The Virtual Reality Company Produces VR Concert with Singer Anderson .Paak

Plans are to release a five-song "album package" with behind-the-scenes material.
Charlotte Acevedo
Anderson .Paak performing on VRC's VR Stage.

The Virtual Reality Company (VRC) hosted a live performance Tuesday evening by singer-songwriter Anderson .Paak, which was photographed for virtual reality at its new VR Stage at Mack Sennett Studios in Los Angeles.

The company plans to use its new venue to capture music performances for VR distribution, a format that VRC partner Guy Primus likens to that of the MTV Unplugged series. Plans are to release these experiences as a sort of "album package" with five songs plus behind-the-scenes material.

VRC is a VR startup founded by Primus, who is the former COO of Overbrook Entertainment; Robert Stromberg, two-time Oscar winning production designer and Maleficent director; Chris Edwards, founder of previz firm The Third Floor; and producer and entrepreneur Joel Newton. Steven Spielberg is a member of VRC's board of advisors. 

Music is a key part of the company's plans to create content for immersive 360-degree VR environments. “Music has been an escape for centuries and also the engagement of being there with the artist is compelling — being surrounded by the crowd and the energy. You can’t really capture that in 2D media,” said Primus.

Tuesday’s performance was directed by Stromberg and produced by VRC and Steel Wool Entertainment. The venue had a stage with floor space for several hundred guests. Multiple VR cameras were used during the performance, including one on a crane and several on the stage; behind-the-scenes footage was also photographed.

David Stump served as director of photography on this production, which used Radiant Images cameras, though the company is still exploring VR camera options including development of its own system.

During the evening, there were VR demos using IonVR headsets (VRC is an investor in this business) and Samsung VR Gear headsets. Guests viewed VRC’s prior VR concert test with R&B singer-songwriter SoMo, as well as a sneak peek at There, a Stromberg-directed theatrical VR feature that's currently in production.

Stromberg is also director of a soon-to-be-released VR experience based on Fox's The Martian, produced by VRC with the Fox Innovation Lab.

VRC was founded in 2014 with $2.3 million in seed funding.

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