Producer Mark Kassen is expanding his production company Like Minded Entertainment into virtual reality through a partnership with rental house Radiant Images.
Kassen, who executive produced HBO's Bernard and Doris, tells The Hollywood Reporter that the partnership will create a full-service virtual reality and augmented reality production arm, with vp production Sal Alvarez overseeing the efforts. As part of the deal, Like Minded Entertainment will be Radiant's exclusive partner on new productions.
"Whenever there is a new tool, it's interesting to try to figure out how to use it to help cultivate your voice," says Kassen of VR cameras and technology. He notes that Radiant was the right partner because "we bring the production experience and they bring the technical experience and know how."
Radiant Images' Michael Mansouri added in a statement: "Our new partnership with Like Minded Entertainment enables Radiant to truly offer an end-to-end solution for all our content creators, our new team is focused on developing solutions and breaking the technology barriers that give the creative depths of solution from capture, postproduction all the way through distribution."
Like Minded recently teamed with Radiant on a 360-degree and VR live stream of President Barack Obama's final speech in office from Chicago, produced with VantageVR and VR Scout.
Kassen says they also will work together to create VR experiences in tandem with Like Minded projects, noting that the company is already at work on immersive in the action-adventure space and documentary genre.
Like Minded's move into VR comes as Hollywood is embracing the new medium. This year's Sundance Film Festival is showcasing 20 VR experiences as part of its New Frontiers program, which comes on the heels of the commercial availability of such projects as The Martian VR experience and Doug Liman VR series Invisible.