Virtual reality is a new frontier for storytelling and narrative, with Hollywood and Silicon Valley coming together to make it irresistible.
People waving and swatting at unseen adversaries. Drinks and hors-d’oeuvres colliding with Oculuses and HTC Vives. Telepresent drone camera gimbals spinning and spying by remote. And a cast of virtual reality heroes across the spectrum of development, capital, and content. Tony Parisi from Wevr, Daniel Engelhardt from Lionsgate, Chris Chin from HTC, Maciej Gliwa from Boabab Studios, Greg Castle from Castle Ventures and Joel Susal from Dolby Laboratories, on stage with Seth Shapiro, Governor of the Television Academy. This was Orange Silicon Valley during the May 11th Virtual Reality and Storytelling event “Through the looking glass: Hollywood and Silicon Valley get immersive”.
And it was fantastic!
Our most popular event yet, we brought together a standing-room-only, full house of angel investors, corporate venture capitalists, VR developers, and new media aficionados. Eight startups showed off interactive demos of their products and VR experiences including Retinad, Wevr, Rival Theory, Sixense, LucidVR, Vicarious, Midas Touch and Avegant. HTC ran a room to show off the impressive capabilities of their Vive headset. And Homido supported the event by providing 20 free smartphone headsets to participants.
— Upload (@UploadVR) May 12, 2016
After a few hours of mingling in actual reality and diving into the demos of virtual reality, participants gathered in the Orange Innovation Garden to listen to a fireside chat between Tony Parisi, VP of Platform Products at Wevr, and Chris Arkenberg, research and strategy lead at OSV. They talked about the impact of this First Wave of consumer VR now hitting the shores, and what it means for users, content creators big and small, and the storytelling wizards of Hollywood.
“The thing about this technology is that it takes you someplace.” – Tony Parisi
There’s a ton of money flowing into VR. The hardware is powerful enough to suspend illusion and actually transport you to a “place” that feels real. Once you experience it fully, a world of possibilities opens up. Now it’s on the creators to figure out how to move storytelling and engagement into the virtual.
— Elizabeth Scott (@elizabethdscott) May 12, 2016
Next, the startups presented rapid one minute pitches about their products and experiences before seguing into a 45 minute panel discussion led by Seth Shapiro, with Daniel Engelhardt of Lionsgate, Chris Chin from HTC, Maciej Gliwa representing Boabab Studios, Greg Castle from Castle Ventures, and Joel Susal from Dolby Laboratories. The panelists touched on content creation, the challenges and opportunities of this new non-linear world, the way that investors and capital are moving to shape the landscape, and how the large content houses are working to migrate their franchises and IP into VR.
— Nick Haase ♣️ (@NickAtLoot) May 12, 2016
The event was a great success with a new format for a really compelling and captivating technology. And our hashtag #getimmersive even became a trending topic on Twitter in the San Francisco Bay Area! Another sign that VR is back and it’s here to stay…
— BootstrapLabs (@bootstraplabs) May 12, 2016