Proof Unveils Prime and It Is Rapidly Growing
One of Hollywood’s leading previsualization specialists, Proof Inc. officially launched its new virtual reality and immersive 360-degree experiences unit Prime last week. Along with this launch it also announced new hires. One of the new hires is Christopher Bellaci who is the new business developer and sales. He came on board from the company RGH Entertainment whose animation works contributed to popular titles like “Spider Man”, “Titanic” and ‘The Green Lantern”.
Previsualization and its Success Stories
Some of the success stories of proof are blockbusters like Captain America: “Winter Soldier”, “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the “Fast and Furious” franchise. With successes in these areas the company went on to get its first virtual reality gig back in 2014 when Lin asked proof to do previsualization for “Help”. Help is the first live-action movie shot for Google’s Spotlight Stories.
For those of you who don’t already know, previsualization gives directors an initial look at the scene of shoot with animated showing off a movie’s lead character or characters in a specific environment. This peek looks just like a sketch but with motion. If you will. “It’s visualizing the film like the director wants it to look,” explained Bellaci during an interview with Variety this week.
In the course of shooting “Help”, the Proof team observed that it wouldn’t take much more to offer the same for virtual reality and accompanying immersive experiences. Making similar work in a headset to give directors a way to look around was basically just a minor modification. “For us, moving to VR is a no brainer,” said Bellaci.
This modification seems very minor but it can make a world of difference for the directors. Shooting live action in 360 degree in particular requires a lot of focus and precision. “You got to be aware of everything in the space,” said Bellaci.
A Long Ways down The Road of VR
However, it is evident that a lot of the content that is currently being created for virtual reality won’t exactly justify going that extra mile. A small studio that pieces together a few GoPros into a rig made with a 3D printer to shoot some experiential 360-degree short film won’t go out of its way to employ a company like Prime.
It is still early days for virtual reality and it has yet to find its audience. “Right now, the primary funding for VR experiences is VR for PR,” he said, adding that Hollywood will eventually be ready to more fully embrace VR as a creative medium beyond short trailers to promote their movies.”
In the meantime, however, Prime wants to offer its expertise to companies looking to build art installations and immersive experiences at their shows and exhibitions. In this context virtual reality comes in at the production stage rather than just being the final experience.
For example, the team can just visualize a theme park ride in 3D way before it is even built. Theme park builders will now be able to see what the final ride will look like and explore every aspect of it with the virtual reality headsets. “The difference now is that we can also put you on the ground.” Said Bellaci.