Development to Begin for Slew of Original VR Series From Accredited Hollywood Creatives
PARK CITY, Utah — (BUSINESS WIRE) — January 19, 2017 — Jaunt Inc., the industry leader in cinematic virtual reality (VR), today revealed five key content deals that are in development and slated to go into production in 2017. Each conceived to be an original, scripted, multi-episode series, the deals span new and existing relationships with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), William Morris Endeavor (WME), Park Television Productions and Triton Media Inc.
“As we continue to develop more immersive, cinematic VR content with high production values and longer run-times, it solidifies for us that VR is fast-becoming a mainstream staple within the entertainment industry,” said George Kliavkoff, president and CEO of Jaunt. “2016 was the final year of experimentation and every indication is that 2017 will be the year of action and adoption. We’re excited to be in development on all five of these series alongside some of today’s top talent.”
THE LAWNMOWER MAN - Revival of a Cult Classic
A new VR series based upon the 1992 cult classic feature THE LAWNMOWER MAN. Partnering with rights holders Jim Howell and Rupert Harvey, Jaunt will develop and produce a reimagination of the film that kick started the VR conversation 25 years ago.
“The original movie was a film of unsurpassed imagination and creativity with its ground-breaking use of VR back in 1992,” said Jim Howell. “Together with Jaunt we look forward to a contemporary team bringing to life a whole new world of VR; a world of immersive entertainment and communication. We are very excited to be working with Jaunt to create a VR realization of the film.”
LUNA - Action-Thriller Series
A 12-episode sci-fi suspense series created by Adam Cooper & Bill Collage (ASSASSIN’S CREED, EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS) to be directed by Robert Schwentke (The DIVERGENT Series: ALLEGIANT and INSURGENT, FLIGHTPLAN). LUNA follows an ensemble cast navigating an abandoned lunar base which results in them experiencing fear unlike anyone has felt before.
According to the creators, “Immersive 360-degree storytelling is the movement of the future. The opportunity to launch such a massive franchise in this groundbreaking new medium is a humbling dream come true. Whereas traditional narrative filmmaking brings the story to the viewer, LUNA brings the viewer into the story.”
Specific to the story, they added, “Around the globe, one thing we all share in common is a fascination with what it might be like to experience life on the moon — so as writers, we couldn’t think of a better way to engage this new medium than with something that’s at once unifying and germane to all human curiosity — yet simultaneously, tense, thought-provoking and hopefully, inspiring to us all.”
THE ENLIGHTENED ONES - Political Sci-Fi Series
An episodic VR series written and produced by Tye Sheridan (X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, READY PLAYER ONE) and Nikola Todorovic of Aether, Inc. THE ENLIGHTENED ONES is set in an alternative present where a device is discovered bringing immortality to the human race. After the general public is given access to this technology, the world’s governments form an organization to control the crisis of overpopulation. Season one follows Enlightened One JL57, an employee at the company, as he is pulled into the underbelly of a resistance movement, discovering that this utopian technology may not be all that it seems.
“The entire Aether team is excited to begin development in collaboration with Jaunt on THE ENLIGHTENED ONES,” said Sheridan. “It’s always refreshing to bring great stories into a new medium of storytelling. This is not just a story about good vs. evil. We wanted to truthfully explore what would happen if we discovered a technology that could prolong human life and make war and illness obsolete; would we allow everyone to use it knowing that the earth would overpopulate?”
BAD TRIP - Stoner Comedy Series
A six-episode comedy series from writer/director Todd Strauss-Schulson (HAROLD AND KUMAR 3D). The series will place the viewer in the hyper-visual and uncomfortable situation of taking various drugs in environments that are less than ideal.
“VR is the future. It’s a fascinating new form of storytelling that can create a potent feeling state and a personal subjective experience,” said Strauss-Schulson. “You know what else can do that? Drugs. Drugs have the power to create hilarious, pride swallowing humiliations. I’m pumped to dive into the VR world where I can apply my visual ideas to this medium putting the viewer inside these hallucinatory rollercoaster rides. And I’m excited to be partnered with a team as bold as Jaunt, they are truly on the cutting edge of VR content.”
MISS GLORIA - Sci-Fi Action-Adventure Series
A multi-episode series from New York Times Bestselling author, Daniel H. Wilson (Robopocalypse, How to Survive a Robot Uprising). Set in the distant future, the series situates the user in several distinct points of view as a “Robot Hero” tracks down a young girl who has gone missing during an uprising.
