While I'm posting updates, here's a good one. I recently directed a VR experience for a major motion picture in Toronto. The details are still under wraps, but we are in the midst of a 6 month long post process that combines scanned environments and with live action green screen performances from the actors. Some projects are worth the wait, this is one of them :)
I directed a VR series for tech giant LinkedIn that spanned across Europe. We shot with several international companies to capture their employees' stories and how they broke into their fields. The experiences were shot on a new Black Magic 360 camera system with the hard-to-find Fujinon 185 lenses. Here's a little BTS photo of my "Director Resting Face".
After many long months of post and VFX work we are finally closing in on the release of my Tan Wei Wei video. A project I stepped into two roles; director and DP. It was a challenge to balance all the visual effects to work together in perfect choreography, but we pulled it off. I'll update with links when it launches.
The VR experience I shot for Ford out in Beligum went live last week. You can download and view in VR on the FordVR App. The experience puts you down on the track and in the passenger seat with Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud from the Ford Racing team as they take you through the world of Rallycross.
The world of FordVR was showcased as one of the first pieces of content in Oculus’ new WebVR technology – which will allow for clickable 360-degree video content in a variety of digital platforms – during this week’s Facebook Oculus Connect 3 Conference.
Through the WebVR experience, people will be able to enter a salt flat-like world with the Ford Performance vehicle lineup, and then choose two paths to take – one leading to the all-new Ford GT and the other to the all-new Focus RS.
I recently co-directed a VR sketch for Warner Brother's home video release of Keanu with the team over at SunnyboyVR. Picking up where the Key & Peele movie left off, the sketch takes you into elaborate dioramas for a 360 view of a Keanu's first big time photo shoot. With over 4.5 million views to date it proves once again that you can't go wrong with kittens on the internet.
Watch it on Facebook360.
Read the behind-the-scenes VR SCOUT article.
Back in May I had the pleasure of DP'ing a 360 experience for Blue Diamond Almonds starring Olympic swimmer Matt Grevers. Directed by Jeff Nicholas and shot at a training facility in AZ, the job presented significant logistical challenges. We needed three different rigs to achieve the final result. An above water crane rig to track with the swimmers, a POV rig to capture Matt's POV, an underwater rig to capture the below water action. We worked around the clock to prep for the various modes of shooting and shot the whole job in under five hours. Special shout out to key grip extraordinaire Josh Linkey and tech wizard Sebastien Hameline for their incredible support.
Link to YouTube360 version.
Awhile back I hinted at work on a VR horror experience, well it's finally arrived. The Conjuring 2 360 3D VR Experience went live this week. The house from the film was meticulously recreated using LIDAR scans and mixed with live action actors from the movie. The work was done by Sunnyboy VR and features some of the best scares in VR so far.
The experience is meant to be viewed in a headset because it's has both 3D images and 3D spatial sound. Right now most links point to YouTube360 but it should be up on MilkVR and other 3D platforms soon. Here's some press about the launch-
I'm honored to announce I'm one of the filmmakers chosen to participate in Oculus and Facebook's launch of VR FOR GOOD, an initiative that challenges Bay Area students to use next-generation technologies for real-world projects. I was partnered with two high schools in the Bay Area to mentor students in 360 video production. Over the course of six weeks they created 3-5 minute 360 films sharing what's special about their communities. The program will conclud with a film showcase to celebrate their efforts and highlight the top films.
Growing up in the Bay Area it was a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community and inspire young 360 filmmakers to find new ways to tell their stories.
Earlier this month I directed and DP'd a VR experience for Budweiser at their facilities in St. Louis in a collaboration with The Uprising Creative. I shot it with a combination of rigs, one GoPro and one A7S for low light. The project will be premiering at SXSW in a 4D experience complete with the smell and tastes of Budweiser as you move through the virtual tour.
After tasting freshbeer before bottling, I'm not sure I can ever go back. Needless to say, we did a lot of tasting shots "for rehearsal". Good thing I had my level on me or the shots might have been a little...wobbly.
I finally caught up on sleep from Sundance. We had an amazing time watching people experience the VR sketch for the first time. Rob and Paul were troopers and introduce the first three screenings and killed it on our Comedy VR panel.
Some press that covered the piece --
You can also watch the stream of our panel on VR comedy here.
Big news on the VR front this week. The VR short film I directed for Funny or Die will be making its world premiere at Sundance on Friday (1/22). The event will be hosted by Samsung at their VR space, info below.
