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Virtual Reality on the Red Carpet

by Academy Contributor

Roll out the red carpet and invite the paparazzi: it’s time for virtual reality to shine!

The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards—scheduled to air on Sept. 17—will feature two new categories: Outstanding Original Interactive Program, and Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media within a Scripted Program.

Among the nominees for the awards are six VR productions—including “The Mr. Robot VR Experience,” stemming from USA Network’s drama-thriller television series Mr. Robot. As VR continues to develop a new standard for content creation, its ability to provide advanced storytelling proves there is a growing demand for an interactive experience in the entertainment industry.

Aligning with this trend, Academy of Art University is poised to train the artists and designers on these exciting advancements by offering a VR Extreme Sports course in the Fall.

“There’s no doubt VR is going to be as revolutionary to entertainment and communication as the invention of the cell phone,” said James Egan, Executive Director of the School of Motion Pictures and Television, in Academy of Art U News. “According to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, it will be the dominant medium through which we communicate in the very near future.”

“The Mr. Robot VR Experience,” nominated for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media within a Scripted Program, allows viewers to enjoy each scene as if they are invisible spectators. Scenes include lounging beside actor Rami Malek on a couch, trailing behind actress Frankie Shaw, or squeezed between them in the cramped cabin of a Ferris wheel.

Academy of Art University alumnus Chris Milk serves as creative director and executive producer of “The Mr. Robot VR Experience.”

“You feel your way inside of VR,” he said in a 2015 TED Talk. “It’s a machine, but inside of it, it feels like real life, it feels like truth. And you feel present in the world that you’re inside and you feel present with the people that you’re inside of it with.”

Chris graduated with a B.F.A. from the School of Motion Pictures and Television. Over the course of his career, he has also directed music videos and interactive films for artists such as Arcade Fire, Beck, Kanye West, and U2. Lately, his work has focused on exploring VR as a vehicle for artistic experimentation and engagement.

Learn more about the Academy and how you can get involved with our VR programs by visiting www.academyart.edu/VR for information.

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