Augmented and Virtually There!

The innovation labs are being constructed. Teams of designers and production partners are collaborating. Continuous amounts of investments are being contracted upon, and the fact that this booming complementary form of media has grown by 3x since last year (2016) makes Augmented and Virtual reality quite the hot ticket. This is not a cousin of the 3D mainstream resurgence or the retro-boom that took the consumers by storm in 2003-2010, or the rebirth of the “golden era” from 1952-1954 (remember the Creature from the Black Lagoon). The older audiences like Generation X and Baby Boomers remember the hype behind receiving the Sunday TV Guide (which references what would be playing at what time on paper, for each day of the week and the hype and marketing of receiving your very own Anaglyph 3D paper glasses so that you can watch Jaws 3D in your living room, on your CTR television set at 8pm this coming Sunday night. Now, you would have taken those red and blue lens paper glasses off during the Ivory Soap commercials? Right?

No, Augmented and Virtual Reality is its “own tree in the great media forest.”  It is the way to disseminate the information and the ability to immerse consumers where ever they may be or currently doing.  We know this from case studies that approximates the average adult watches about 50 minutes of digital video daily, but the undeniable fact is that half of the time they are watching it on their mobile devices. What are they watching? Is it VR or AR? Are they taking off those paper glasses?

“Mobile technology is transforming the way people around the world consume media, and is expanding overall media consumption…It provides traditional media owners the opportunity to reach people and places they’ve never had access to previously, and gives consumers entirely new ways to find and enjoy compelling content.” Jonathan Barnard, Head of Forecasting, Zenith, as quoted on

The development of AR and VR is pioneering the News and other media organizations to transform for a more modern, central, and streamlined operation. Video content, revenue gains, and growth of the viewership is the upward trending pattern that have established the term “Partnership.” Some examples of this is The Guardian teaming up with Vice News to provide for news reports every evening, or Conde Nast partnership with Vox and NBC for the development of new advertising  products, or The New Yorker turning stories from it’s literature archive into short films to be shown on Amazon Prime. The adaptation of new hybrid ways to give consumers the three “I”s of media content: Immediacy, Individualization and Interactivity* (from OOYALA State of the Media Industry 2017).

“There’s this fashion for media companies to call themselves technology companies… Our job isn’t to make technology. Our job is to figure out how to use technologies.”– Jake Silverstein, Editor, The New York Times Magazine, as quoted in Wired.

The video/cinema production principles behind producing for AR or VR elements have remained the same since your days at film school. Camera angles, painting with light, where to set up when shooting outside during the day or inside near windows is the foundation.  However, the one component that is far and beyond the most important in order to become successful in this very exciting production field is: Make sure the piece is engaging your audience, the concept is original, and your ability to tell a visual story is on the mark!
Augmented and Virtual Reality has no boundaries, and can be certainly considered media agnostic. The pieces can be provided through websites, VOD, and apps! It doesn’t have to be a movie short, a video game or a social media news clip, or for advertising for the latest and greatest.  It can be whatever the creative wants it to be. Technology is bringing the consumer closer. Augmented and Virtual Reality will be the norm within the next five years, so who wants to “lead the pack” in the newest way to tell an exciting visual story?


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Matthew has worked in both the private sector and in higher education for over 25 years. He specializes in the areas of digital media project management, broadcast engineering and media production. Matthew has extensive knowledge in digital post production, digital asset management, digital cinema production, and broadcast facility integration. Mr. Harchick actively researches state of the art broadcast, cutting edge digital cinema and smart audio visual technologies for client implementation and is available for your consultation needs.

Matt and his family currently reside in the Washington, D.C metro area.
Matt Harchick
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