The cinematic VR experience I directed alongside SunnyboyVR has been released across all platforms after a successful San Diego Comic Con Premiere. For the project, we traveled to Toronto to scan the sets from the movie and build in stereoscopic 360 CG. Next we shot the actors from the film against greenscreen with a 3D camera system with lighting to match each CG environment. The final piece is a product of compositing the two together and adding spatial audio from Spacewalk sound. It was a pleasure working with the Sunnyboy team to make this nightmare scenario into a dream come true.
The second episode of the ON STAGE went live. Once again I teamed up with Jeff Nicholas and Live Nation x Hulu for an up close and personal documentary and concert film. The episode centers on Major Lazer's show in Kingston Jamaica and how the regional music inspired their sound. You can watch the episode on Hulu VR or see a trailer for it here.
The last few months I've been hunkered down over at 8i Studios creating "Buzz Aldrin: Cycling Pathways to Mars" for LifeVR. I was brought onto the project as Creative Director and Writer, but as life long space geek it was a dream to work with a legend such as Buzz.
Built entirely in Unity and using 8i's amazing volumetric video holograms, the project breaks ground in several key areas. From SXSW schedule: "Buzz Aldrin is an American astronaut best known for piloting the Lunar Module on the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, and the second person to set foot on the moon. While it was a historic achievement, Dr. Aldrin wants to be remembered for more than just "kicking up moon dust." He wants his legacy to include laying the groundwork for a permanent human settlement on Mars. This world’s first holographic ‘archival VR’ project, created by 8i, that takes you to Mars and back with Buzz as your guide."
PRESS LINKS: USA Today // TIME // People // AdWeek // Engadget // BBC // Paste // Fox News // UploadVR // CNBC // Variety // Hollywood Reporter // VR Focus // Fast Company // PC World // Ars Technica // Tech Times
I once again teamed up with the awesome folks at Funny Or Die to direct a 360 experience for Disney's Beauty and the Beast premiere. Interviewer Allan McLeod sat down with stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens to chat about the iconic movie's release.
Of course things don't go quite as planned with nonstop distractions and interruptions it doesn't take long for the interview to go off the rails.
The experience was a collaboration with Oculus and released through Funny Or Die's Facebook page. You can view it as an embedded video here, but I highly suggest watching it through the Facebook360 app on GearVR or Oculus Video for the full effect.
I traveled down to New Orleans with the Create+Destroy folks to shoot the pilot of a new Hulu + Live Nation music series starring Lil Wayne. It's a mixture of documentary and musical performance, showing a side of the performer you've probably never seen. Check out the trailer that just went live last week. You can view the full length episode in the HuluVR app.
I'm also pumped for the second episode of the series we just got done shooting in Jamaica with Major Lazer. It's going to be insane. More on that later...
If you're unfamiliar with YouTube Rewind, it's a yearly traditional where YouTube gets together hundreds of their biggest creators to create one epic video to recap the years biggest trends and memes. I was honored to be tapped to direct a section of the annual video this year. You can watch the final video here. Don't feel bad if you don't know who anyone is or what the hell is going on. You kinda have to be a YouTube-aholic for it to make any sense.
As part of Rewind 2016, YouTube decided to make Rewind 360 videos this year as well. They are triggered through hidden Easter Egg annotations in the main video. In this one, a group of YouTubers dance inside a colorful box until Unboxing Therapy opens it and peers in from above. See if you can find the others.
This one has been a long time coming. I shot and directed a music video for Chinese popstar Tan Wei Wei many months ago. After a grueling post schedule it finally made its debut in China. The video features many different versions of Tan Wei Wei and her backup dancers in a field that transforms with the ebb and flow of her emotions on the track. From flowers blooming to swarming birds to lightening storms to burning hillsides. Shot on the Jaunt One you can view an unofficial Youtube link here.
I recently appeared on the A&E show Wahlburgers as a VR director. In the episode I work with Donnie and Paul Wahlberg to shoot a virtual tour of their flagship restaurant in Boston. I'm used to hiding from the camera while shooting 360 scenes, but there was no escaping it on this one. A show about the making of the VR experience. So meta. You can view the finished piece here. And no, I'm not going to share a link to the A&E episode, you can find that on your own haha.
Experience first hand what it's like to be Donald Trump preparing for a presidential debate in 360 3D! Tiny Hands: The Donald Trump Experience is a rare one-of-a-kind glimpse inside the head of the Donald.
I made this as a fun passion project with my friends at Alpen Pictures. We used my custom build 3D 360 POV camera and tiny little puppet arms to achieve the effect. Mike O'Gorman (HBO's Vice Principals) voiced and puppeteered Donald, while Mookie Blaiklock (Don't Trust The B, Wet Hot American Summer) served as his dutiful aide.
You can watch the video on YouTube or SamsungVR (preferred for real POV effect).
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".
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