Legion is bringing a
mixed reality HoloLens
experience to San
By Bryan Bishop
San Diego Comic-Con has become an informal virtual reality testing ground over the past couple of years, with many fans getting their first exposure to the technology thanks to TV show activations and movie tie-ins. This year the network FX will be doing the same thing for the Microsoft HoloLens, with a mixed reality experience based on the Noah Hawley show Legion.
Directed by Justin Denton from VR production company Here Be Dragons, Sessions: The Legion Mixed Reality Experience will be a 10-minute piece in which fans will experience scenes from the first season of the show, as well as get glimpses of the upcoming second season. Utilizing both the HoloLens headset and live actors, it will attempt to put viewers into the eyes of lead character David Haller (Dan Stevens), a diagnosed schizophrenic who discovers he may actually be a superpowerful mutant instead. Sessions will be part of the network’s FXhibition 2017, a massive interactive installation near the San Diego Convention Center that will also feature activations based upon shows like American Horror Story, Atlanta, and The Strain.
As Denton explains to me on the phone, the mixed reality approach was key in trying to re-create what living like David Haller would be like. “Certain things you can and can’t do with VR,” he says. “But using an augmented reality landscape, mixed with live actors and a purpose-built installation space; people are just immediately transported to this other world.” While the creators were keeping quiet on specific details about the experience, even after watching a few episodes of Legion it’s not too hard to imagine what that could mean. The series routinely blurs the line between fiction and reality, and Haller’s temperament makes him particularly prone to psychokinetic outbursts.