Disney greenlights top secret VR short film project

first_img Sundance Festival Share your voice Post a comment Scoop Virtual Reality Disney Augmented reality (AR) 1:50 Russell and Gipson could discuss only limited details about the next VR piece. It’s likely to also be a short that falls in the three- to five-minute range. And the company is allowing Gipson and his team to explore using Disney’s existing cast of characters in VR, Russell said. “The studio is super excited about it,” Russell added. With a look and feel that’s unmistakably Disney, the 3-minute-long Cycles depicts the history of one family in their midcentury modern California home, with vignettes about them that jump back and forth in time over the course of about 40 years. Beyond demos at film festivals like Sundance, the company hasn’t defined a release plan for Cycles. Most of the shorts created in the internal shorts-development program led by Russell are never released. “Because this is our first VR, it’s raised so many questions for the studio” that challenged presumptions about how things are always done, Gipson said. But the team that created Cycles is open to wide public release on a platform like the Oculus store. “That’d be nice,” Russell said. “Talk to our bosses, let’s get that sorted out.”Culture: Your hub for everything from film and television to music, comics, toys and sports.Movie Magic: The secrets behind the scenes of your favorite films and filmmakers. Now playing: Watch this:center_img Disney doubles down on VR entertainment Tags 0 TV and Movies Wearable Tech Cycles was Disney’s first virtual reality short film.  Disney Walt Disney Animation Studios has been showing off its first ever virtual-reality short film, Cycles, at festivals for the last five months. Over the weekend at Sundance, Disney revealed that Cycles isn’t going to be its last venture into VR.In the last month, Walt Disney Animation Studios gave the greenlight to another “top secret” VR short from Jeff Gipson, the director of Cycles. That was the word from Gipson on Sunday, as Disney showed off Cycles — about the life of one family — to press and movie industry insiders on the sidelines of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. “What Cycles is proving is VR is something the studio wants to explore,” said Nicholas Russell, one of Cycles’ producers and the head of the Disney professional development program that created it in four months. “The fact that they greenlit another one this quickly is proof that they might not know exactly what tomorrow looks like for Disney and VR, but we’re going to keep exploring.”Disney’s interest in VR — as a storytelling medium in its own right rather than simply a marketing tool — comes as the media titan is poised to make several big leaps. Set to take over much of 21st Century Fox later this year, Disney is not only expanding into the biggest traditional studio but also reorganizing itself around launching a Netflix-like streaming service, Disney+. With Disney CEO Bob Iger calling Disney+ the company’s top priority, Disney Animation Studio’s VR experiments like Cycles and Gipson’s next project suggest Disney’s embrace of risky new tech is broader than streaming. If VR is to survive, it needs heavyweights like Disney buying in. VR was one of technology’s buzziest trends in the last three years, attracting giant investments by heavyweights like Google, Facebook and others. But its hype has fizzled lately, as widespread adoption of VR proved elusive. Without gotta-see-it content compelling people to try the unfamiliar format, consumers have been ambivalent about these odd headsets you strap to your face.But Disney has show a wider interest in VR over the last several months. Earlier this month, Disney showed off a Marvel-based VR game that you play in the back of an Audi electric car. In September, the company was among the lead investors in virtual-reality startup Jaunt VR’s $66 million round of funding. And it made a location-based VR game based on Disney Animation’s Ralph Breaks the Internet.last_img read more

Pandoras Premium Service Goes Live on Amazons Echo Speakers

Pandoras Premium Service Goes Live on Amazons Echo Speakers

first_imgPandora is bringing its paid premium tier to Amazon’s Echo speakers. The Oakland, Calif.-based music service announced Monday that owners of Amazon’s Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show devices are now able to access the premium service with voice commands.This includes the ability to request single songs, whole albums and custom playlists on demand. Paying Pandora Premium subscribers also get to listen to the service’s personalized radio stations without any ad breaks.Pandora first launched Pandora Premium as a Spotify competitor in early 2017. And while the company initially saw slow growth for the paid tier, it has since become a meaningful contributor to Pandora’s business. Earlier this month, Pandora disclosed that paid subscriptions now account for close to 30 percent of its revenue. Popular on Variety What’s more, paid subscriptions are seeing a lot more growth than Pandora’s ad business. For its most recent quarter, Pandora grew its subscription business 49 percent year-over-year. The company’s ad business only grew 6 percent over the same time span.center_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more