Why Virtual Reality Could Generate $150 Billion for Hollywood By 2020

At Facebook’s recent developers conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke enthusiastically about a virtual reality-filled future. Last year, the company paid $2 billion for VR pioneer Oculus. While photos are the most frequently shared content on Facebook, Zuckerberg sees Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality content taking the lead down the road.

“When you think about virtual reality, a lot of people first think about gaming. But I actually think video is going to be more engaging in a lot of ways,” Zuckerberg said during his keynote address.

…For the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live, SNL teamed up with filmmaker Chris Milk to capture the event, using custom built VR cameras.

Milk also recently teamed up with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures to create a VR unit at the film production company.

“So many people watched that show on television,” Scogin said. “We wanted to capture that moment in history in a way that hasn’t been done before. I feel like this is a record of that night that fans of the show will have for years and years to come.”

NBC is not alone. Other content creators are busy experimenting with VR…

I’ve thought about developing/shooting a project in 360 degrees (the crew would have to be remote), but like everyone else, I’m unsure of its viability beyond a tailor-made for the medium project–well, at least until a MindScans type device becomes available.

What are your thoughts?

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Summer movies 2014: 5 things we learned

There certainly was plenty of destruction to go around. Not only were several cities destroyed, including San Francisco (“Godzilla”) and Chicago (“Transformers: Age of Extinction”), there was also the kind of destruction Hollywood hates: that of their receipts.
Summer ticket sales, as of the last week in August, were down 15% over summer 2013, according to The New York Times, quoting movie business tabulator Rentrak. For movies released in the May-August window, grosses were down a whopping 25% — $3.67 billion this year vs. $4.85 billion last year, according to boxofficemojo.com…

Anyone surprised? Budgets go up, fewer movies are made, ticket prices go up (and concessions with it), rehashed stories/franchises, plus home theaters get better, and fewer go to the movies. Downward spiral.

Read more here:


4D Movie Theater Coming to LA

CJ Group, the South Korean company that runs Asia’s largest theater chain, recently signed a deal with AEG to open the first 4D theater in the United States. The theater in downtown L.A. will use wind, strobe, fog, rain and scent-based effects in sync with the movie on screen to create a fully immersive experience…

AFAIK, Touch and Smell are senses, not dimensions. Gotta love the marketing folks!


How Steven Spielberg Made Millions Off ‘Star Wars’ After A 1977 Bet With George Lucas

Spielberg and Lucas

Spielberg got 2.5% of “Star Wars” earnings after Lucas was worried it wouldn’t be a success.

A long time ago on a film set far, far away, two directors made a friendly bet about a small space-fantasy film called “Star Wars.”

Steven Spielberg would go on to win the bet and take millions of dollars from George Lucas over time.

Here’s how the out-of-this-world wager came to be…


Event Cinema (and its Association) Comes of Age – an Interview with Melissa Keeping

Event cinema came of age in 2013. It is difficult to pin-point one particular big screen event as the defining turning point, though not for lack of spectacular choice: there was Dame Helen Mirren’s blockbuster turn as the Queen in The Audience, as part of the NT Live season, in June; the same month that also saw the groundbreaking Pompeii Live from the British Museum; the Royal Shakespeare Company’s record-breaking Richard II in the autumn, followed by the unprecedented 3D screening of Dr Who: the Day of the Doctor in more than 1,500 cinemas across the world; or the on-going success of the Met Opera and other premium culture events beamed onto thousands of cinema screens globally…


That’s a lot of pirating: 68% of Europeans download or stream movies for free

A study from the European Commission finds huge numbers of people streaming and downloading movies for free.

How much illegal streaming and downloading is going on in the European Union? A report on film-watching habits released last week by the European Commission suggests that it’s quite a lot. 4,608 people ages 4 to 50 from 10 European countries were surveyed. Nearly all — 97 percent — say they watch movies at least occasionally. 68 percent of them say they download or stream movies for free, and about half of that group (34 percent of respondents overall) do so weekly….


Paramount to lay off 110 employees across departments

Because Paramount Pictures is my alma mater of sorts (actually we used to wear shirts that said “Paramount University”), I try and keep tabs on what goes on over there. Unfortunately, there’s been some bad news this year for them and the other big studios. I can’t say I didn’t see this coming eventually, but when Disney takes huge write downs two consecutive years, well, are we just starting to see the tip of the implosion?

To put this into perspective, the studio had 7 of the top 10 grossing films when I started there and climbed to 8 of the top 10 the next year. I don’t recall Paramount ever leaving the top spot during my years there, but I should do some research to verify my memory…


And here’s a link to what many believe caused the latest move:


Ben In the Media


+ https://www.newtimesslo.com/cover/9088/the-democratization-of-filmmaking/

+ https://santamariatimes.com/news/local/central-coast-ideal-place-for-film-studio-to-flourish/article_b594d6d4-7e52-11e2-8ed2-001a4bcf887a.html

+ https://mindscans.com/press/journalplus.pdf

+ https://www.sanluisobispo.com/2013/02/21/2401719/locally-produced-film-mindscans.html

+ https://www.cuestonian.com/mindscans-premieres-cuesta-students-star-in-local-movie/

+ https://www.atascaderonews.com/v2_news_articles.php?heading=0&page=72&story_id=5969

+ https://www.atascaderonews.com/v2_news_articles.php?heading=0&story_id=5995&page=72