“Today is the Age of Experience, we’re all living in the “right here, right now”, looking for instant gratification. The social currency of today is not what you have but what you do, it’s experience over ownership.”

– Christophe Mallet, Co-founder of Exzeb

Recently I spoke to Chris, to talk about all things VR and the happenings of the scene:

What do you do?

In a nutshell, we’re a VR agency. We’re a party of strategists, creatives, developers, filmmakers and producers working with immersive technologies. We help brands build deeper relationships with their audiences through unforgettable moments.

Today is the Age of Experience, we’re all living in the “right here, right now”, looking for instant gratification. The social currency of today is not what you have but what you do, it’s experience over ownership.  That’s illustrated by the rise of Snapchat, AirBnB or community-sized festivals.

For marketing, it means that brand doesn’t sell product but experiences. And what’s the most experiential marketing medium available today? VR. We believe that VR will take marketing to the next level, building relationships, memories, and new shared realities between brands and their audiences.

Creating great VR is first and foremost a world-building exercise and therefore requires a wide variety of skills. We’re willing to challenge the current brand > agency > VR studio linear way of working as it proves, in most cases, to be far from optimal both from the creative strategy and production workflow point of views. That’s why we’ve built a network of trusted partners, sharing the same work ethic and appetite for innovative VR. We bring everyone together as early as possible, makers and thinkers, as exploring the VR landscape shoulder to shoulder is what enables us to push some boundaries forward, and to propose something different and always designed specifically for the medium.

What example project have you done?

1- We worked with Canal Plus (France’s equivalent of Sky) and film production company Bridges for the launch of Season 2 of their TV show “Le Bureau des Legendes” to enable fans to explore the series in an innovative way. We worked with the client on developing a VR spin-off of the show, a first in Europe. The 6-minute 360 video allows the viewer to embody a character (first person POV) and be the hero of a story set on the actual set of the show, interacting with its main actors. It was distributed across a dedicated microsite, social media & Youtube. It’s gathered 900k views to this date and toured around six cities in France at dedicated events.

2- We are currently working on a transmedia prototype, this time for France Télévisions (the equivalent of the BBC). The installation has been unveiled for the first time  at the I love Transmedia festival  in Paris last week. The experience allows 2 players, one in VR and one in real life, to jointly investigate a murder by visiting both the actual crime scene and the consciousness of the victim. The installation, using the HTC Vive, incorporates motion capture, elements of immersive theatre and real-life escape game  technologies.

What are your thoughts on the UKVR scene?

The UK scene is definitely the most vibrant in Europe, at least in terms of the volume of experiences produced and the skills levels of those involved. At the moment, it’s still very much a collaborative community, trying to “grow the VR cake together”. As expected, there’s a huge gap between the US and the rest of the world not only in terms of investments but also mainstream curiosity. Households names like Jon Favreau, Spielberg or Guillermo Del Toro are exploring VR in the US. Disney is all-in.I feel that the UK entertainment industry might still need a bit of education before investing in similar ways.

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