On Feb. 26 Lionsgate unveiled its “Insurgent” virtual reality experience at the Samsung Galaxy Studio in Soho titled “Insurgent – Shatter Reality.” Before guests were transported into post-apocalyptic Chicago, they enjoyed wine, Stella Artois and light bites like BBQ short ribs with roasted poblano on grit cake, artichoke with olive oil, tomatoes and spices and deviled eggs with sausage inside. Screens flashed with a moving image from the film and guests had the chance to take a photo in front of the “Insurgent” poster to share on social media. Star Mekhi Phifer even made a brief appearance before making a surprise appearance at a private BET fan screening at Regal Union Square.
The Samsung Gear VR headset was available for attendees to test out in the store. It actually launched in December, but is now gaining wider awareness thanks to its partnership with the film. The device is only compatible with the Galaxy Note 4 phone. Milk VR is an app that Samsung created to deliver immersive, 360-degree video for free to owners of the Gear VR and Note 4. Oculus is responsible for creating the highly optimized virtual reality graphics path with integrated system software. Oculus is currently developing its virtual reality store, which will produce content for the Gear VR device.
Wearing a Gear VR is an incredible experience. One feels as if they are completely immersed in a different space or land. In one Oculus video, you are sitting in a theater with clowns and gymnasts performing on stage. You can look up down, left and right and behind you in this world. Above performers were swinging on a flying trapeze. Another Oculus video featured a tour of Iceland, where you’re gliding over grassy fields, mountains and bodies of water. You can also watch movies on the Gear VR. Oculus Cinema is currently playing “Interstellar.” You can watch a movie as if you’re sitting in a theater, on your bed or on the moon.
After getting familiar with the equipment, it was time to check out the four minute “Shatter Reality” video specially made for the film “Insurgent.” It was “created by virtual reality innovators Kite & Lightning with assistance from the film’s VFX team, the experience was built using stereoscopic 4K video of the actors, with effects and environment built in Unreal Engine 4 and then rendered into an immersive 3D/360° experience. It was scored by ‘The Divergent Series: Insurgent’ composer Joe Trapanese,” Samsung and Lionsgate said in a statement.
Once seated, representatives placed headphones guests’ heads and the headset over their eyes and they were instantly immersed in Tris’ world. Kate Winslet, Miles Teller and Mekhi Phifer all appear in the video. As a “Divergent” you are subject to mental simulations. In one moment you are sitting at the edge of a crumbling building and crows are flying at you. In another scenario, you are gliding down train tracks on a field. It is a really unique and surreal activation and you have to try this virtual reality experience out for yourself.
The “Insurgent – Shatter Reality” experience opens today in New York at Flatiron Plaza. It will be there until March 1. Next it will travel to Chicago to the Navy Pier on March 7 and 8. It will be at The Grove in Los Angeles on March 14 and 15, Austin (for SXSW) and San Francisco’s Pier 39 on March 21 and 22 prior to going live across all platforms and app stores. The experience will also be available exclusively on Samsung’s Milk VR service through March 1. Fans outside the tour markets will have an opportunity to view the experience on Samsung Gear VR over the weekend of March 7 and 8 at select Best Buy stores across the US. “Insurgent” hits theaters on March 20.