Dreamscape Immersive, the virtual reality startup backed by Hollywood’s elite including Steven Spielberg, made a splash last month with its Alien Zoo pop up at Westfield Century City. Alien Zoo, an immersive virtual reality experience, combines the thrill of an epic theme park attraction with cinematic storytelling to create an unforgettable experience for guests. We spoke with Bruce Vaughn, CEO of Dreamscape Immersive about the Alien Zoo and what’s next for the VR industry.
How did the concept for Alien Zoo form? BRUCE VAUGHN: Alien Zoo was a concept that Walter Parkes and Steven Spielberg considered making as a movie when he ran Dreamworks, but they never did. It came up when we were brainstorming a first Dreamscape title, and we all felt going to an Alien Zoo in VR would be an incredible experience.
What makes Alien Zoo stand apart from other immersive VR experiences? BV: Several things: it’s a shared experience, you’re untethered, everyone has full body presence including feet, and we leaned into the tropes of cinema combined with the sense of awe and wonder found in the best theme park attractions.
Why was it important to make Alien Zoo a shared group experience? BV: One of the most important qualities of a Dreamscape experience is that it’s a shared experience. I learned from my 25 years as a Disney Imagineer that people want to consume their entertainment together. We are social creatures. We like to go out with friends and family and do amazing things together. Given all the options for entertainment these days, the experience has to be unique and mind blowing.
Tell us about the shift in the VR industry to world building and cinematic storytelling. BV: Humans are compelled by narrative. We love to make order of chaos through stories. The ability of VR to completely transport you makes it a perfect medium for experiencing places and characters that one couldn’t or wouldn’t do otherwise. Now that the tech is good enough, creators will discover just how powerful this medium is, and we’ll begin seeing more compelling storytelling in VR.
What’s currently in the works for Dreamscape Immersive after Alien Zoo? BV: We are taking the learnings from our successful pop up and fine tuning every aspect of our process and product. We’re actively identifying locations for permanent venues. And we have several titles in production and in development. We’re moving fast!
Extended by popular demand, experience Alien Zoo at Westfield Century City. For more information and for tickets, visit dreamscapeimmersive.com.