A showcase in interactive storytelling & next-gen technology exploration
Wonder Buffalo is both a live-action coming of age story and an interactive VR experience about a first-generation, Thai-American teen who loses herself in her own imagination.
In this session writer and director Christine T. Berg and producer Drew Diamond will take us through the creative process and the workflow of this highly technical production, offer insights on how productions can integrate shared-assets from linear narrative through immersive media and illustrate how stories can exist across multiple platforms.
The live-action short film was made simultaneously with an interactive, room-scale VR/AR companion piece that reinforces its strong social message of empowerment through positive body image and personal creativity.
Not only utilizing next-generation cloud production and postproduction technologies, the film was processed entirely in HDR through post production to accomplish a true ‘glass-to-glass’ HDR production, blazing new trails in cinematic storytelling extended through immersive media and bringing together for the first time volumetric capture, photogrammetry, responsive audio and interactivity with CG assets.
Wonder Buffalo was produced by the Entertainment Technology Center with the support of Disney/ABC Television Group, Warner Bros., NAGRA Kudelski Group, Technicolor, 8i, Realtra, Equinix, Sony Electronics, Amazon Web Services, the Creative Visions Foundation, and the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
The production made its debut at Sundance, with its official premiere at SXSW in March 2017 and Wonder Buffalo: The VR Experience was a finalist in the Television Academy's new juried Emmy category - Innovation in Interactive Programming.
The Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC@USC) is a think tank and a neutral research center bringing together senior executives, innovators, and thought leaders from the media, entertainment, consumer electronics, technology, and service industries along with the academic resources of USC to explore, test and evaluate new entertainment technologies.
ETC@USC was founded with the help of George Lucas in 1993 with the goal of bringing technology and entertainment visionaries together to collaborate on the future of entertainment technology. Along with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, the Executive Sponsoring participants are: Iron Mountain Entertainment Services, Lucasfilm Ltd, Nagra | The Kuldeski Group, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Technicolor, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures, Verizon, The Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Bros. Entertainment.