Innovation

VR Venture Gets Hollywood Backing

Dreamscape Immersive, a new virtual reality technology startup, is looking to find growth and opportunity in the film and entertainment industry. The company has already raised $11 million in funding from three major Hollywood studios — Warner Bros., 21st Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer — along with an investment from director Steven Spielberg, according to The Wall Street Journal. IMAX, venture capital firm Bold Capital Partners and mall chain Westfield Corp. have also reportedly invested in Dreamscape.

The company plans to launch its debut VR storefront at a mall in Los Angeles sometime this upcoming fall, with plans to roll out to other markets sometime next year. Dreamscape will reportedly feature original VR creations, as well as projects tied to major film franchises, according to Walter Parkes, the company’s co-chairman, a longtime producer and former DreamWorks motion picture chief.

Dreamscape Immersive’s VR experiences are reportedly expected to run around 10 minutes each, each coming with a production price tag of over $1 million to produce. Tickets will cost $15–$20, said WSJ. The VR venture’s CEO is Bruce Vaughn, a 23-year Disney veteran who most recently worked as the chief creative officer of the Imagineering group. The VR startup may soon work with Hollywood to create original VR content and other projects that could tie into movie releases or run as additional features between film franchise installments, said WSJ.

“What’s similar is we’re creating shared experiences and transporting people to worlds that otherwise only exist in their imaginations,” Vaughn was quoted as saying. “What’s different is we’re not building bricks and mortar and walls that you can’t change your mind about.”

The startup’s upcoming retail locations will reportedly feature experience pods, where consumers can interact with each other and physical objects in the virtual reality space. In the long run, Dreamscape Immersive hopes to move to create virtual reality content in adjacent sectors, like medical training, tourism and communications.

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