The project is called "Interrogation" and stars personal favs Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel (The League, Transparent, Children's Hospital). You can probably guess by the thumbnail (and name) that the experience puts you in the hot seat during an intense grilling by the comedy duo. You can view it on MilkVR starting Friday and on other platforms shortly after.
The experience was shot in 360 3D using the camera system I built and rent out to productions. You can read more about it here if interested.
Also, I'll be doing a panel with Paul and Rob to discuss comedy in VR directly after the screening. Come by and say hello!
Location // 638 Park Avenue
Screening // 2-3pm
Comedy in VR Panel // 3-4pm
I recently had the pleasure of working with local NPR flagship station and cultural trendsetter KCRW. I designed and built a camera system so they could capture their in-studio sessions in beautiful 360 3D, as well as directed their first VR project with indie band Death Cab For Cutie (currently up on Youtube). Since that project they've gone on to shoot a host of other artists on their popular Morning Becomes Eclectic show. The app launched today on the App Store if you want to check it out.
Or Visit www.KCRW.com/vr for more info.
Big thanks to Ben Lang and RoadToVR for the interview. If you want to know how The VR Report came together and where it's heading take a read!
I'm excited to announce that the thirteen episode VR talk show I co-created and directed launched across all major platforms today. You can view it in VR on Samsung's MilkVR, YouTube360, Littlstar, and VRideo. The launch was recently featured on UploadVR, you can read the article here.
From our press release --
"Ushering in the next era of entertainment, The VR Report introduces a unique new talk show format featuring an immersive 360-degree virtual reality experience. For the first time, viewers have the opportunity to sit down face-to-face in a virtual reality environment with a variety of luminaries and pioneers in the rapidly growing VR industry. Hosted on Milk VR, Samsung’s content portal dedicated to 360-degree video content, viewers can watch the show using the Samsung Gear VR and compatible Samsung mobile device. The series debuted the first three episodes on October 6, 2015, with subsequent episodes scheduled to release in the following weeks.
The show is a stereoscopic experience where the viewer is positioned in a seat at a table with the show’s host David Oh, a video game veteran and current head developer relations at Leap Motion. Other key members of The VR Report team include Lex Halaby, an experienced director in the VR space with projects for Universal, ABC Digital, Tesla Motors, and Funny or Die; and Kevin Ping Chang, a feature film and television producer currently focused on creating narrative driven live-action and interactive VR experiences.
“The VR Report is a spontaneous open forum catered towards the VR community,” said show host David Oh. “There’s no cue cards or FAQ lists, just open and honest conversations with a generation of pioneers who want to share their vision for the future of virtual reality and what inspires them.”
The guests featured on The VR Report represent a wide spectrum of functions within the VR community, including Tony Parisi (Futurist and Creator of VRML & X3D), Ben Lang (Co-founder & Executive Editor of Road To VR), Cosmo Scharf and Jonnie Ross (Founders of VRLA, Founders of Visionary VR and Founders of Proto Awards), and Patrick Hackett (Co-creator of Tilt Brush and VR Designer at Google)."
Please visit our website to view and download episodes at www.TheVRReport.com
I was honored to be brought onto a project by Positron in support of Tesla Motors for Back To The Future day tomorrow. You can read about the project on FastCompany.
Oh, and here I am living out my childhood dream. If you look carefully you can spot where I rigged the VR camera.
Just wrapped a VR Horror project in support of a feature film release for Warner Bros. If only there was a better way to keep blood off my lenses and ghosts out of my hard drives.
It's been a busy month so a lot of updates coming... I recently got back from shooting a secret project in the UK. I know, I know, "secret projects" are a ploy for attention, but I really would tell you if I could. This picture doesn't do the scope of the experience justice but it's the only one I can share right now. Needless to say, I'll be very excited to post when it's ready. It might be awhile though, there are over 100 camera setups... so yeahhhh.
I just finished shooting an ABC Digital pilot presentation for a new horror series. Reactions have been great so far and it's currently fast tracked. I can't publish the presentation piece yet, but possibly down the line as things move forward. Very excited to see it move to the next level.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I was directing a VR travel show pilot in SF. Well it's finally arrived! You can download the "Ascape" app on Android devices to experience it with positional sound.
You can also download the MP4 version of the show here --https://mega.nz/#!QddT0RaJ!HSkLwHpa_f6bzAC5F4PlWUwTaSP0ObSYw3iRgb_PY1w
On the show, Stuart Schuffman (from IFC's "BrokeAss Stuart") leads you through SF's lesser known attractions and gives you an insiders guide to the city that you'd never get from a postcard.
The show was accepted into the Kaleidoscope VR Festival, the first of it's kind. For dates and more information visit www.kvrff.com