Virtual Reality in China, USA and Europe / Effectiveness of VR – First speakers and Programme of VR NOW Con
Just four weeks to go: the international and national Virtual Reality sector will be coming together at the VR NOW Con & Awards for two days on 15 and 16 November in Potsdam and Berlin. The English-language conference is dedicated to current developments in the Virtual Reality sector and lets experts from around the globe have their say.
Where are we actually? Virtual Reality status quo in China, North America & Europe
The VR NOW Con will have a look at the current status quo of Virtual Reality productions and experiences in North America, China and Europe. Niu Yiming (VRARA, China) is an expert on the Chinese Virtual Reality market, one of the world's most dynamic and technologically advanced. He will speak about its complex mechanisms and the developments in technology, content and distributions as well as offering opportunities to forge contacts with the Chinese industry that is technologically strong, but desperately looking for content.
An insight into the North American market, and the Virtual Reality strategies of the American film industry and their possible content in particular, will be given by Christopher Sibley and Andrew Van Wyk. Sibley (Phenomenon Media, USA) is an entrepreneur, producer and director and advises such leading Hollywood figures as the producer Michael Shamberg („Pulp Fiction“, „Erin Brokovich“) or the actor Casey Affleck („Manchester by the Sea“) about the conception of transmedia and Virtual Reality projects. Van Wyk is a storyteller and VR specialist, working as a Creative Coordinator at the Hollywood production studio River Road Entertainment („Avatar 2“, „Valerian“, „12 Years a Slave“).
VR NOW Con will also provide an overview of the developments, trends and prospects in the European market: together with the Fraunhofer Institute, Kristian Costa-Zahn (UFA LAB, Germany) will be presenting the volumetric film, a new process merging film and VR and making the „immersive“ film possible. Maria Courtial (Faber Courtial, Germany), the producer of the award-winning ZDF documentary „Volcanos in 360° and VR“, will show the meaningful application of VR and 360° Video for television. Christian Glessner (Hololux, Germany) will focus on the application of Virtual Reality in industry at such companies as Microsoft, Beiersdorf or Deutsche Bahn. Marcus Kühne (Audi, Germany) will be summing up the involvement of the German car manufacturer which has promoted sales of new cars at the point of sale with over 100 new VR set-ups in 2017 alone. In addition, he will be venturing a prediction about the importance of Augmented and Virtual Reality for automobile manufacturers in the near future.
What is the point of VR? Application for social, political and educational purposes
Social, political and educational purposes have established themselves as a central application for Virtual Reality. VR NOW Con will be presenting projects which have a significant impact thanks to VR: Gayatri Parameswaran (NowHere Media, Germany/India) is a journalist, documentary filmmaker and VR/360° creator and has specialised in VR journalism about human rights and the environment. Her works have won awards. She was involved in India's first VR experience „Love Matters India“ about domestic violence. Lina Reinsbakken (Nornstudio, Norway) is developing the VR experience „The Little Grey That Matters“ about the functioning and the potential of the human brain as well as being an allegory on life. Max Salomon (Black Dot Films VR, USA), a winner of numerous Emmy awards and the author and director of documentaries and non-fiction programmes, is regarded as a pioneer in the development and production of VR content in the areas of science, history, archeology and technology. He is currently working on a series of films for National Geographic and developing concepts for Weather.com, Discovery Networks and A&E.
Other speakers expected are: Gabo Arora (Lightshed, USA), Thomas Bedenk (Exozet, Germany), Sebastian Endler (Amilux Filmproduktion, Austria), Ioulia Isserlis (Another World VR, Germany), Gerda Leopold (Amilux Filmproduktion, Austria), Pieter van Leugenhagen (Yondr, Belgium), Greg Louden (3rdeyestudios, Finland), Max Sacker (Another World VR, Germany), Daniel Sproll (realities.io, Germany), Sara Lisa Vogl (VR Base, Germany), and many more.
The conference and the award ceremony are staged by the Virtual Reality e.V. Berlin-Brandenburg, produced by Booster Space – Made with Love in Berlin and supported by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.
About Virtual Reality e.V. Berlin-Brandenburg
Virtual Reality e.V. Berlin-Brandenburg (VRBB) was founded at the beginning of 2016 as an initiative by several companies from Berlin and Potsdam. There are currently more than 50 Berlin and Brandenburg-based technology companies, research institutes and media enterprises involved alongside UFA, the Hasso Plattner Institute, the Film University, SMI, Exozet, Metropolis VR, Fraunhofer HHI, rbb and Illusion Walk. The association bundles all of the existing expertise on Mixed, Virtual and Augmented Reality in the capital region as a way of making this hub internationally competitive position in this field. VRBB is also one of the four initiators of the MediaTech Hub Potsdam, one of 12 national de:hubs selected by the Federal Ministry of Economics, and the only one with a focus on media technology. The board comprises Stephan Schindler (chair), Sven Bliedung and Henry Bauer. Preparations for setting up the association were supported by Brandenburg's Ministry of Economics, Brandenburg Investand media:net. www.virtualrealitybb.org
About Booster Space – Made with Love in Berlin
The people behind the company Booster Space are the ones managing such events as #gamesweekberlin, the VR NOW Con & Awards, the gamescom congress, Game Cinema, Womenize! and more. Working on the principle of „Connecting Business, Technology and Culture“, they have developed a platform for enthusing about new media by organising conference programmes with international and interdisciplinary speakers. Priority is given to trends rather than hype. Booster Space has also been developing its own VR games (DUEL VR) in Berlin since 2016. Booster supports clients like Kickstarter or Intel Software Europe on building games communities in Europe. www.boosterspace.com