CES: Fox Previews 'Isle of Dogs' Behind-the-Scenes Virtual Reality Production

ISLE OF DOGS_BTS - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Before Isle of Dogs Behind the Scenes (in Virtual Reality) premieres at Sundance, Fox’s FoxNext unit will be showing a two-minute clip to guests at its CES event on Wednesday night in Las Vegas.

The project offers a behind-the-scenes look at Wes Anderson’s stop-motion film Isle of Dogs, in which the canine pets of "Megasaki City" are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island.

A collaboration between FoxNext VR Studios, VR content creator Felix & Paul Studios, Google Spotlight Stories and the Isle of Dogs production team including Anderson, the project uses a clever documentary format, narrated by the dogs, to introduce the film. In the two-minute clip at CES, viewers will get face-to face with several of the dogs in the cast: Chief (voiced by Bryan Cranston), Nutmeg (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) and Duke (voiced by Jeff Goldblum). When viewers look around, the rest of the 360-degree view shows a time lapse of the stop-motion production.

The complete five-and-a-half-minute experience also includes the characters Boss (voiced by Bill Murray), Rex (voiced by Edward Norton), Spots (voiced by Liev Schreiber), Oracle (voiced by Tilda Swinton), Jupiter (voiced by F. Murray Abraham) and King (voiced by Bob Balaban).

The stop-motion production was shot at 3 Mills Studios in London, where the motion picture was made. “We essentially extended production a couple months,” explains FoxNext VR Studio senior vp new media and general manager Brendan Handler. Something of this scale takes time, as the stop-motion technique produced roughly four to five seconds of animation per day; Handler declined to reveal the budget.

The VR experience will launch in February, timed with Isle of Dogs’ premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. It will have an initial exclusive window on Google’s Pixel mobile phones and Daydream VR platform.

Fox has made it a tradition of sorts to showcase its latest VR projects at CES. At the 2016 edition of the trade show, Fox debuted The Martian VR Experience, and a year ago it premiered Alien: Covenant: In Utero