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Technicolor chief ponders future of ‘Virtual Experiences’

While new developments in technologies have driven much of the headline-grabbing coverage of virtual, augmented and mixed reality, artists have an absolutely critical role to play in wringing the full promise and potential out of emerging immersive experiences in the field of entertainment, according to Tim Sarnoff, President of Production Services for Technicolor.

“I take issue with referring to the technology as ‘virtual reality’.  It somehow suggests that the ultimate objective is to apply technology to digitally replicate our day-to-day experiences. At Technicolor, we have worked with artists to bring audiences experiences that are bigger or better than life.  That was as much our purpose when we worked on the Wizard of Oz in 1939 as it was in our contribution to The Revenant, last year,” says Sarnoff.

There is a tremendous amount of work ahead in key areas of technology to advance the state-of-the-art in immersive experience. But as much, if not more, energy should be expended by artists to develop content on this new immersive canvas for expression and story-telling.

“We absolutely need to make advances in tools, compression, resolution and much more. There is an exciting opportunity to harness new technologies to create new ways of accessing immersive experiences.  As a creative technology company, we at Technicolor well understand the power of partnership between scientists, engineers and technicians with artists,” he says.

However, when it comes to entertainment and storytelling, the best virtual experience will be those that strike a strong emotional chord with audiences, or provide a compelling sense of context and meaning.

“From this important perspective…without an artist, the experience is just not immersive,” he explains.

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