Jake Peavy, Chris Bosch, Ryan Richards, LA Beast: Ring a bell? Maybe not, and the same applied to me. I had never heard of these Internet celebs, but after actually hanging out with them in MY360, I am completely hooked. Thanks to MY360 these celebrities are now my pals. My pals that I can hang out day or night with in Virtual Reality.
What is MY360? It’s a series of 360 videos appearing on Milk VR, the “YouTube” of the Samsung Gear VR Virtual Reality Headset. Here’s how it works. You put the Gear VR on your head, start up the MY360 episode, and instantly you are standing right next to one of these celebs as they bring you on a tour of their hometown, house, etc. Since the video is in 360 degrees, there are no frames, and you are able to turn your head in any direction and look around at anything you choose to see. I could almost reach my hand out and touch these celebs. You’re not just observing them on the screen but truly feel as if you are participating in their lives.
Chris Milk, the potential future Spielberg of Virtual Reality movie content, illuminates this experience well in his recent TED Talk. He asks us to envision the frame that conventional media uses, such as TV. Then he instructs us to feel ourselves being pulled through that frame to inhabit the world within the frame.
That’s what MY360 successfully did in its first episode with Chris Bosh, Miami Heat Basketball Player. I started this video, opened my eyes, and was hanging out with Chris Bosh on the balcony of his Miami penthouse apartment. As far as I was concerned, I was really there with him. I looked behind me and admired the Miami skyline. I looked up and gazed upon the beautiful sky. I looked down, and almost tore off my headset as I realized I was suspended mid air and thought I was going to fall. This is the power of MY360 when combined with the power of Virtual Reality.
The YouTube sensation LA Beast video let me experience some crazy stuff that I would never do in real life. I watched transfixed as LA Beast attempted to eat a bowl of Cheetos he set on fire. Unfortunately, I was also there for him when he was feeling the after effects of that stunt in the restroom minutes later. In other MY360 videos, Jake Peavy invited me to his mega ranch and we played baseball with his brother and Ryan Richards showed me his impressive gun collection and shot some watermelons for my amusement. I felt like each one of these series was not just some episode created for the masses, but a private invitation to hang out with them and created just for me.
MY360 has stumbled upon something revolutionary with their new series. It’s within the nature of human beings to want to feel close to the lives of their favorite celebrities. That’s why the highly controversial tabloids exist. When you capitalize on that desire to be up close with your favorite celeb, and make the experience so personal that the viewer thinks it is made just for them, you got a winner on your hands. MY360 does just that and will continue to take Internet and Sports celebrities and turn them into national celebrities using the power of Virtual Reality.
These fantastic experiences are made possible thanks to a collaboration between the folks over at Reel FX and Matador. Reel FX has already worked with the movie Insurgent on the Shatter Reality VR experience, the first VR experience for a major Hollywood movie released on the Samsung Gear VR and also distributed to Apple iTunes and Google Play concurrently. Matador brought us some of the first syndicated TV content in VR with their Lip Sync Battle clips which have been appearing on Milk VR. We look forward to seeing more cutting edge productions from these innovative companies .