Cannes Lions

Goosebumps VR Adventure

MPC LA, Culver City / SONY / 2016

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

The client Sony Pictures Entertainment wanted to give moviegoers an experience that felt like it was straight out of the Goosebumps feature film. Utilizing the immersive storytelling power of virtual reality, we thrust moviegoers into an action-packed scene that puts you in the passenger seat of a jeep alongside the film's star, Jack Black, as you try to escape the attacks of a 60-ft giant praying mantis.

Our Film division created the visual effects on the movie and the director wanted to ensure the same level of quality in the VR experience. Our content team came on board as production and visual effects company for the piece, utilizing existing assets from the film and working across four of our sites globally to make it a reality.

Execution

The success of the experience relied heavily on how much the viewer felt like they were sitting next to Jack Black. To make this a (virtual) reality, we staged a live action shoot in LA and brought Jack in to perform as his R.L. Stine character from the film. We shot him as a stereo element “slice,” using a custom rig comprised of four Codex action cameras, with our stereo cameras calibrated at an interocular distance that simulated human eyes. Jack’s performance “slice” would eventually be composited into a 3D vehicle traveling through an entirely CG city. The live action/CG hybrid approach allowed us control over the spatial relationship between the viewer’s POV, the car, and the performer. The attention paid to creating realistic stereo depth paid off – when viewed in the GearVR headset, you really feel like you’re seated next to Jack Black.

Realistic integration was equally as important. To create the sensation that Jack was moving through a streetlight lit environment, we surrounded him with LED panels that played back a lit 360-degree previs. This ensured that interactive lighting and shadows would be accurate to the CG environment he would eventually be composited into. A VR visual effects pipeline was established across our sites in LA, NY, Vancouver and Bangalore to ensure that the quality of the VR piece matched the work that was being created for the feature film.

Jack’s performance was shot in one day in July, 2015. VFX took eight weeks to complete the piece went live in fifteen major markets as a full VR installation in September, 2015. In three weekends leading up to the film’s release, over 20,000 moviegoers participated, many of whom were experiencing VR for the first time.

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