Journalists to Use Samsung Gear 360 Cameras for VR News

As part of a global initiative to introduce the potential of 360-degree news reporting, Samsung is providing 50 Reuters photojournalists in 25 countries with its Gear 360 cameras. According to Digital Trends, “The cameras and new content will fuel Focus 360 — Reuters’ new virtual reality and 360-degree video and photography worldwide news portal, which launches online and on Android August 2 and on iOS August 5.” Samsung Galaxy phone owners “will also be able to watch Focus 360 content on the Samsung Gear VR headset.” Continue reading Journalists to Use Samsung Gear 360 Cameras for VR News

Halsey Minor Seeks to Disrupt VR Production with Live Planet

Numerous companies are introducing virtual reality cameras, filling a void that existed a year ago when VR productions were limited to the low-resolution Ricoh camera or custom rigs with multiple GoPro cameras. Among those manufacturers now offering 360-degree cameras are Samsung and LG aiming at the consumer marketplace, and Nokia, Jaunt and Lytro positioned towards the professional market. Kickstarter campaigns are also underway for additional cameras. The latest venture comes from CNET founder Halsey Minor, who is building an end-to-end immersive video system. Continue reading Halsey Minor Seeks to Disrupt VR Production with Live Planet

ILMxLAB Debuts ‘Tatooine’ VR, Develops Darth Vader Projects

Darth Vader is the star of an upcoming Lucasfilm virtual reality project centered on “Star Wars.” Although the project is largely undefined at this point — it has no name, genre, or release date — what we do know is that the story will both reveal new details about Darth Vader’s background and try out some innovative storytelling techniques. Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB, which accesses award-winning VFX facility Industrial Light & Magic, Skywalker Sound and the “Star Wars” story group, is developing the project. Continue reading ILMxLAB Debuts ‘Tatooine’ VR, Develops Darth Vader Projects

VR Companies Learn the Ropes in Broadcasting Live Sports

Sports coverage in virtual reality is gaining momentum. Jaunt VR, NextVR and IM360 have all shown virtual reality applications for professional baseball, basketball, football, soccer and Daytona 500 auto racing. But sports coverage in VR creates new and unique challenges for producers. For example, VR cameras can’t zoom — a common practice in typical sports coverage — meaning the camera has to be as close to the players as possible, easy for boxing but a tougher proposition for, say, football. Continue reading VR Companies Learn the Ropes in Broadcasting Live Sports

Post Cereal Gets Immersive with New Fruity Pebbles VR Spot

Cereal company Post created its first virtual reality content: a 30-second pre-roll spot for Fruity Pebbles’ “Yabba Dabba Doo” campaign that will run on multiplatform apps VirtualSky and StartApp. Rather than place the viewer in an environment to explore, the Pebbles spot is a carefully guided, organized experience. It’s still quite immersive, with 360 visuals that spray the viewer with water guns among other activities that include dodgeball, painting a mural and jamming with a garage band. Continue reading Post Cereal Gets Immersive with New Fruity Pebbles VR Spot

FAA Issues New Drone Rules, Not Enough for Drone Industry

The Federal Aviation Administration just issued rules, to take effect in August, for how businesses can use small drones, specifically for those weighing less than 55 pounds. Among the new restrictions are that drone speed must be kept under 100 miles per hour and that users may operate them during twilight only if they are equipped with anti-collision lights. The maximum altitude has also been lowered to 400 feet from 500 feet, and the age limit for operators also lowered, to 16 from 17 years old. Continue reading FAA Issues New Drone Rules, Not Enough for Drone Industry

Mashable Buys YouTube Channel for Filmmakers, Movie Fans

In another sign that New York-based Mashable is heading toward video, the digital media company has acquired YouTube channel CineFix from Lloyd Braun’s media and tech company, Whalerock Industries. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The channel, which is geared toward filmmakers and movie fans, has produced more than 1,200 videos and attracted over 1.6 million YouTube subscribers. The site is “a natural fit with Mashable’s focus on entertainment, technology, and influential geek culture,” said Mashable chief content officer Gregory Gittrich. Continue reading Mashable Buys YouTube Channel for Filmmakers, Movie Fans

Magic Leap and ILMxLAB Plan to Make ‘Star Wars’ Immersive

Magic Leap and Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB have partnered to develop “Star Wars”-related content for the former’s technology. Because Magic Leap has kept its mixed reality developments under wraps, neither company would reveal details about specific experiences that would result from the partnership. But Magic Leap founder Rony Abovitz, at the WIRED Business Conference in New York City last week, did show a teaser that showed two iconic “Star Wars” characters, computer-generated but very real looking, interacting with participants. Continue reading Magic Leap and ILMxLAB Plan to Make ‘Star Wars’ Immersive

