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Unedited press release follows:
VR Society Launched to Grow Virtual Reality Expertise in Entertainment, Media and Marketing
Group will focus on best practices, standardization for VR content creation and delivery
LOS ANGELES — In an effort to accelerate the success of virtual reality content production, the Advanced Imaging Society (AIS) today announced the formation of The VR Society, a new division within the parent association. The new group will provide research, hands-on seminars, and best practice recommendations to help facilitate the creation of high quality VR content.
“For some time, our members and industry colleagues have indicated a need to prepare for and build virtual reality’s potential,” said AIS Chairman Mike DeValue. “As with any new content platform, we will need a collaborative and sustained industry-wide effort to meet the ‘premium experience’ expectations of consumers,” he added.
The VR Society recognizes that now is the time to lay this foundation. The group’s first survey of 1,000 consumers was conducted in April and found anticipation for VR is high, with 72 percent of adults 18-29, 70 percent adults 30-44 and even 62 percent adults 45-60 reporting they were “excited about experiencing VR.” Over 65 percent reported being “more excited about VR” compared to HDTV and 3D at similar early stages of development.
“Our consumer research shows a remarkable public awareness and excitement for VR content and products,” said AIS and VR Society President Jim Chabin. “As we move forward, those high expectations need to be met with large volumes of brilliant experiences based on intellectual property from studios, music companies and original content creators,” he added.
“We have never seen a new medium with the potential and power to excite and delight consumers like VR,” said Roy Taylor, VP of Content Alliances for AMD and a member of VR Society’s Board of Governors. “By bringing the rapidly growing community of brilliant content creators together with our ‘VR technologists’ and our experienced consumer research specialists, we are confident that we can accelerate the success of this industry,” he added.
“Virtual Reality gives us the means to bring our imaginations to life. It can allow people to ‘step in’ and have truly powerful and immersive experience,” said society board member Guy Primus CEO and co-founder of The Virtual Reality Company. “While we are opening up enormous new creative opportunities, there are quality standards, best practices and techniques that need to be addressed in order for people to have an exceptional VR experience. The VR Society’s central purpose is to help create, support and facilitate those standards throughout the creator community.”
“Intel technology has long played a critical role in helping artists throughout their creative process, and we are extending that to virtual reality space,” said Frank Soqui, at Intel Corporation. “Whether an audience of one or an audience of thousands, VR has the potential to transform our entertainment experiences in ways that, up until now, seemed to only exist in science fiction. Intel is excited to be joining the VR Society board to extend the full possibilities of VR to the world.”
Chabin will serve as President of The VR Society, and today announced the appointment of entertainment veteran Mark Lieber as the organization’s new Head of VR. “Mark’s deep experience in creating and distributing multi-platform content brings a strong and fresh expertise to our member companies in their efforts”, said Chabin. The staff also includes Nick Urbom, SVP Marketing and Awards, Irena Cronin, Editorial Director and AIS SVP Karen Tobin.
The Society’s new marketing committee will lead outreach and education activities for brands. Lori Schwartz and Brian Seth Hurst of StoryTech, and Jonas Hudson of CausePlay/360 AdSpots will lead Los Angeles efforts. Julie Kantrowitz and Tim Davis of All Good Partners will lead the VR Society’s New York Chapter.
The VR Society is an association focused on sharing research, best practices and production quality standards related to entertainment, media and marketing based VR content development.
Society member companies include Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Warner Bros., AMD, The Virtual Reality Company, DreamWorks Animation, Sony Entertainment, Sony Music, Deluxe, Nokia, Barco, Dolby, StereoD, Intel, Prime Focus World, Phillips, Canon Street, StreamTV, ONSIGHT Ltd, Starbreeze, Fraunhofer, Loot Interactive, 3doo, SuperD, Cause Play, MasterImage, StoryTech., Sci Futures and others.
AIS is tasked with bringing together professionals from content and technology companies to share best practices. The society has become the global educational and awards leader, with active chapters in China, Canada, The E.U., and the U.K.
In addition to research and seminars, the Society’s Lumiere Award Ceremonies have honored creative leaders including James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and many others. “The Walk VR Experience” from Sony Pictures was honored this year with best “VR Cinematic Experience”. VR Award categories will be expanded this year. Since 2014, the group has focused on industry and consumer adoption of high dynamic range, VR, 4K and laser projection technology and content. The Society’s popular YouTube series, “The Close-Up”, sponsored by Barco, has achieved more than 500,000 views worldwide.