You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jaunt VR Launches Los Angeles-Based Virtual Reality Production Studio

Lucasfilm vets to help Hollywood storytellers use VR

Virtual reality tech company Jaunt VR is launching Jaunt Studios, a new division dedicated to creating live-action virtual reality experiences.

The new studio will set up its first physical plant on the west side of Los Angeles, near other digital media companies. The company did not project how many people Jaunt Studios will eventually employ, but said over the next few months it will hire a core team of directors, artists, d.p.’s and technical staff to work with the company’s Palo Alto-based technologists.

Jaunt VR’s HQ and core engineering team will remain in Silicon Valley while Jaunt Studios keeps a presence in Los Angeles. Jaunt Studios will be led by Cliff Plumer, former CEO of Digital Domain and chief technology officer of Lucasfilm. Plumer will be based at the Los Angeles studio.

Plumer told Variety he has been involved with VR technology since before the launch of the first Oculus Rift developer kit. “I was blown away even at that early stage,” he says.  He has since helped introduce VR tech to Hollywood and got involved with live-action VR production. “Then I really found out how difficult it is to produce content in life-action VR,” he said, “which is what attracted me to Jaunt, which had been working on solving those technical problems,” he said.

Jaunt Studios has several objectives, said Plumer. One is to estblish the VR process in Hollywood, using camera, player and distribution tech already built by Jaunt. Another is to educate filmmakers in how to tell stories in VR. “It’ll be a production sandbox to collaborate with Hollywood storytellers,” said Plumer. “We’re not only shooting using our cameras but integrating computer graphics and visual effects as well.”

Also joining Jaunt Studios are David Anderman, who will be chief business officer, and Miles Perkins, whose title will be vice president of marketing communications. Both, like Plumer, were mainstays at Lucasfilm/Industrial Light & Magic before Disney purchased the company. Anderman was Lucasfilm general counsel; he was selected to Variety’s 2012 Dealmakers Impact Report for his work shepherding the Disney-Lucasfilm merger. Perkins was Lucasfilm’s head of corporate communications.

Anderman will be based at Jaunt’s Silicon Valley HQ. “At Lucasfilm we’d seen many different forms of VR, and a lot of it was gaming and computer graphics,” he said,  “but what blew me away was the Paul McCartney concert, where you’re standing on stage and you have that experience of what it is to be a rock star. It totally blew me away and I thought cinematic VR is what everyone’s going to want to experience. I was converted that day. The next day I was an adviser and then chief business officer a few months later.”

Disclosure: Jaunt VR has worked with Variety on virtual reality coverage of red carpets and other events.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Still from "Andhadhun"

    Microsoft Streaming Deal Lifts Shares in India’s Eros

    Shares of leading Bollywood film distributor Eros International soared by 38% on Thursday following news of the company’s link up with Microsoft to develop a new generation of video streaming platform. The multinational company said that its Eros Now video operation would work with Microsoft Azure to develop its technology in three ways. They seek [...]

  • Comcast X1 DAZN

    Comcast Adds DAZN Sports-Streaming Service to Xfinity Flex, Sets Launch on X1

    DAZN, the digital sports service headed by ex-ESPN boss John Skipper, is now available to Comcast broadband customers on Xfinity Flex and will be available on Xfinity X1 this fall. It’s the first distribution deal for DAZN with a major U.S. provider since it debuted the combat-sports-oriented service in the States a year ago. In [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Raises Bar for Channel Verification, Stripping Some Creators of Verified Status

    YouTube is making it harder for channels to receive a verification badge indicating their authenticity — and the program’s new requirements mean that some channels won’t be eligible for verification. Like other internet platforms, YouTube indicates to viewers that specific channels are officially run by the creator, artist, celebrity or company they represent with an [...]

  • BuzzFeed - Katie Sitter

    BuzzFeed Taps Activision Blizzard's Katie Sitter as Head of HR (EXCLUSIVE)

    BuzzFeed hired Katie Sitter, most recently an HR exec at Activision Blizzard, as senior VP of people. Sitter, who starts at the company Sept. 30, will lead the BuzzFeed HR organization and oversee strategic initiatives related to organizational planning, talent acquisition, learning and development, performance management, compensation and benefits, labor relations, and diversity, equity, and [...]

  • Kano

    Kano Tipped to Launch ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Frozen’ Coding Kits

    Educational consumer electronics startup Kano is getting ready to release “Star Wars” and “Frozen” coding kits, according to regulatory filings. Recent FCC filings made by the company reveal plans to release a product called “The Force Coding Kit” as well as one called “The Disney Frozen Coding Kit.” Kano representatives didn’t respond to multiple requests [...]

  • Apple Arcade

    Apple Officially Launches Apple Arcade Game Subscription Service

    Apple officially cut the ribbon for its new game subscription service Thursday: Priced $4.99 per month, Apple Arcade offers unlimited access to over 100 exclusive games. Apple Arcade was released alongside iOS 13, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. Some of the titles available through the subscription package include “Lego Brawls” from Lego [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content