|Syfy's Incorporated presents a future that isn't too far off from our own, but it hyperbolizes the stark difference between the haves and havenots as we know them. We see tremendous luxury and brutal poverty—side by side. We see the bad rewarded and the good suffer. Ben, the protagonist is a company man with a fake identity and a hidden past.
Prior to the first season of the show, we set out to introduce the world of the show, in the most visceral way possible. In order to do that we needed to capture what it would be like to live in this futuristic world as Ben, a man who's every living moment is spent under the constant fear of discovery and torture. What better way to do that than virtual reality?
We also wanted to introduce one of the main antagonists in the show, Julian Morse, played by the imitable Dennis Haysbert. In the show, Julian is tasked with sussing out all the traitors within the company, and in Incorporated VR you are the one being interrogated.
We wanted to do this all within an immersive and visually resplendent environment that could truly transport people into the world of the show.
|Our strategy in creating, implementing and distributing Incorporated VR followed 3 distinct approaches.
1. Use groundbreaking emerging technology to visually entice users and allude to the future technology seen in the show.
2. Distribute the experience in two modes. Higher visibility, lower immersion as well as lower visibility, higher immersion; to make sure we reached as many eyeballs as possible while also making a splash in an increasingly crowded market.
3. Create something beautiful and fun.
To accomplish our first goal we partnered with Digital Domain to create the most realistic live action POV VR experience ever. The Incorporated VR experience moved beyond traditional 360° video, to allow viewers to feel like they're physically present in the room with the actor, thanks to a combination of user head tracking, interactive avatar movement and advanced spatial reconstruction, and 3D spatial audio.
Live action set and actors were digitally reconstructed using a new combination of techniques, including real-time laser scanning, stereo spatial mesh solving, and Digital Domain's proprietary 3D tracking software, TRACK, which allowed live action stereo plates to be incorporated in real time, over 3D geometry within a game engine
Next came the distribution angle of our strategy. We brought Incorporated VR to San Diego Comic Con, constructing an actual room for users to experience virtual reality within. In the room at the Hard Rock Hotel, Comic Con participants could engage with the VR on the HTC Vive. We provided an environment for early adopters to get a first look at not only emerging technologies but a first look at the world of Incorporated. After Comic Con we distributed Incorporated VR on Youtube and Facebook, leveraging their 360° technologies in order to get as many eyeballs on the experience as possible
The result is an experience that features cinematic filming and acting in an immersive environment that introduces the world to a tech forward fan base.
|In its first month, Incorporated VR earned over 200K views on facebook, 10,000 Youtube views, and over 20,000 visits to our Syfy.com microsite, with nearly 2 minutes per visit.
Beyond the metrics, we were extremely satisfied with how we were able to leverage emerging technologies to continue our establishment of the Syfy Labs brand. Since launching Incorporated VR, Syfy Labs has partnered with Little Star as a way to distribute our VR content in a more seamless and aggregated way. Incorporated VR was one of the projects that allowed us to push this deal forward.
We also think this project looks stunning, and couldn't be happier with parity that users see across all platforms; a rarity in the VR space.