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Lijo Jose Pellissery plans to implement a virtual film watching experience!

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Lijo Jose Pellissery plans to implement a virtual film watching experience!

Due to the pandemic, theatres across the world have been shut. Entertainment industry has been severely hit and it is not yet clear how long it will take to overcome the crisis. New films are now being released directly through OTT platforms, which many believe that will never match the theatre experience. Malayalam filmmaker Lijo Jose Pellissery has expressed his concern against OTT release. In a detailed Facebook post, Lijo explained about how he wishes to introduce a new technology where films can be watched from homes but with proper visual and audio quality like in theatres.

His post reads,

Hi All ,

“Listen to mad people
they can change the world”

From an Artist to an Artist I am writing this letter to address a creative dilemma.

It was very disheartening to even come across rumors about ‘Tenet’ being considered for an online release, adding to that many film festivals have been confined to online pages and videos. These celebrated events which should be experienced in its theatrical form became a lacklustre namesake shows.

I have a similar film ‘Churuli’
( set for premiere in film festivals but the situation proved otherwise) which can only be complete as an experience in the cinemas. In the context of the pandemic, I thought of many options like online release, prop up film tents and modular cinemas seating limited to 20 people. As social distancing is a need of the time, the social movie going experience was no more an option along with mounting legal barriers, and an online release would not do justice to the art.

This is when an idea of a simple device struck me, which I thought can be a solution to this problem of providing a cinema hall experience. The irony in the situation is that we have all the infrastructure ready right before us, yet we never put them together.

The idea is to bridge the gap between the creator and viewer by introducing matchbox cinema headset into the equation.(This is basically a VR headset which can be converted for a cinema hall experience)

Here are the approximate specs for a headset suitable for movie projection

This is from our technical person

1. HD quality Dual Panels (1600×1080 or better for IMAX quality) with 90-120Hz refresh rate
2. Around 70% angle of view.
3. 5.1 Surround sound (Dolby AC-3) preferred or minimum stereo audio
4. 2-3 hours battery support for continuous playback
5. Low weight/balanced construction to minimise wearer fatigue.
6. Phone pairing or direct OS support for streaming.
7. Media Processor with H264/h.265/VP9 decoding @5k 60/30Hz capability

I thought of ways to create accessibility of VR gears to all. Cheaper ones bought more problems and the ones with quality weren’t affordable for all.
This prompted the need for a distribution system, much like our old movie libraries. How do we implement this? Imagine an additional device on the library rack, a VR Headset. Synonymous to a book library providing the reader with the reading experience, VR facilitates cinema hall experience to viewers. You can implement this immediately because it is an enhancement of a personal experience, just like buying a brand new headphones.

I am deeply concerned with the release of films on online platforms when a simple idea may revolutionize the industry. I am close to the implementation of my film in a VR platform by partnering with companies like HTC, Sony and Oculus and would be grateful to have a conversation in sharing my complete implementation model (which I have ready) if needed.

I had drafted a presentation for the same, but on completion I realized the importance of the topic as a conversation rather than a paged presentation.

“I am happy if you copy”

lijo jose pellissery
film maker
movie monastery

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