The VOID Debuts its First Mixed Reality Attraction in New York

The VOID has opened its “Ghostbusters”-themed experience inside Madame Tussauds wax museum in Times Square. “For $50, visitors can strap on a VR headset and a backpack computer fashioned into a ‘Ghostbusters’ proton pack, pick up a matching gun-shaped plastic prop, and act out a cinematic fantasy in real life,” explains The Verge, which describes “Ghostbusters: Dimension” as “stunningly intricate.” The experience utilizes tracking markers to create full-body avatars of guests and haptic feedback to add unique physical sensations. As Road to VR notes, its success “has something to do with its ‘4D’ components (e.g., the Slimer-cued mist, mock-rickety platforms, the vibrating vest)” and “the user engagement prompted by walking around in and interfacing with a semi-real virtual space.” Continue reading The VOID Debuts its First Mixed Reality Attraction in New York

‘Deadpool’ Sets New Record: Sells One Million Digital Units

Already the top-grossing R-rated movie in history (earning $761 million worldwide), “Deadpool” has broken another record by selling one million units in Digital HD sales during its first week, the fastest of any superhero title. The film “holds the record as Fox’s best performing Digital HD title ever,” notes The Wrap. “In comparison, ‘The Martian’ hit the one million unit mark in three weeks over Christmas, which was a record back then.” Digital HD includes Comcast, Google Play, iTunes, Xbox, and other digital outlets. “Deadpool” will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and on demand starting May 10. Continue reading ‘Deadpool’ Sets New Record: Sells One Million Digital Units

ETC Ties Suitcase Bingo Game App to NAB Cloud Conference

ETC@USC has launched “The Suitcase Bingo Game” app in conjunction with the NAB Cloud Innovation Conference to encourage NAB participants to explore the latest in cloud production solutions. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices. The technologies were used in production of “The Suitcase,” the second short film to be produced through the Entertainment Technology Center and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts to test prove next generation workflow, use of the innovative C4 Framework, metadata, high dynamic range and 360 camera capture. Continue reading ETC Ties Suitcase Bingo Game App to NAB Cloud Conference

‘The Martian VR Experience’: Cinema, Video Game or Both?

At CES 2016, attendees could be astronaut Mark Watney in “The Martian VR Experience,” accomplishing many of the tasks he did in the movie. Using the Oculus Rift headset and Oculus Touch handheld controllers, the “VR Experience,” executive produced by the film’s director Ridley Scott and “Experience” director Robert Stromberg, is fully interactive and makes use of the Rift’s positional tracking system. 20th Century Fox, Fox Innovation Lab, RSA Films and The VR Company collaborated on the project. Continue reading ‘The Martian VR Experience’: Cinema, Video Game or Both?

ILMxLAB Debuts ‘Star Wars’ VR Series Ahead of Film Premiere

If you can’t wait until December 18 to see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” you’ve got a brand-new 360-degree immersive video series to enjoy. Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB studio, partnered with Google and Verizon, just created a virtual reality experience, “Jakku Spy,” which is available on the official “Star Wars” Android and iOS apps and viewed via Google Cardboard. The VR experience puts the user in the desert world of Jakku, as a Resistance secret agent. New “vignettes” will be available every few days until the film’s debut. Continue reading ILMxLAB Debuts ‘Star Wars’ VR Series Ahead of Film Premiere

Cyber Monday Sets Sales Records, Mobile Shopping on Rise

While retailers have extended their special online deals before and after Cyber Monday this year, yesterday’s sales are still poised to break records. Adobe reports that by 10:00 yesterday morning, shoppers had already spent a record $490 million. When the numbers are finalized, Adobe predicts the day will represent the biggest e-commerce day on record with $3 billion in sales. Mobile shopping is also on the rise; Adobe notes that 41 percent of shopping visits originated on smartphones and 12 percent from tablets. Continue reading Cyber Monday Sets Sales Records, Mobile Shopping on Rise

What it Will Take to Present Tarantino Film in Ultra Panavision

When Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” debuts on December 25, it won’t simply resurrect Ultra Panavision, an extra-wide format last used in 1966 on “Khartoum.” The filmmaker will release the 70mm film on 100 screens — 96 in the U.S. and four in Canada — a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 1992. And to do so, Tarantino has had to find and refurbish projectors and train projectionists to run them. It’s all in service of an old-fashioned night at the movie palace, with overture, intermission and additional footage. Continue reading What it Will Take to Present Tarantino Film in Ultra Panavision

