A few weeks ago, the above video began circulating on the internet that showed Disney Legend and legendary animator Glen Keane drawing some of the Disney characters he became famous for. It wasn’t a typical pen-and-paper drawing though. To take words from one of Keane’s characters, it was “warm, and real, and bright.”
It mesmerized me seeing the famed animator perfectly draw the Beast in thin air, all while he’s totally immersed in his art form making his movements just as normal as if he were drawing on real paper.
But he wasn’t. He was drawing on nothing.
The video itself was created to promote a conference that promoted new ways of storytelling. Keane’s video showcased of how virtual reality (VR) might be one of those new ways. It was VR that allowed Keane to draw on what he called a “border-less canvas.” He went on to make the argument that the VR platform will allow animators and artists responsible for movies and other forms of entertainment to be free from any limit, allowing consumers of their work embrace it in its purest form – as the artist sees it.
“Virtual reality is minimizing the barrier between the world of our imagination and the ability to share that world with others,” said Helen Situ, Virtual Reality Evangelist at NextVR said. The Laguna Beach, Calif. company is at the forefront of creating VR experiences for the entertainment industry.
These startup companies are trying to capture the interest of big companies in hopes of creating those immerse experiences that Keane had. While not everyone can draw like Keane can, they can certainly enjoy and be entertained by things that are brought to life by creatives. It very much is a new form of entertainment that the world is just getting a glimpse of. “Both the creation and consumption of entertainment experiences are being completely changed by virtual reality,” Situ said.
The Walt Disney Company is a company that understands technological disruption well. Thanks in part to their visionary leader CEO Bob Iger, the Company has taken steps to ensure that VR becomes part of the new offerings they could offer to its worldwide audience in the near future.
You don’t have to search far for proof of Disney’s intentions either. Just a few weeks ago, The Verge revealed that Lucasfilm has already begun experimenting with VR to create a new way for filmmakers to create movies. Just this week, Disney invested $65 million in Jaunt, a VR startup specializing in cinematic and on-demand live content. Iger even told those attending the D23 Expo this past year that they intend to use VR in its theme parks. These moves are all clear indicators of Disney’s desires to maintain their standing as a leading provider of experiences and content.
Situ agreed saying “Disney has never been shy to virtual reality technologies. I am excited to see what delightful experiences Disney creates within their storytelling (i.e. movies, TV shows, etc.) and within their theme parks.”
While many of these things are still in the early stages of development at Disney and other companies, many people can’t wait for those experiences either. With billions of dollars going into VR company buyouts and larger companies investments in specialized VR companies, we can expect many of those experiences to become reality in our lifetime. Thanks to creative people like Glen Keane and businesses like Disney who believe in these new technologies, the phrase “dreams come true” will have a totally different meaning soon.