When VRFocus visited AR and VR on the Lot it was to find out what the creators were working on and see which companies wanted to showcase to Hollywood. However, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) companies also use the event to find new partners, new investors, as well as share tips and tricks on ways of creating original content for new platforms. This is exactly what Pete Blumel, CEO and head of studio The Rogue Initiative was doing on a panel at the event.
Blumel has had a very successful career in both feature films for Dreamworks SKG, animation and videogames. A career which has included work on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Shrek, Transformers, Prince of Egypt and The Island to name but a few. His experience across multiple mediums led him to leading the team at the Rogue Initiative on the studio’s slate of film, television, interactive and VR & AR projects. When VRFocus sat down to talk to Blumel, it seemed that while they were on various projects each of them had an aspect of VR or AR to them.
It’s been a busy year for the studio bringing Crowe: The Drowned Armory to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. They’ve added a survival mode as well as a meditative mode where players can view potential future maps without interacting with them.
It’s also gotten busier with them working in China on a project that is VR based; a science-fiction television show that has VR components in it, as well as a companion piece to go along with it, a science educational franchise that is going to be both VR and AR on various platforms and an AR project Blumel can’t talk about any further. Blumel explains that they want to incorporate VR and AR in any way they can. VRFocus will be covering these as they come out.
Blumel seemed very pleased with the way VR and AR were moving forward. The standalone headsets which are appearing in both the West and East are needed to replace the cardboard and mobile VR headsets. The Rogue Initiative believe there’s a place for both the standalone headsets as well as the untethered, warehouse VR experiences such as The VOID and Nomadic. They’re looking at their own content and trying to experiment with how their content can cater to both. People are starting to pay attention, studios are looking at original properties and publishers are starting to take notice. This is clearly evident with AAA titles coming to VR such as Fallout 4 VR. The technology is still new and people are learning that putting the camera into people’s hands is not a bad thing, you need interactivity, need real-time engines and more to tell a beautiful story in VR. Film producers started to see the trend in producers asking how to make their product more interactive when Blumel was working on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
At events such as AR and VR on the Lot, Blumel said that a lot of people have come to them to ask how to tell stories in VR and they have been able to make new partners when newcomers were able to get over the hurdles of the new ‘technology wall’. Blumel explains that they’re looking for talent and want to foster that talent for the future of immersive technology. The Rogue Initiative are working with famous filmmakers and are currently working on a VR project with Michael Bay. The Rogue Initiative and Bay will produce and develop original content in cinematic-style VR. The experience will offer the “gritty, danger, close action coupled with Michael Bay’s signature style and storytelling that fans all over the world have come to expect from his blockbuster action films.”
Follow and subscribe to VRFocus for further news and watch the video below to get some advice from Blumel on the VR industry.