The new VR entertainment company launches with funding from Michael Bay’s 451 Media Group, 500 Mobile Collective and China’s WI Harper Group.
Hollywood seems to really be warming up to virtual reality and it would appear Los Angeles is at the center of it all when it comes to immersive content creation.
Just this month we had a number major names within the industry reveal their commitment to enter the world of VR production. Steven Spielberg announced that he’s working on VR project with Los Angeles-based Virtual Reality Company (VRC) and Michael Bay unveiled his partnership with Rogue Initiative to bring VR explosions to a headset near you. Even San Francisco-based VR studio, River Studios, opened a LA studio this week to service both Hollywood and social influencer talent.
Now we can chalk up some more Hollywood veterans to the list of talent making their way to this new immersive medium.
With a founding team made up of veteran VFX/CGI leaders, CryWorks announced their launch on Tuesday, along with a seed round investment led by Michael Bay’s 451 Media Group, 500 Mobile Collective, and leading cross-border venture fund WI Harper Group. We’ve seen Michael Bay hanging out at local LA virtual reality conferences over the past year, so it comes as no surprise that Bay is getting pretty serious about VR.
The CryWorks team is looking to take their industry experience in visual effects and AAA computer games and apply it to this new immerse medium, hoping to create new forms of entertainment and media and help launch new franchises and brands that transcend VR.
The veteran founders include founder and CEO Euan Macdonald who has over 25 years’ VFX/CGI leadership experience at Lucasfilm/ILM, Pixar, Disney ImageMovers Digital and Electronic Arts. Some blockbuster credits include work on Star Wars, Jurassic Park and Harry Potter films.
Co-founder Hans Uhlig will serve as CTO and brings decades of expertise in technical filmmaking gained at Lucasfilm/ILM, Electronic Arts and Polygon. Uhlig will oversee technology development of proprietary capture and production technology as well as its direct application on specific VR productions.
Co-founder Kymber Lim, is an award-winning VFX producer with experience overseeing development at visual effects houses Psyop, Digital Domain and Method Studios. Lim will serve as CryWorks’ chief content officer.
“Although there are a few high-quality VR content pieces to date, most of them have little incentive for the viewer to keep tuning back in”, Macdonald explained. “We see an opportunity to build the first VR broadcast network, partnering with other production companies and creating addictive, episodic experiences.”
In the past few months since CryWorks began working on projects, the company has worked with brands including Samsung, The Wall Street Journal and eSports ESL One.
In April, CryWorks partnered up with 451 Media to produce a VR experience for Samsung. The VR project was part of a unique dining experience bringing renowned chef Daniel Boulud to a New York venue, giving lucky foodies a fun and engaging cooking demonstration – in virtual and actual reality. Guests experienced an engrossing presentation by Boulud about all the elements of a culinary journey, from inspiration to preparing the food in his kitchen to the table, using the Samsung Gear VR headsets.