Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB Will Bring Virtual Reality Experiences To Movies, Park Rides And More

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Lucasfilm, ILM, and Skywalker Sound have teamed up to create a new division called ILMxLAB that will combine storytelling, technological innovation and world-class production to create an immersive experience like nothing you’ve seen. From the press release:

ILMxLAB combines compelling storytelling, technological innovation and world-class production to create immersive entertainment experiences. For several years, the company has been investing in real-time graphics – building a foundation that allows ILMxLAB to deliver interactive imagery at a fidelity never seen before. As this new dimension in storytelling unfolds, ILMxLAB will develop virtual reality, augmented reality, real-time cinema, theme park entertainment and narrative-based experiences for future platforms.

Nothing has been officially announced thus far, but they did say that “exclusive Star Wars-based experiences” are coming later this year, presumably to coincide with the release of The Force Awakens. Check out the video after the break to get a taste of what that might mean.

SAN FRANCISCO–June 12, 2015–Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and parent company Lucasfilm, Ltd. announce the formation of ILM Experience Lab (ILMxLAB), a new division that will draw upon the talents of Lucasfilm, ILM and Skywalker Sound. ILMxLAB combines compelling storytelling, technological innovation and world-class production to create immersive entertainment experiences. For several years, the company has been investing in real-time graphics – building a foundation that allows ILMxLAB to deliver interactive imagery at a fidelity never seen before. As this new dimension in storytelling unfolds, ILMxLAB will develop virtual reality, augmented reality, real-time cinema, theme park entertainment and narrative-based experiences for future platforms.

Lucasfilm Executive Vice President and ILM President Lynwen Brennan states, “The combination of ILM, Skywalker Sound and Lucasfilm’s story group is unique and that creative collaboration will lead to captivating immersive experiences in the Star Wars universe and beyond. ILMxLAB brings together an incredible group of creatives and technologists together to push the boundaries and explore new ways to tell stories. We have a long history of collaborating with the most visionary filmmakers and storytellers and we look forward to continuing these partnerships in this exciting space.”

Vice President of New Media for Lucasfilm Rob Bredow adds, “The pioneering spirit that inspired storytellers and technical artists to improvise, innovate and help imagine a galaxy far, far away is in the DNA of ILMxLAB. We see xLAB as a laboratory for immersive entertainment. It’s amazing to be working in a new medium where we get to help invent how stories are told and experienced, connecting artists with their audiences like never before.”

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy comments, “The people who work here have been investing in achieving the unachievable for more than 40 years. Creative storytelling was something that George Lucas instilled in each of the companies from their earliest days and out of that came the incredible innovation that continues to this day. We are currently exploring the fictional universes of Star Wars, and I think a lot of people would like to be immersed in them. The challenge of ILMxLAB will be to find out what storytelling looks like in this new space.”

Creative Director, ILMxLAB John Gaeta notes, “Cinema is a master storyteller’s art form. Until recently, a “4th wall” has contained this form. Soon, however, we will break through this 4th wall and cinema will become a portal leading to new and immersive platforms for expression. ILMxLAB is a platform for this expansion. We want you to step inside our stories.”

ILMxLAB is currently collaborating on several premium experiences with innovative creators and will be announcing exclusive Star Wars-based experiences later in the year.

(via Cinefex)

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