Sony Pictures is one of the studios leading the charge into virtual reality and their senior VP of VR explained why – the creative community is hot on it and it may help the overall business at a time of decline in movie going. “One of the reasons why we are so bullish on this opportunity as an industry and also for Sony Pictures is that, very talented creative people are knocking on the door and are saying ‘hey, I want to find a way to tell a story on this platform’,” said Jake Zim, senior VP of VR for the studio during a panel discussion at today’s VR on the Lot conference. “Part of what [Sony] likes to say is that our position here in this creative community to help in the overall VR industry… help them create these visions, leverage the platforms, and distribute in a way that creates an actual economy.”
Studios and TV networks have been increasingly exploring and investing in virtual reality content as this platform has been deemed the next wave in entertainment media. Sony recently put together a team dedicated to the production and distribution of VR content. Sony’s VR group recently partnered with Madison Wells Media’s Reality One to develop VR experiences for its forthcoming pictures and franchises.
“I think it’s a natural strategy for us to employ,” Zim said on incorporating a VR experience with the release of their tentpole pics. “When we think about the worlds of the IP that we create movies from and how it can be an enhanced experience,” virtual reality “provides a level of interactively or a depth of story that also lives underneath that world.”
“[The] great thing about VR is that you can look at different audiences, which start to overlap and get bigger and broader than just one particular segment,” Zim continued. “The core of the IP gets us a creative starting point, but the platforms for the VR experience allow us to broaden that out.”
So what does Zim hope to see in the future of virtual reality? “Real-time social interaction in VR,” he said, calling it “a game changer” and “transformative.”
“This will open up an entirely new genre of the virtual reality experiences.”