Interview with Eve Weston
For those unfamiliar to your work, could you tell us what your films are about?
Sure! The BizNest: Holiday Musical Surprise just launched on InceptionVR. In it, the members of The BizNest co-working space are getting ready for their holiday party and realize — in song — that they’ve completely forgotten it’s Hanukkah, which is strange because it’s always in December… or November. The musical features Epic Lloyd of YouTube’s Emmy-nominated Epic Rap Battles of History and Ellie Araiza from FX’s Legion and the song has the same lyricist/choreographer as the popular “Funky Hat Dance” from Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place. The musical is also a teaser for our forthcoming 360/VR sitcom, The BizNest, by a writer whose work you may have laughed at on TV shows like Will & Grace, Better Off Ted, and Wizards of Waverly Place. In general, Exelauno focuses on content that has to do with having fun and being human. Like, if you’re going to an art gallery, why not become a work of art titled, “Human” https://exelauno.co/portfolio/human-art-object/ and see what people think of you?
What practical skills have you learnt throughout your VR filming experience?
VR is a team sport and I was really lucky to work with an amazing cast and crew who brought so much energy and a genuine passion for advancing storytelling in immersive media. Along the way, I’ve learned that any challenge presented by working with an all-seeing 360 camera — or any other production obstacle — can be treated as an opportunity to be creative and innovative; some of my favorite moments came from me having to invent my way out of a jam. Also, when you’re creating immersive experiences, good sound can do just as much to trick your brain as good visuals. And, in 360, off-camera rehearsal is your friend because 360 cameras can overheat easily. I did my first solo 360 shoot outdoors in summer at 12 noon, and the camera did not like that. It worked a little better once we got a sun umbrella, which also added some unexpected drama when the wind blew!
What’s next for Exelauno?
We’re getting ready to launch The BizNest, the world’s first 360/VR sitcom. Imagine if instead of just watching Friends or The Office, you could be in it, sitting at Central Perk or at a desk next to Jim. Well, that’s The BizNest. It’s an immersive workplace comedy set in a co-working space where you, the viewer, are a member, surrounded by freelancers and entrepreneurs who are working, socializing, flirting, and, of course, antagonizing each other. It’s a fun show — I gave a preview of it to someone the other day and they secretly kept the headset on and watched a second episode without telling me. They wanted to see what happened next!
If any Inception viewers would like to be among the first to experience The BizNest, they can follow Exelauno on social media for updates, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be sure to keep ‘em posted. Beyond The BizNest, I recently executive produced two social impact 360 pieces in my work with Emerson College Los Angeles, one of which premiered at a charity gala in Beverly Hills this October.
Exelauno continues to host innovative social VR experiences, work with clients to produce impactful 360/ VR experiences, and create groundbreaking original content. We are currently developing an otherworldly VR experience and a fantastical AR experience.
What are your expectations for the future of the VR industry?
VR is here to stay. While it might take a little while for consumers to get on board with VR as mainstream entertainment, VR offers too much in too many sectors for us to ignore it. Already, VR is being used effectively for medical and therapeutic uses, social impact, education and training, data visualization, and architecture. And in entertainment, I don’t expect it to replace television or movies — after all, we still have radio and theatre — but I do think it will become an additional form of entertainment that offers a uniquely immersive experience, especially once most people have VR headsets. No one bought the first computers — or the first smartphones — to play games or watch shows, but once you have the devices, using them for entertainment is inevitable.