“I wrote MISS GLORIA from the ground up to take advantage of the unique strengths of storytelling in VR,” said Wilson. “It’s a deeply emotional exploration into how we internalize the voices of our teachers and mentors, and how we continue to carry those people with us forever. My first career was as a roboticist, so I’m incredibly excited to combine art and science by crafting thrilling sci-fi for a cutting edge technological medium.”
Building on the successful launch of INVISIBLE – a 2016 scripted supernatural drama series created in partnership with Director Doug Liman, Screenwriter Melisa Wallack, Producer Julina Tatlock, Condé Nast Entertainment (CNÉ), and Samsung – these deals are the latest big Hollywood cinematic endeavors from Jaunt. Each project will be overseen by Jaunt’s Head of Content, Tom Vance, and his team of directors, editors and sound engineers at Santa Monica-based Jaunt Studios.
As an Official Partner of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Jaunt will be operating The Jaunt VR Lounge at 580 Main Street, Park City, UT 84060. The lounge will be open daily from 10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. featuring content demos, VR production workshops with Radiant Images and Adobe, charging stations, after-hours events and more. The lounge will host daily screenings of 20 different VR experiences including exclusive and award-winning VR content from RYOT, Lily Baldwin and Saschka Unseld, Conservation International and more. Marquee screenings and premieres include:
- Through You – Official Sundance Selection – Lily Baldwin and Saschka Unseld bring audiences a love story over a lifetime in virtuality. Explore love, rage, passion and mortality spanning several decades, from the early 1970s to the late 1980s and beyond.
- Bashir’s Dream – Exclusive Premiere at Sundance – From the award-winning RYOT team comes the story of Qusai Bashir Masaama, a 14-year-old Syrian refugee living in Jordan who was shot in the back by a sniper while on a candy run. As a result, Qusai became a paraplegic. He is confined to a wheelchair, but dreams of playing basketball and traveling abroad for better care and education. Filmed entirely in Jordan, this film juxtaposes live action documentary filmmaking and animation as it explores a childlike attitude to a war-torn reality.
- Under the Canopy – Limited Private Screening – Developed with Conservation International, this virtual reality film allows you to explore the extraordinary landscape of the Amazon River basin guided by the indigenous peoples and local communities who are essential to its protection.
- What Do You Desire? – A globe-spanning journey set to the thought provoking words of philosopher Alan Watts.
- OMW – A constantly changing 360° music video for Yung Jake’s OMW (On My Way) brings viewers inside his Tesla Model X, where no two rides are ever the same.
- Circa 2345 – Daniel Arsham is known for transforming everyday objects and experiences and making them act in ways they shouldn’t. His VR film CIRCA 2345 combines footage from one of his gallery exhibitions as well as his studio process. The experience is narrated by a fictional archeologist in the future who is looking back at the objects from our own era with confusion and wonder.
The Jaunt VR App, including all content released to date, is available on iOS, Android, Gear VR, PlayStation VR, Google Daydream, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and major desktop browsers.
About Jaunt Inc.
Jaunt is pioneering the future of creative storytelling through cinematic virtual reality. Founded in 2013, Jaunt is the leading developer of the hardware, software, tools, and applications to enable cinematic VR and put the power of virtual reality in the hands of today’s best content creators. Jaunt works with leading creatives – from brands to artists to filmmakers – to create cutting-edge content accessible across all devices and platforms. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, the company also maintains a presence in Los Angeles, CA through its studio arm, Jaunt Studios; a European business office in London; and an engineering and development office in Amsterdam. In 2016, Jaunt established Shanghai-based Jaunt China, a VR company formed in partnership with Shanghai Media Group (SMG) and China Media Capital (CMC). Collectively, Jaunt produces branded and original VR content for audiences worldwide. Join @JauntVR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Jaunt’s investors include The Walt Disney Company, Evolution Media Partners, China Media Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Google Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Axel Springer, ProSiebenSat.1 SE, The Madison Square Garden Company, Peter Gotcher, Blake Krikorian, and Sky (corporate.sky.com). Experience more at www.jauntvr.com.
Double Forte for Jaunt
Lyndsey Besser, 415-500-0619