decades and consider myself a fan of your work. Hopefully you’ll recognize my name ( Dean Hawkey) through ArtsQuest, Musikfest and Photography in the area. Currently I am working as a Technical Designer in healthcare producing Training Videos. So I have a deep interest from that perspective of where VR will go because I already see great benefit from being able to train and put the learner in a more realistic environment.

    However that is not why I wanted to reach out to you. This happens to be a topic I am deeply interested in and hopefully knowing who I am will subdue the fact this will sound like a sales pitch, but it really isn’t. This is about what you do creatively, your specific career and deep ties I see with something I am currently invested in. Not trying to sell you on anything.

    I recently invested in a company called Legion M. This was done through the new JOBS act signed into law in 2015 and just kicked off in 2016. It allows anyone to be able to invest in startups at the beginning which is usually reserved for accredited investors only. Legion M caught my interest because they were pitching to become the first crowd funded (Through investments) movie studio. As soon as I started looking into them and joining the conversations on their fb group. I got it. I was sold. This is an incredibly innovative way to start over in Hollywood. Their goal is to get 1 million investors. Thus the Name, and the Roman Ḿ for a logo. By doing so they create a fan base, they create a Legion of social advertising, ideas, promotion. They have Alamo Draft house as a partner already which gives them distribution. They have the producers of Robot Chicken partnered up. All investors become vested in wanting to see it succeed. So their fanbase is prebuilt. And unlike crowdfunding where after the reward is paid, there is no further connection. This keeps the investors vested in the outcome. And I’ve witnessed it and even volunteered a considerable portion of my time to help them get a forum setup to handle the quickly growing Legion. I am sure you understand well enough about the business aspect of Hollywood and why it currently takes $45 Million dollars to produce a decent film out there. They are looking to shake up that current model. And provide a model that is driven by the consumer interests. Who happen to be their investors.
    See what this excites me? I’d think you might. The legion is already connecting tons of talented investors, creatives of all types and landing deals and finding resources. Doors are opening up already and they didn’t even make their first production.

    Here is another reason I think this is something you should pay attention to.
    One of their first self productions is going to be a VR series called icons. The concept is to capture interviews of current icons as a sort of virtual time capsule. Imagine sitting in the same room while Albert Einstein was being interviewed in a virtual world. If it was possible imagine the possibilities if you could be that close to historic figures. So Legion M is starting with Stan Lee. In fact that did a scouting run today at his house because they will be filming soon. They plan to build a library of todays icons like Tim Cook, Elon Musk… The possibilities are endless.
    This is just one area. They have also partnered with a production studio that is doing VR Horror. One film they posed you in a scene where you are strapped in a wheel chair and being admitted into an insane asylum. Another was from the perspective of being buried alive.

    So although I agree with your assesment that people need more personal social interactivity. I think the future is coming in VR Regardless and is likely to be more singular focused in the experience. But I definitely see it opening up the possibility of more social online interaction.

    Anyway. I just hope to encourage you to follow Legion and what they are doing. The leaders are great guys and keep us very well informed on everything that is going on. So it gives a unique view into the startup of something like this and it is exciting to consider the possibilities since they are aiming high.

    I hope you check it out and look forward to seeing more of your work as well. Feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to hear more. I’m on your FB.

    Wishing you the best,

    Find Legion M on Facebook if you want to follow what they do. You don’t have to be an investor to join the private group or to join the discussion. They welcome all.

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