Thursday, June 16, 2016

So You Want To Get Into VR?

Photo: The Virtual Reality Company
When it comes to advice on how to get into virtual reality or VR, it's hard to imagine a better two people to give that advice than two of The Virtual Reality Company's (VRC) co-founders, two-time Academy Award-winning director Robert Stromberg and entertainment executive, Guy Primus. 

VRC recently raised $23 million as part of a large equity-financing round, and is a producer of first-class VR content, including the critically-acclaimed "tentpole" VR experience, The Martian VR, a 20-minute interactive and fully immersive journey created for the 20th Century Fox Innovation Lab.

I recently had an opportunity to talk to Guy and Robert, and asked them about advice they had to give for anyone wanting to get into the industry.
Guy: "I always give advice, I got started in the entertainment industry in New York in the music industry. The first piece of advice is probably the same that I would give to anybody who's looking to do anything, which is you have to be in it to win it. If you're really serious about it, you have to invest your time in either going back to school or even picking up and moving to Silicon Valley or Los Angeles where it's all happening and really get involved. That involves going to meetups and really sacrificing your time, but I think mostly just creating. It sounds simple. I don't think it has to be great but picking up a camera and shooting with it and putting together something and just experimenting with what works and what doesn't because even if it doesn't look the best and it's not the highest quality output, the input and the process is really where the value is. That's kind of the key piece of advice I have for anyone looking to get anything that they are potentially passionate about, just get involved and immerse yourself in it."
Robert: "I think that what's interesting about this new medium is that it really is a new medium, as different as radio is to television as films is to stage plays is to books. It's just a new way to experience or tell stories. What's really interesting is that it's a field that's somehow cross-pollinating the world of film, the world of visual effects, the world of gaming. Still, at the end of the day it all requires creativity and art and storytelling. It's really pulling elements and occupations from really every direction and sort of focusing on this new thing. The opportunity is potentially enormous for this budding business." 
"Not many films are filmed in Los Angeles anymore. Visual effects, citizen communities are spread all over the world now. In a weird way Los Angeles has sort of become this fledgling hub of VR. I know there are companies in Silicon Valley and everywhere else but it seems to be focusing here, which is really exciting for us because it gives Los Angeles the careers here, a new pathway to something that doesn't change where they were going but only enlightens and heightens what they've already spent years learning how to do."
There you have it. When it comes to career advice, it doesn't get much better than that.

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