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In his first public address since taking over the reins at Paramount Pictures a little over a month ago, Jim Gianopulos on Wednesday ventured down from his studio office to the Paramount Theater to deliver the opening remarks at the inaugural VRTL Summit, a virtual reality conference, where he talked about the importance of technology for the continued survival of cinema.
Gianopulos began: “Here at Paramount, we are very proud of the fact we won the first technical Oscar in 1929 for Wings, and that’s been part of our DNA ever since. For that reason, we are excited about the potential for the future.
“We all know the pace of technology is exponential, and we know that the heart of entertainment is and always will remain great stories well told,” he continued. “What’s different now is the tools available to creative storytellers is greater than ever — a vast and exciting medium for their creative vision.”
VRTL founded by venture capitalist Sunny Dhillon and entrepreneur Ned Sherman, brings together creators, entrepreneurs and investors working in the virtual and augmented reality space, with an emphasis on games and entertainment. Paramount is the summit’s studio sponsor.
Gianopulos concluded his brief opening remarks by welcoming the attendees to Paramount and offering up a few open-ended questions about virtual reality’s place in the entertainment industry, saying, “It’s a big topic with a lot of interesting questions. What is the future of narrative storytelling in the AR and VR medium? How do we distribute that? What devices and technologies will consumers have?”
The former Fox chief was named chairman and CEO of the struggling Paramount, replacing Brad Grey, at the end of March. The studio is currently in sixth place among the majors with regard to this year’s domestic box-office market share. Paramount’s upcoming releases include the Dwayne Johnson-starrer Baywatch, Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight, George Clooney’s Suburbicon and Alexander Payne’s Downsizing.
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