Photo Credit: UNIVERSAL
SXSW Conference and Film Festival successfully concluded its nine-day International Film Festival in Austin, Texas. And, by every tangible statistic, this mega-event and media extravaganza continues to grow larger and more prestigious each year. In 2016, festival-goers from 101 countries from outside the United States populated countless SXSW venues. In fact, international travelers made up 22 percent of SXSW 75,000-plus attendees.
I was struck by the sheer breadth and scope of the interactive venues, shows, conferences, movie screenings, virtual reality activities and awards events.
One of the festival experiences that really stood out was the IMAX Zero Gravity (VR) Virtual Reality Experience depicting a crash scene from the upcoming Summer Blockbuster reboot of The MUMMY.
Attendees had the chance to see amazing “behind-the-scenes” footage from the upcoming film preceded by a short trailer, before being escorted into the plane’s cargo bay to see the sarcophagus (an early Egyptian or Greek era coffin) used in the actual filming of the movie.
Participants were taken to the front of the plane and seated in individual Positron Voyager Virtual Reality (VR) Platforms which depicted a simulated plane crash sequence from the movie. The VR Platform spun 360 degrees, tilted backwards and forward creating a “super fluid” almost real-life experience.
After taking part in The MUMMY VR experience, it was obvious why the charismatic and Box Office headliner, Tom Cruise, had the lead in this cinematic masterpiece. Cruise appears to be the perfect fit for showcasing this action-packed new-cinema presentation of the Mummy legend. Indeed, the mysteries and legend of the Mummy have captivated man since the dawn of civilization.
The movie is set in the desert somewhere in the Middle East. An ancient princess, whose destiny was unjustly taken from her, is awakened to take back what she believes is rightfully hers unleashing the wrath of unholy gods and monsters upon the earth.
“Cruise is joined by a cast including Annabelle Wallis (upcoming King Arthur, television’s Peaky Blinders), Jake Johnson (Jurassic World), Courtney B. Vance (TV’s American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson) and Oscar (R) winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator). The creative team on this action-adventure event is led by director/producer Alex Kurtzman and producer Chris Morgan, who have been instrumental in growing some of the most successful franchises of the past several years – with Kurtzman writing or producing entries in the Transformers, Star Trek and the Mission: Impossible series.”
The intense, exciting and surreal VR experience ignited festival-goers anticipation for the new-cinema creation of The MUMMY set to the big screen in theaters across the United States on June 9, 2017.