Rezolution, Minority Games partner to launch VR company
Storytelling-meets-tech venture MinorityVR has already completed work on its first VR experience for A&E Networks.
Looking to capitalize on the growing market for virtual reality, Montreal prodco Rezolution Pictures (Mohawk Girls) and video game developer Minority Games have partnered to launch a new company, MinorityVR, which aims to combine the worlds of broadcast TV production and VR.
Targeting millennials and looking to pull broadcasters more toward the world of VR, MinorityVR has already completed its first project – a VR experience to accompany a series from A&E Networks. At this time, the name of the series has not been announced, though the release of the VR portion will coincide with the release of the Samsung Gear VR, a portable headset compatible with Samsung smartphones. This is the first time A&E has commissioned a VR project.
As well as creating VR content for broadcasters to accompany existing scripted and factual series, the new storytelling-meets-tech venture will create its own TV broadcast IP coupled with second-screen VR experiences.
The company also has around 15 original projects in development which are currently being pitched to broadcasters in both Canada and the U.S.
MinorityVR is jointly owned and financed by nine co-founders: CEO Sylvain Croteau, CCO Vander Caballero, SVP Isabelle Anouk Bourduas, creative director Michael Zaidan, president Catherine Bainbridge, senior EVP Christina Fon, VP Aboriginal business affairs Ernest Webb, CTO Julien Barnoin and CFO Linda Ludwick.
The team is comprised of seven individuals currently affiliated with either Rezolution or Minority Games, plus the two new hires of Bourduas (former head of production at Cineflix and founder of Zone3′s English production division) and writer/producer/director Zaidan (former director of content and editorial for Frequency Networks).
Depending on the requirements of each project, MinorityVR will use personnel from both Rezolution and Minority Games, as well as production personnel that newcomers Bourduas and Zaidan have worked with previously.
The idea of launching a standalone, VR-specific company was based on the investment that both Rezolution and Minority were seeing in the VR space, Bourduas, SVP, MinorityVR told Playback Daily. With Facebook’s $2 billion investment in Oculus Rift, as well as Disney’s investment in the space, the MinorityVR team believes it has identified a growing market and wants to be well-positioned to capitalize once a greater number of VR products become available.
“This is a brand new avenue for broadcasters to monetize their content, and also to create engaging adventures and experiences with their existing or new IPs, said Bourduas. “By bringing a VR experience to those existing series you give them access to new distribution platforms as well,” she added.
Though the company will be based in Montreal, MinorityVR will be pitching projects internationally and is aiming to work with companies in France, the U.K. and Australia in the coming year.
Pictured left to right: Ernie Webb, Linda Ludwick, Catherine Bainbridge, Julien Barnoin, Isabelle Bourduas, Sylvain Croteau, Christina Fon, Vander Caballero, Michael Zaidan.