New York Times Debuts VR App, VR Film on Refugee Children

The New York Times debuted its second, and most ambitious VR film, “The Displaced,” along with its NYT VR app, which can be viewed with Google Cardboard. Produced in partnership with VR studio Vrse, the 11-minute documentary, which focuses on the daily lives of three refugee children across the world, was directed by Ben Solomon and Imraan Ismail and shown at a premiere that included a panel discussion that included participation of Vrse chief executive Chris Milk, who characterizes virtual reality as “the last medium.” Continue reading New York Times Debuts VR App, VR Film on Refugee Children

Snapchat Tests Sponsored Discover Channel with James Bond

Snapchat launched a temporary Discover channel yesterday featuring advertiser-created content. Sony Pictures Entertainment paid for a “sponsored” Discover channel to promote its new James Bond film “Spectre,” which opened on Monday in the U.K. The Discover section currently includes 15 media partners, but the 007 channel (which is sharing multimedia content for the film such as behind-the-scenes footage, cast member testimonials and Bond trivia questions) represents the first time a brand has paid to be featured this way on Snapchat Discover. Continue reading Snapchat Tests Sponsored Discover Channel with James Bond

Slack Uses Artificial Intelligence to Build New Virtual Assistant

Stewart Butterfield, founder and CEO of office chat software maker Slack Technologies, says his company is using AI to help build an advanced virtual assistant. Slackbot, Slack’s current built-in assistant, is an icon used for tips, searches and even a sprinkling of humor. In discussing the future potential of Slackbot, Butterfield compares it to the Samantha software voiced by Scarlett Johansson from the film “Her.” Butterfield is leveraging natural language processing and machine learning to build a truly helpful digital office assistant. Continue reading Slack Uses Artificial Intelligence to Build New Virtual Assistant

Reese Witherspoon Stars in ‘Wild’ Experience for the Gear VR

Fox Searchlight has produced a virtual reality experience to promote the film “Wild” starring Reese Witherspoon. The three-minute, 360-degree sequence features Witherspoon as her character in the film as she takes a break from a hike in the woods. Fox Searchlight is planning on showing “Wild – The Experience” at the Consumer Electronics Show and the Sundance Film Festival next month. The immersive experience is compatible with Samsung’s Gear VR. Continue reading Reese Witherspoon Stars in ‘Wild’ Experience for the Gear VR

‘Banshee Chapter’ Becomes First Feature Film for Oculus Rift

The 2013 horror indie “Banshee Chapter,” produced by Zachary Quinto and directed by Blair Erickson, is the first feature film to be released on Oculus Rift headsets. San Francisco-based Jamwix is making the movie available for free via its website. Jamwix’s Chimera software was used to convert “Banshee Chapter,” which was already shot in 3D, into a virtual reality feature. The digital studio is using the project to promote how Chimera can transition films into an immersive VR experience. Continue reading ‘Banshee Chapter’ Becomes First Feature Film for Oculus Rift

SGN Releases Mobile Game for Fox’s New ‘Book of Life’ Movie

Mobile game maker SGN and 20th Century Fox released “Book of Life: Sugar Smash,” a companion mobile game for Fox’s new animated film. The two companies are sharing revenue from the game’s in-app purchases, which could translate to long-term revenue and marketing for both businesses. This revenue-sharing deal could also become a new model of partnership for future gaming and film companies. “Book of Life: Sugar Smash” is a free game available for iOS and soon Android. Continue reading SGN Releases Mobile Game for Fox’s New ‘Book of Life’ Movie

Oculus Rift Interstellar Experience Coming to IMAX Theaters

Christopher Nolan fans and moviegoers interested in the upcoming “Interstellar” can get a sneak peek at the galactic world through a 3D virtual reality experience. Participants will get a chance to wear Oculus Rift headsets and virtually explore the film’s spacecraft, which took two months for the team at Framestore to recreate. The Oculus Rift Interstellar Experience is hitting select AMC IMAX theaters in New York, Houston, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. before the film opens November 7. Continue reading Oculus Rift Interstellar Experience Coming to IMAX Theaters

YouTube Power Couple Produces Miniseries for Horror Movie

Producer Legendary Pictures and distributor Universal Pictures tapped YouTube stars Felix Kjellberg and Marzia Bisognin to develop a companion Web series for the horror movie, “As Above, So Below,” which opened in theaters this past weekend. PewDiePie and CutiePieMarzia, as the two are better known on YouTube, shot the series in the movie’s setting, the catacombs of Paris. The six-part Web series has generated about 20 million views, while the film’s trailer has been played 9.7 million times. Continue reading YouTube Power Couple Produces Miniseries for Horror Movie

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