Oculus Connect 3: Cirque du Soleil Launches 'KÀ' Virtual Reality Experience, With 'O' on the Way

Both are created with Felix & Paul Studios, based on the Las Vegas Shows.
Courtesy of Felix & Paul Studios
KÀ The Battle Within

Cirque du Soleil and Felix & Paul Studios released the 13-minute 3D virtual reality experience KÀ The Battle Within and reported that O is in postproduction during the Oculus Connect 3 developers conference in San Jose, Calif.

Available now for Samsung VR Gear before expanding to other platforms, KÀ is the second project in a VR production pact between VR studio Felix & Paul, Cirque du Soleil and Samsung. Based on KÀ, the martial arts-themed Cirque du Soleil show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, It was first previewed last month at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The third, based on the water-set show, was shot last summer in Las Vegas and is currently in postproduction (a late-2016 release is expected), while additional Cirque du Soleil-themed VR experiences are being planned.

Also at the annual Oculus developers conference, Felix & Paul will preview a clip from a planned 40-minute VR narrative, Miyubi, which is a collaboration with Funny or Die and part of Felix & Paul’s multiproject production agreement with Oculus. The scripted comedy is set in 1982 and told from the perspective of a toy robot.

KÀ The Battle Within features horizontal and vertical choreography, performed on what's billed as the world's largest moving hydraulic stage. To film the production, Felix & Paul attached its proprietary VR camera system to the platform in order to keep viewers in motion as the action surrounds them, according to directors and company co-founders Felix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphael.

“It’s a gravity-defying experience,” Lajeunesse says, adding that in working on the production “we realized the beauty and power in how to use [VR] to immerse the viewer in a different way. You feel more physically a part of the experience because you are moving in space with them.”

He said the experience includes portions of existing acts in the production in addition to some new acts that were created with VR in mind.

That's the same approach that Cirque du Soleil and Felix & Paul took with their previous collaboration, Inside the Box of Kurios, which was released earlier this year and won a Daytime Emmy Award in the outstanding interactive media, original daytime program or series category.

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