Summer Lovin’ Part 2

Here is part two:

I had the privilege of attending the AT&T Shape Entertainment and Tech Expo at Warner Bros Studios this past weekend. They had the expo in San Francisco last year. I got a free ticket through one of the Meetup.com groups that I’m part. Normally it costs $100 to attend. One of the guests was Kathryn Bigelow, director of The Hurt Locker and the new film, Detroit. She talked about her process of filming and bringing the audience into the story and the tension the characters feel. We were able to experience a VR project she did called, The Protectors, which puts you in the place of one of the park rangers on the Gamala Wildlife Preserve in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on patrol to stop poachers. I have never experienced anything like that before and I was absolutely astounded that they were able to film in 360 degrees. Anywhere you look with the technology, there is something to look at as if you are actually there. I got to see the camera that lets you do that and it’s $40,000 to purchase. They also had an exhibitor hall where you could view other VR films, motion capture technology, and new innovations in immersive sound. I’m not technical so it blew my mind. They had a animated short you could view called Apex and it was so real and immersive that viewing it actually scared me. It features an urban landscape on fire with giants coming right at you and a part where you are stuck in the sky looking at liquid land beneath you.

Another feature of the expo were the free tours to the backlot and sound stages of the studios. I’m still enough of a neophyte that I was enthralled. We got to see houses and neighborhood sets as well as what they use for jungle and lake scenes. We even saw the place that was Melotte’s in True Blood. I found out that even indie films can rent out parts of the major studio lots for filming. Then, I boarded another tram to see the film production exhibit with green screen and technical displays. They had costumes, part of the sitcom sets, and a memorabilia gallery where you could hold a real Oscar from 1949.  I also got to see the vehicles from the Batman films.  I’m a Marvel fan, but I love Batman.  I couldn’t resist being a tourist, so enjoy the photos.

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