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Thursday
Mar032016

The Here-and-Now of VR Innovation

Five great innovators in virtual reality from Canada joined me in New York for a great conversation, focusing upon the here-and-how of VR production during the Media Summit New York, a Digital Hollywood event.

“The VR Cutting Edge from Canada: A Look at VR, AR, and Immersive Entertainment from our Northern Neighbors” was a panel that lived up to its title. Here’s how I described the March 3rd event: As the market for new VR and immersive technologies explode, centers of innovation like Canada are making significant contributions, both creatively and technologically. With two of North America’s busiest film/TV production centers and arguably the deepest bench in 3D animation technologies in the world, Canadian artists, entrepreneurs and institutions are making waves in a market that requires both. Join Nick DeMartino, senior advisor to the Canadian Film Centre, and a stellar panel from north of the border to explore the cutting edge of entertainment.

Speakers all hailed from Canadian companies, with quite a range of experience.

C.J. is a senior member of the 60-person Toronto team that won the first Emmy given to a VR experience for its work on Fox’s Sleepy Hollow. Ian is an innovative VR producer who joined the staff of the CFC, which is investing heavily in VR production (more details on that will become available soon). Kim is a legendary visual effects pioneer whose company Side Effects produces the industry-leading Houdini 3-D package, which is now being used not only for films, TV and games, but for virtual reality, as well. Les is a game designer whose passion for VR has led the production of some of the first VR experiences that leverage the Oculus social platform. Ben has jumped into VR to provide Globacore’s clients with amazing immersive experiences at trade shows, events, museums and other out-of-home environments.

These guys presented an engaging mix of theory and practice, which I found refreshing compared to many VR discussions, which concentrate primarily on monetization strategies and speculations on the market. 

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