New VR Comedy Short SHADY FRIEND Stars Minka Kelly, 'Weird Al' Yankovic
Principal photography has wrapped on the VR comedy short SHADY FRIEND starring Nick Kocher (former writer, "Saturday Night Live"), Nick Rutherford (Brigsby Bear, former writer, "Saturday Night Live") Minka Kelly (The Roommate, "Friday Night Lights") and 'Weird Al' Yankovic. The film, which is produced by Positron and Ralph Smyth Entertainment, is the first multisensory VR experience incorporating immersive and interactive VR, scents, motion, and haptics created from the ground-up for the Positron Voyager®. SHADY FRIEND was shot on the Z CAM™ V1 Pro and K1 Pro with 360 and volumetric filming taking place in Los Angeles, CA.
Fresh off a rough breakup, Ben (Kocher) just wants to spend the day all alone in his apartment. However, when his shady friend Nick (Rutherford) drops by unannounced and accidentally gets him high on the wildest, most illegal hallucinogenic on the black market, he's forced to endure a bizarre and trippy vision quest that may or may not help him repair his broken heart.
Directed by Andrew Disney, SHADY FRIEND was written by Andrew Disney and Bradley Jackson. The film is produced by Jeffrey Travis for Positron and Andrew Lee and Russell Wayne Groves of Ralph Smyth Entertainment and is sponsored by OWC. Ricardo Diaz served as Cinematographer with Shyam Kannapurakkan as the VR Supervisor and Jeremy Vanneman as the VFX Supervisor. OWC provided their Project Valkyrie portable enterprise data storage system.
"What I love most about the Voyager platform is that it allows filmmakers to curate VR experiences in a cinematic way," said director Andrew Disney. "Positron has created quite an amazing tool for immersive storytelling."
"As our first original project coming out of Positron Studios, we are thrilled to be collaborating with Ralph Smyth Entertainment, Nick Rutherford, Nick Kocher, Minka Kelly and 'Weird Al' Yankovic to create the first original VR content designed specifically for our Voyager® platform," said Jeffrey Travis, founder and CEO of Positron and creator of the Voyager® chair. "As location-based entertainment VR continues to grow, there is a strong demand for premium VR content. Andrew and Bradley's hysterical script paired with the Voyager's® full motion, scent and haptic capabilities will provide an incredibly fun, multi-sensory immersive user experience for audiences."
"Having cut our teeth on comedic features, series, and online content, Ralph Smyth Entertainment is excited to expand into virtual reality, bringing together incredible talent with cutting edge VR tech to create one of the most immersive and entertaining experiences on the Positron Voyager," said Andrew Lee, Ralph Smyth Entertainment.
Nick Kocher is repped by UTA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Nick Rutherford is repped by UTA and Principato Young Entertainment.
Minka Kelly is repped by UTA and Untitled Entertainment.
'Weird Al' Yankovic is managed by Jay Levey.
About Positron and Voyager®
Positron is a VR technology studio based in Los Angeles that is focused on cinematic VR. The team includes mechatronics engineers, designers, software developers and artists who collaborate together to create premium VR experiences and products. Voyager® is the first full-motion chair platform designed for cinematic VR. Integrating beautiful design and high-end engineering, it reflects a passion for VR storytelling. Voyager® delivers a completely new level of immersion in VR by providing a comfortable, fully integrated personal VR theater that incorporates whisper-quiet robotic rotation and pitch motion, audio-driven haptic feedback, scent dispensing, cabin lighting and specialized seating. Voyager® systems also support interactive content. Its unique software and hardware technology integration enables nuanced motion and haptic tracks to be encoded along the featured content's visual and spatial audio tracks. The chair precisely guides the viewers' attention to points of interest in the experience, while also allowing a viewer-controlled motion mode. Voyager® units are available now for select theaters, hotels, concerts, and events that desire to provide a premium VR experience.
About Ralph Smyth Entertainment
RSE is an entertainment production company formed by four award-winning filmmakers: Russell Wayne Groves, Andrew Lee, Bradley Jackson, and David James Ward. Collectively, RSE has produced narrative and documentary films garnering over 50 film festival selections and 20 festival awards, including DMT: THE SPIRIT MOLECULE (hosted by Joe Rogan, released by Gravitas Ventures/Warner Bros Digital), LORD MONTAGU (2012 London premiere at the BAFTA Theatre), and BALLS OUT (starring Beck Bennett, Kate McKinnon, Jay Pharaoh, Gabe Luna, released by MGM's Orion Pictures in 2015). RSE's half hour sci-fi comedy series CRUNCH TIME (starring Samm Levine, Brent Morin, Mark Moses) was released by Rooster Teeth in September 2016 and their documentary DEALT won a SXSW Film Festival Audience Award in 2017 and theatrically released in 31 markets later that year by IFC Films. In 2018, RSE produced dramedy feature PLAYING GOD starring Alan Tudyk and Michael McKean to be released in 2019. Currently, RSE is finishing up feature documentary JUMP SHOT about the inspiring true story of Kenny Sailors, the proclaimed developer of the modern day jump shot in basketball.
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Photo Courtesy of Positron