Virtual Reality in Virtually a Private Setting Creates New Environments for Users to Experience

Published : Wednesday, June 19, 2019 | 5:04 AM

Paisley Smith and Milo Talwani want to bring virtual reality to the masses 15 headsets at a time.

Beginning July 6, they will be making a number of world-class and award-winning VR experiences available to the public for the first time, through the Robot Remix VR showcase at sp[a]ce gallery in Pasadena.

Virtual reality is the cutting edge in creative filmmaking, surrounding the user with real-life or imagined fantasy environments. The industry is still considered to be in its infancy but has been well received and the industry is receiving not only funding but plenty of praise.

The exhibit that begins on July 6 and runs from 12-6 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through the month of July. But this VR exhibit will be run a little bit differently than those the attendees may have been to before. All patrons will be given a white-glove, VIP experience, with only 15 people admitted at a time, and a full hour to immerse themselves in the different narratives.

“We always found that was the biggest challenge with showing people VR is there are never enough headsets,” said Talwani, who curated the exhibit with Smith. “There are great productions to see but people have to wait a long time for a headset or wait in line because there were not enough headsets to go around.”

Virtual Reality requires users to wear headsets that are designed to “put” the user in an environment. That could be one that is drawn to be a fantasy or designed for a range of real-life applications that can be used by first responders, or elderly or those who are immobile.

VR has attracted venture funding for a variety of applications that help people like simulation programs that firefighters and police use for training. It has also drawn in the big bucks of some of the biggest communications corporations and the talents of famous actors, musicians and artists. Google and Disney are ahead of the game among corporate content companies and Thomas Dolby, Oprah Winfrey and a host of other talents are also on board.

Generally, you can see VR in action at related festivals and conferences, but it’s not easy for the regular consumer with no Hollywood connection.

“VR is supposed to be for everyone, but curators Paisley Smith and Milo Talwani were only seeing the absolute best, cutting-edge experiences through their work at Sundance and Tribeca International Film Festival—two elite venues only accessible to Hollywood insiders,” said Dustin Clendenen, a spokesperson representing the event.

Robot Remix has been the exhibit at sp[a]ce gallery at the Ayzenberg but Smith and Talwani brought in some of the productions they know will grab the attention of fans of futuristic content.

On hand will be VR narratives such as “Gloomy Eyes,” “Your Hands Are Feet,” “Virtual Virtual Reality” and more.

So with a full hour to enjoy the selection of Virtual Reality products, what will it be like?

“With Virtual Reality, the action unfolds around you,” Talwani said. “For instance with ‘Gloomy Eyes,’ it’s a Tim Burton-like animation that takes place around you’re immersed in an environment and you can create a relationship with the characters around you.

“With ‘Your Hands are Your Feet’ your hands have been replaced with feet and everything you do is just a little bit off,” Talwani said. “With Virtual Reality, users can experience things you never would be able to in real life.”

VR at Robot Remix will be at the sp[a]ce Gallery, 39 E. Walnut Street. For more information call (626) 584-4070.

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