An Australian Studio Pitched To Create A VR Tie-In For The Martian

We knew PAX Australia would showcase a variety of VR experiences, but perhaps just as interesting is the experiences that weren’t made.

Norman Wang, Opaque Media Group’s project lead on Earthlight, to talk about VR. Our chat veered off into the team’s collaboration with NASA and the potential avenues that could lead to, and Wang revealed something unexpected.

I was asking about the potential for Opaque to create tie-in projects, VR experiences that might be used as promotional tools. I used The Martian as an example, although you could broaden it to a whole range of things. Pizza Hut in VR. Greenpeace takes you on a journey through the Great Barrier Reef. Climb the Harbour Bridge and have it explode as a promotion for the next Mission Impossible movie, or something thereabouts.

But it was the mention of The Martian that Wang directly hooked into.

“As a matter of fact, [20th Century FOX] have been looking for interesting and innovative ways to promote their products,” he explained. “When you say a VR promotion for The Martian, it was definitely on their radar. I can definitely say that, that was on their radar, they were looking at creating something like that.”

“They came to you,” I questioned.

“No, we connected and we were asked to basically put in a pitch of how we would use the technologies we have to create something for The Martian,” Wang said.

It obviously didn’t work out, but he later added that blockbuster films and movie studios will naturally begin using the power of 360 degree trailers and VR. Wang added that The Avengers had a promotion application for VR experiences as well, although it wasn’t something the studio followed through on.

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