Time Inc. and Wochit Partner to Help Publishers Create Videos

Time Inc., which purchased ad tech network and Myspace owner Viant earlier this year, is planning to publish 40,000 pieces of video content in 2016. To help achieve this ambitious goal, Time has partnered with New York City-based Wochit, a startup that helps online publishers produce short videos. Wochit provides pre-licensed content, editing tools and publishing options for social media and mobile platforms. The service analyzes article text and finds related graphics, photos and videos to build a video. Publishers can then add voice-over, music and more. Continue reading Time Inc. and Wochit Partner to Help Publishers Create Videos

Alamo Drafthouse, Legion M Team Up to Produce Film, TV, VR

In a newly inked deal, Alamo Drafthouse, the indie theater chain/film distributor, will place executives on the advisory board of startup studio Legion M to evaluate scripts and talent for feature films, shorts, and virtual reality experiences among other potential entertainment projects. Alamo and Legion M portray their agreement as a revolutionary way for fans to become key stakeholders in the success; thus far, Legion M has raised $400,000 from accredited investors and nearly $141,000 from fans. Continue reading Alamo Drafthouse, Legion M Team Up to Produce Film, TV, VR

ETC@USC Tests Production in the Cloud with ‘The Suitcase’

At the London Hotel in West Hollywood, the Entertainment Technology Center @ USC unveiled “The Suitcase,” a 20-minute film that serves as a proof of concept for production in the cloud. “We wanted to examine how we create a common framework for all the different resources you’re dealing with in the IT environment,” said ETC Project Cloud senior project lead Erik Weaver. “This short film was a way to bring those things together — including an end-to-end HDR color workflow and metadata — and test them out.” Continue reading ETC@USC Tests Production in the Cloud with ‘The Suitcase’

NBA Debuts Fan-Created Video Initiative Aimed at Millennials

The NBA, partnering with BroadbandTV (BBTV), has introduced a new multi-platform video initiative, NBA Playmakers. Aimed at millennials, the new online video network allows fans to make their own videos, with access to some NBA content and inclusion on a soon-to-launch YouTube channel. A video that draws a big audience or shows special talent will win its creator tickets, access to the NBA video team and other goodies. This initiative is the first foray that the league, with BBTV, plans to showcase high-quality fan content. Continue reading NBA Debuts Fan-Created Video Initiative Aimed at Millennials

Rovio Self-Finances ‘Angry Birds’ Movie to Control Franchise

Finnish company Rovio Entertainment decided four years ago that, rather than license the “Angry Birds” characters to a Hollywood studio, it would finance its own $73 million movie. Since opening on Friday in some territories, Rovio’s gamble has thus far resulted in a $43 million gross. Companies such as Lego A/S and Hasbro turned to studios to finance their films, but Rovio took the same path Marvel did when it made “Iron Man,” with the goal of controlling the franchise over the long term. Continue reading Rovio Self-Finances ‘Angry Birds’ Movie to Control Franchise

News Outlets Stream Pre-Recorded Video via Facebook Live

Facebook Live doesn’t have to be strictly live video. News outlet NowThis, which exists solely on social platforms, tried this out in late April by streaming a 38-minute selection of most popular viral videos — and received over 20,000 views and 500 comments. Streaming pre-recorded content is similar to how TV networks have operated for decades, by which previously taped programs are aired on a linear schedule. Facebook confirms it has no policy that video on Facebook Live actually has to be live, but doesn’t recommend streaming pre-recorded video. Continue reading News Outlets Stream Pre-Recorded Video via Facebook Live

ETC Panel: AI, Neuroscience & Data Revolution in Hollywood

ETC@USC has scheduled a panel discussion — “Audience Intelligence at the Frontier: AI, Neuroscience & the Data Revolution in Hollywood” — for Tuesday, June 21. Yves Bergquist, co-founder & CEO of Novamente, and director of ETC’s new Data & Analytics Project will moderate. Leading data scientists, neuroscientists and senior studio execs will discuss the application of next-generation cognitive computing to the audience intelligence challenges in Hollywood. Sponsored by Cloudera, the event will take place 2:00–4:00 pm at the USC Ronald Tutor Campus Center, followed by a cocktail reception. For more information and to register, visit the panel’s Eventbrite page. Continue reading ETC Panel: AI, Neuroscience & Data Revolution in Hollywood

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