Los Angeles, Ca – SPECTACLE VR, an award-winning VR/AR production house, has signed director Damien D’Amico for branded content and Virtual/Augmented/ Mixed Reality. D’Amico just wrapped his first project for SPECTACLE, taking Thrillist viewers on an interactive 360 tour around the central coast of Monterey and Santa Cruz, California, courtesy of a specially equipped 2017 Toyota 86.
“Damien is just one of those talented directors that knows how to effectively utilize new technology to extend story telling capabilities without boundaries to create innovative content,” says SPECTACLE Executive Producer Ross Grogan. “I was impressed at what he accomplished as a freelance director of VR and 360 videos and want his work to be seen by a wider audience. For his first project, Damien took something immersive for Toyota and Thrillist and made it completely interactive.”
Give It Purpose
For his part, D’Amico follows a simple guideline for all his branding projects. “Give it a purpose,” he says. A former CalArts student, D’Amico first worked on the post-production side. “Working as an editor I was handed a hard drive and tasked with creating storylines. I also worked on videos using computer graphics and stop motion while learning all about camera techniques and other technology that helped my transition into a Director. And I look forward to broadening my scope as a director at SPECTACLE.”
Prior to joining SPECTACLE, D’Amico honed his VR chops with a variety of projects. With BCII for FORD VR, D’Amico and the studio captured a stock 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor in the Baja 1000 race. Ford truck spokesman Dennis Leary narrates a cinematic 360 degree adventure in the desert, requiring D’Amico to create a variety of photographic and digital innovations to capture 50 nonstop hours of racing through the endless terrain. D’Amico also worked with BF Goodrich on their first foray into virtual reality, creating two stereoscopic VR experience demonstrating the reliability and strength of their tires. The experiential film puts viewers in the drivers seat on their test course, while the second film has viewers riding shotgun with a race legend through Baja Mexico. For OPTIMA Batteries, D’Amico created a hit at the 2016 SEMA automotive show by creating six action-packed VR ride-alongs.
For the SPECTACLE Toyota 86/Thrillist project, viewers are taken on a tour of California’s beautiful central coast. Locations include Monterey Bay Aquarium, Bernardus Lodge/Lucia Restaurant, The Crow’s Nest, and the Mystery spot. “The cool thing about this project is its interactivity,” he says. “The ability to take yourself on different paths of adventure, at any time.”
Center Of The Universe
To pull off the 360 tour, a Nokia Ozo camera with special rigs was attached to the Toyota 86, allowing the car to be the hero and center of the universe for the film. An array of GoPros and other digital SLRs were also used to capture footage. Hot spot technology was chosen to allow interactive viewing in 360 on non-headset platforms. The biggest challenge? “We did some massive stabilization work both in-camera and through post-production to give the viewers the smoothest ride,” says D’Amico. “Any way the viewer turns there’s something to experience.”
SPECTACLE seeks to revolutionize storytelling through content that uniquely interacts with audiences in ways that have never previously been available. VR/AR has the power to change the way media is produced, viewed, and distributed, and SPECTACLE is already paving the way for groundbreaking creations through its visionary approach.
For more info please visit www.spectacle-vr.com