7:00am PT by Carolyn Giardina
Virtual Reality Startup Jaunt to Open Production Studio in L.A.
Virtual reality technology startup Jaunt is launching Jaunt Studios, a new arm for VR production. This will include building a staff for and opening a studio in Los Angeles during the next six weeks.
To serve as the studio’s president, Jaunt has hired Cliff Plumer, former CEO of Digital Domain and CTO of Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic. Plumer was also an early investor in and advisor to Oculus, as well as board advisor to Tell Tale Games.
Jaunt also recruited David Anderman, former COO and general counsel of Lucasfilm, who worked on Lucasfilm’s acquisition by Disney. And Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic veteran and head of corporate communications Miles Perkins has joined Jaunt as vp marketing communications.
The Palo Alto-based startup, which has already raised $34 million in funding, develops hardware and software to enable the production and display of virtual reality experiences. With the studio, it aims to grow the the VR market with more available content. This includes teaming with Hollywood creatives and leading brands to develop projects, as well as producing its own original content.
Jaunt’s collaboration with Paul Feig to create a VR extra for his new Yahoo! series, Other Space, is now available on Google Play for Google Cardboard and Android phones. On Monday, Jaunt and Condé Nast Entertainment revealed a deal to produce two VR series.
Plumer expects to announce additional content deals in the coming weeks. "Our goal is to get as much content out there as quickly as possible," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "We're trying to put emphasis on storytelling...and not putting it behind a pay wall." The company intends to provide content for all VR systems, using platforms including Android and iOS, which would be available on the Jaunt website.
Company investors include Highland Capital Partners with participation by Google Ventures, British Sky Broadcasting, Peter Gotcher (chairman of Dolby and DigiDesign founder), and Blake Krikorian (co-founder of Sling Media).
Its advisors include Academy Award winner Jared Leto, director Mark Romanek, Fox futurist Ted Schilowitz and IMAX chair Brad Wechsler.