2014 has seen high-profile movies such as X-Men: Days of Future Past and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar treated to virtual reality (VR) companion experiences to market their release in cinemas and DVD/Blu-ray. The technology has proved popular for marketing in general this year and that trend is continuing with a reveal of a new 360 degree video experience shot to celebrate the launch of director Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. The experience was revealed at the movie’s premiere on Monday, 1st December 2014.
The experience was created by cinematic VR company Jaunt and was shot near Matamata in New Zealand where the set for the Shire, the fictional village in which Hobbits live. At 90 seconds long, the clip lets viewers watch Gandalf, the iconic wizard portrayed by Sir Ian Mckellen, walk through the Shire, setting off fireworks as he goes. It was shot using Jaunt’s 360 degree camera, allowing users to look around as it plays. According to recombu the clip was available on both the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) and the Google Cardboard smartphone-based HMD.
It appears that Jaunt is certainly making the most of the $27.8 million USD is received in funding earlier this year, then. Last month saw the company release its first 360 degree video to the public, showing a live performance of ‘Live and Let Die‘ by Sir Paul McCartney. It was released on the Android operating system (OS) at the time, though has launched on PC and Mac for the Oculus Rift this week. The company still has plenty of other projects in the works. It’s not clear if and when The Hobbit VR experience will launch on either Google Cardboard or Oculus Rift.
VRFocus will continue to follow Jaunt, reporting back with any further updates on the company’s progress.