TV Networks Double Down on Branded Content via Facebook

Research firm ListenFirst Media reports that the number of branded posts across the Facebook pages of broadcast and cable TV networks and shows increased 115 percent from October 2016 to June of this year. Turner’s Adult Swim (“Rick and Morty”), Turner’s truTV (“Impractical Jokers”) and Fox (“Empire”) were the top networks during Q2 in terms of user engagement. According to Variety, “Dan Riess, Turner’s EVP of content partnerships and co-head of Turner Ignite, said a few years ago the company might have simply distributed a marketer’s content on social media ‘as a favor’ — a value-added extension of a TV ad deal. Now, Turner is selling branded content separately for digital.” Continue reading TV Networks Double Down on Branded Content via Facebook

Fox Releases Immersive Project: ‘The Martian VR Experience’

At CES in January, Fox Innovation Lab showed its first cut of “The Martian VR Experience.” Now, 11 months later, 20th Century Fox’s Lab has just released the finished product, directed by Robert Stromberg and executive produced by Ridley Scott, for use with HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. “The Martian VR Experience,” which is available to consumers for $19, takes viewers into the world of the 2015 Fox movie “The Martian,” directed by Scott, where astronaut Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) was abandoned on Mars. Continue reading Fox Releases Immersive Project: ‘The Martian VR Experience’

‘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?

Fox Innovation Lab to Debut Virtual Reality with ‘The Martian”

For box-office hit “The Martian,” 20th Century Fox and its Fox Innovation Lab developed a VR experience that will debut as a commercial release in the first half of 2016. The VR experience relies on Oculus headsets but will also be available with other devices. The experience is based on the lead character of the movie, putting viewers into the challenges faced by astronaut Mark Watney on Mars. Filmmaker Robert Stromberg said the “thrilling” experience aims to provoke a wide range of emotions including anxiety and success. Continue reading Fox Innovation Lab to Debut Virtual Reality with ‘The Martian”

Hollywood to Target Older Audience with Large Format Films

Large-screen format theaters have typically played action-adventure blockbusters aimed at the younger crowd. This fall, however, Hollywood plans to release more adult-oriented stories on the bigger screens, and often in 3D. Proof of that trend can be found in the films chosen to open recent festivals, including the 3D “Everest” at the Venice Film Festival and Robert Zemeckis’ 3D “The Walk” at the New York Film Festival. Exhibitors and their partners are also wooing adults to watch 3D films, which peaked in 2013 with “Gravity.” Continue reading Hollywood to Target Older Audience with Large Format Films

Hollywood Veterans Team Up for New Virtual Reality Projects

With several consumer virtual reality headsets expected to hit the market this year, studios are scrambling to develop compelling VR content designed for the new devices. Virtual Reality Co. is a firm started by Hollywood players that has been working with notable filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott to bring their cinematic skills to the VR space. These directors are eager to explore the new format, but are weary of the pitfalls that plagued 3D technology. Continue reading Hollywood Veterans Team Up for New Virtual Reality Projects

Amazon Studios Orders Full Season of First Woody Allen Series

Online streaming continues to make headlines — from notable CES announcements (including upcoming HDR support from Netflix) to Golden Globe wins for “Transparent” and “House of Cards.” In the wake of Amazon unveiling its full lineup for the next pilot season and Netflix revealing a planned reboot for cult comedy “Wet Hot American Summer,” it looks like Woody Allen fans may also have a reason to celebrate. The iconic writer, director and performer has been tapped to create his first series, which will premiere exclusively on Prime Instant Video. Continue reading Amazon Studios Orders Full Season of First Woody Allen Series

Ridley Scott Teams with Machinima to Produce Sci-Fi Shorts

Acclaimed film director Ridley Scott has partnered with video entertainment network Machinima to produce 12 short science fiction films. Scott will serve as executive producer, while directors will be tapped from his commercial production company RSA. Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes, Kathryn Bigelow and Neill Blomkamp are on the list of possible directors. Gaming and streaming site Machinima reaches 262 million unique viewers. Continue reading Ridley Scott Teams with Machinima to Produce Sci-Fi Shorts