Burger King Deviously Explains Net Neutrality

by Tim Nudd

Would you pay more to keep the fast in fast food?

On the heels of its brilliant anti-bullying spot last year, Burger King has found another cause it can get behind, and promote with a clever in-store stunt—net neutrality.

Net neutrality is a complicated topic to explain, which is where Burger King came in with a meaty metaphor. It set up a social experiment at a BK location—with a hidden-camera setup not unlike that of the anti-bullying spot—and taught Whopper buyers a memorable lesson. In the video below, see how real customers reacted to being charged more for the same quick-serve Whopper—or, for the regular price, having to wait longer for a Whopper as BK employees intentionally, and seemingly pointlessly, slow down their service…

Read More at AdWeek

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Gabrielle Brown
‘Dispatch’ Heads to Sundance 2018

As the intersection of art and technology grows more crowded, Sundance Institute showcases a curated collection of cutting-edge independent experimental media works by creators who are pushing the artistic development of the new mediums of VR, AR, mixed reality (MR) and AI. The 2018 edition of New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival offers some of the most innovative independent production and experimentation at the crossroads of film, art and technology that is being created today. Programmers assembled an international slate of VR, MR, and AI from a mix of invitations and submissions to an open call for VR work earlier this year.

Dispatch / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Edward Robles) — A small-town police dispatcher faces the greatest challenge of his career during an all-night crime spree. Cast: Martin Starr, Julianna Guill, Graham Shiels, Beth Grant, Samuel Stricklen, Kelly Jenrette.

Read More and see other selections at Sundance.org

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With Dispatch, Here Be Dragons pushes narrative VR storytelling in bold new directions

by Jonathan Shieber

Dispatch, a gorgeous, harrowing 24-minute experiment in narrative storytelling created by the acclaimed studio Here Be Dragons, which uses virtual reality in novel ways, may be one of the most interesting steps on the path to creating VR’s own narrative language.

The short, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year, is now available through the Oculus store on both the Rift and the Gear. The first three episodes are available now and the fourth and final installment will be released at a later date.

 

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Addison O’Dea talks Discovery, Google VR’s “Discovery TRVLR”

by Daniele Alcinii

It was April of this year when director Addison O’Dea received a phone call from executives at Discovery Channel and Here Be Dragons, the virtual and augmented reality studio from Patrick Milling-Smith and Chris Milk.

That phone call would result in a months-long whirlwind of activity in the field to capture, in 360-degree video, a “visceral travel experience” that dives into a myriad of cultures and subcultures from across all seven continents.

The end result is an immersive 38-episode, seven-chapter series titled Discovery TRVLR that was produced in tandem by Discovery VR and Google’s VR team.

The series centers around a “Guru, Renegade, Entertainer or Explorer” in each environment as they pull the curtain back on varying rituals, unique traditions and life-threatening quests that encompass their culture. O’Dea says the series is “almost like an invitation because none of what we do is really on the traditional path for a guest.”

Read More at Realscreen

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David Richards, Kamila Prokop join Here Be Dragons

By Daniele Alcinii

Patrick Milling-Smith and Chris Milk’s virtual and augmented reality studio, Here Be Dragons, has bolstered its producing team with the appointments of David Richards and Kamila Prokop joining as executive producers.

In her new role, Prokop (pictured, left) will manage branded entertainment and grow the digital studio’s talent roster, while Richards will work across the mediums that Here Be Dragons currently encompasses.

Previously, Prokop co-founded Maven Label, a talent agency representing industry leaders in content production, post and music, and specializing in commercials and branded content. Maven Label’s clients included The Russo Brothers, Kahlil Joseph and Dougal Wilson, among others.

Richards , meanwhile, previously developed content through client and brand partnerships for such companies such Nike, Apple, Geico and Walmart. Richards has received Emmy and Webby Awards nominations for the Intel- and Toshiba-made web series The Power Inside.

Read More at Realscreen

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Gabrielle Brown
Discovery And Google Team On 38-Episode VR Series ‘Discovery TRVLR’

by Greg Evans

Discovery Communications and Google are teaming on the launch of Discovery TRVLR, an immersive, ambitious 38-episode virtual reality travel series that explores cultures across the globe through a “360-degree storytelling experience.”

“Discovery’s viewers look to us for innovation and expect to be taken places that satisfy their desire for exploration and adventure,” said Rebecca Howard, SVP Emerging Platforms and Partnerships at Discovery VR. “Like Discovery, Google’s VR team shares a passion for VR storytelling, and we are thrilled to partner with them on Discovery TRVLR, our most ambitious endeavor to date.”

Read More at Deadline

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VR Series ‘Dispatch’ Debuts at Venice Film Festival

by Rebecca Hills-Duty

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) content studio Here Be Dragons have announced a new VR miniseries titled Dispatch, which will make its debut at the Venice Film Festival.

The new miniseries puts the audience in the shoes of a police dispatcher, a demanding role which involves receiving calls for help from the public. Often those calls contain the worst of humanity, with tales of violence and desperation commonplace. The the four-episode series, a protagonist, Ted, finds himself in a position where he is the only one able to help a victim, no longer sheltered by the distance of a voice down a phone line.

Dispatch is written and directed by Edward Robles and features Martin Starr, Julianna Guill and Graham Shiels.

Read More at VRFocus

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New York Film Festival Brings ‘Look But With Love’ to Convergence Lineup

Over the course of the first weekend of the festival, audiences can explore a multitude of non-traditional film experiences, including three Virtual Reality horror experiences from Dark Corner Studios, highlighted by the World Premiere of their terrifying project Night Night; Sanctuaries of Silence, which takes viewers virtually through Olympic National Park in search of the quietest place in North America; Reality Jockeys, where audience members collaborate with the creators to form their own immersive, surreal virtual worlds; Virtual Virtual Reality, which imagines the purpose of humans in a future run by machines; and Look But With Love, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s VR documentary series exploring the lives of Pakistani citizens.

Read More at The Film Society at Lincoln Center

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Gabrielle Brown
‘The Last Goodbye’ has International Premiere at 74th Venice Film Festival

by Rebecca Hills-Duty

Venice VR will feature a dedicated VR theatre with 50 revolving leather seats, which is located in a huge hanger-like building that dates back to the 16th Century. VR experiences on offer at the theatre include The Deserted by Taiwanese direction Tsai Ming-Liang, Proxima by Mathieu Pradat,Gomorrah VR – We Own the Streets by Enrico Rosati and the The Argos File by Josema Roig.

There will also be several VR installations available to experience, such as The Last Goodbye, a story about a holocaust survivor visiting the camp where his family died; Draw Me Close, a VR piece about dealing with a dying loved one and Alice, a blend of live-action and animation based on Alice in Wonderland.

Read More at VRFocus

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Here Be Dragons Closes $10 Million Series A Financing

by Lucas Matney

Here Be Dragons, an immersive production studio focused on virtual reality content, has closed a $10 million Series A round led by Discovery Communications with participation also coming from David Droga and David Jones. The raise sets the virtual reality studio’s valuation at $55 million pre-money, the company confirmed to TechCrunch.

As part of the round, Discovery exec Rebecca Howard will be joining Here Be Dragons’ board of directors.

While content bets are never all that simple (let alone ones focused on emerging technologies like VR), Here Be Dragons CEO Patrick Milling-Smith believes his company is in a great place after reaching profitability and working with partners like Nike, Samsung, The New York Times and GE.

Read More at TechCrunch

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Gabrielle Brown