Ryan Gosling’s newest movie, which is a biopic on Neil Armstrong, is getting a VR tie in treatment. AMC Theaters across LA, San Francisco, New York, and Washington will give viewers a firsthand experience from the events of the film, called First Man: The Virtual Reality Experience.
“This was both a fantastic and obvious opportunity for us,” said Universal Executive VP of Creative Content, Austin Barker. “So, we’re thrilled to have brought together real pioneers inthe VR space to collaborate on this experience.”
With help from the Positron Voyager chair, the app will start off in Nasa’s Mission control where viewers can watch interviews with the direction of the film, Damien Chazelle, and stars of the movie like Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy. Viewers will then be put into boots that Armstrong himself wore and be strapped into the Apollo 11 Command Module as the Saturn V rocket lifts off.
Audiences are then fast forwarded to four days later where they will pilot the Lunar Module, The Eagle, as they attempt to land on the surface of the moon. The event can be pretty thrilling even though viewers have no way of messing up the landing up.
“The First Man VR Experience has been specially designed and customized for Voyager,” says Postitron CEO Jeffery Travis. “The unique motion and haptics in the chair, combine with true volumetric environment, recreates an unmatched, spine-tingling experience of journeying inside the Apollo 11 from take-off to first lunar landing.
“In addition, First Man is the first VR experience for Voyager that bring 6DOF and interactivity to the Voyager platform. We can’t wait for audience to experience this new level of immersion, and we are proud to partner with Universal on this historical project.”
The experience was developed by RYOT in collaboration with Universal. At this time there is no word when the experience will be released for home viewers.
This is not the first movie to get the VR experience. Last year with the help of the Positron Voyager chair, fans of The Mummy were greeted with a similar VR experience, although the movie did not do well in theaters. The Positron Voyager chair incorporates motorized rotation and pitch motion, haptic, feedback, 6 degrees of freedom, spatial audio, and built-in headsets. The company even envisions the seats filling entire theaters one day. Other studios like Lionsgate, Disney, Marvel and Warner Brothers have also released VR videos to help draw attention to their movies.
There are critics who don’t enjoy the VR movie experience though, and point out that at present VR is a solitary activity. The VR experience lacks the commonality of the typical theater experience, where dates can become awkward, while eating popcorn with a headset on can become impossible. For now we will wait to see what movie goers want.