ILMxLab Poised to Push VR Boundaries

For years, John Gaeta (The Matrix trilogy) has been preaching and incubating the total immersive entertainment experience, tapping Silicon Valley and Hollywood (watch our conversation below), and now he’s making it a reality as creative director of the new ILM Experience Lab (ILMxLab).

Under the leadership of Rob Bredow (Lucasfilm vp of new media), ILMxLAB is bringing virtual and augmented reality experiences to Disney theme parks, the home, and portable devices so viewers can enter cinematic worlds and navigate their way through the action. This will be achieved with the combined assets of ILM, Lucasfilm, and Skywalker Sound along with proprietary xLAB tablet and Oculus Rift-based tech.

According to USA Today, there will likely be a tie-in by year’s end with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as Gaeta showed off a scene in which you can check out R2D2 and C-3PO hiding from Storm Troopers in a dusty village.

However, THR emphasized the theme park experience and alluded to the inclusion of Disney, Pixar, and Marvel assets as well (which why there is synergy between ILM and Disney Imagineering).

Virtual and augmented reality will certainly open up a new storytelling frontier somewhere between movies and gaming where viewers have more control and there are more narrative threads to explore. For ILM, it’s the perfect opportunity to embrace total trans-media immersion with its assets and tech (including real-time virtual production and cloud management/streaming), while at the same time expanding its photoreal world building acumen.

John Gaeta: Breaking the Fourth Wall from Palo Alto Int’l Film Festival on Vimeo.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Crafts, Movies, performance capture, previs, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production

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