[SPECIAL] Shun Kubota, the Editor in Chief of Mogra VR, participates in INTER BEE IGNITION!! He will hold a session with Chiyaki Mishiro, the president of EJE, and Toru Watanabe of the Watanabe Unit to discuss the current state and challenges of VR video production.
Shun Kubota, the managing director of Mogra VR, a media platform that transmits information on the newest trends in VR everyday through internet channels such as SNS, will participate in a session with INTER BEE IGNITION. He will take the podium as coordinator and host a panel discussion. Chiyaki Mishiro, the president of EJE, and Toru Watanabe of the Watanabe Unit, a group of creators, also will join the discussion.
EJE is expanding creation, planning, and management for a wide range of content including video production for media such as commercials, video distribution over the Internet, and platform management. The Watanabe Unit is a team of video creators belonging to Concent, Inc. In addition to working on music video production for music artists, they also work on content creation including omnidirectional video. They will explain the current state of VR content creation in which video creators are challenging themselves.
I asked Mr. Kubota about the objectives of the session.
■ The rapid development of VR brought about by the evolution of computers and the Internet
For many years, VR (Virtual Reality) technology was something used only for special applications. This was due in large part to technical factors such as limitations in the display capability of goggle-type viewing devices called HMDs (head mounted displays) and the necessity of a supercomputer to provide the high-speed CG rendering required to generate a realistic 360-degree field of view in real time.
In the past ten to twenty years, however, not only computer technology, but also communications, display devices, etc. have evolved dramatically. A world that could once only be realized with supercomputers and ultra-high-definition displays can now be easily brought to life with a single smartphone capable of being held in the palm of your hand.
In this age, Oculus announced an SDK called the DK1 in 2014, and a major revolution was brought about in VR content development. After that, VR began drawing attention in the business world, as well, when the SNS giant, Facebook, acquired Oculus and Sony released the PS VR. Mogra VR is a media platform that continues to transmit information on the newest trends in VR everyday through internet channels such as SNS.
■ Started as “excavated media” from games
Mogra VR was completed in February 2015. It was originally a site launched in 2014 called MograGames that introduced games. Mogra VR was born when founder Shun Kubotas found out about the Oculus Rift.
Mr. Kubota discussed that experience as follows.
"Mogra Games was launched by two friends who liked games. It was launched in order to introduce small-scale games, referred to as indie-type games, that were interesting even when compared with large-scale games, known as AAA (triple A) games, produced by famous game development companies. Mogura, or “mole” in English, is the name we thought up for the company to incorporate the idea of "discovering and introducing buried masterpieces."
When Oculus Rift announced the DK1, many individual enthusiasts in Japan started to develop VR content as they imagined it and created a community called Ocufes. It was then that it was picked up by Mogra Games because the platform fit well with gaming. Facebook then acquired Oculus, and VR creation gained major global momentum.
■ Mogra VR was started after he felt the growth potential of VR
"It was only two years ago, but there was still nobody who felt that the VR market, a group of individual enthusiasts and small companies, would even expand domestically," stated Mr. Kubota.
Later, when Facebook bought Oculus, the momentum of VR creation gained major global momentum. Large companies began acquiring and investing heavily in start-up VR companies, one after the other. "It was apparent that VR was clearly on the rise. I felt that, with the continued expansion of VR, daily life and society would change dramatically, said Mr. Kubota.
Sensing that VR would no longer fit into the framework of gaming, alone, he decided to make Mogra VR independent as a specialized VR medium. At the time, specialized VR media was extremely rare. Mogra VR is now recognized as an important medium for understanding the VR that accompanies it.
"It was hard to put out one article a day at the time of the launch, but now we have six to ten articles a day," he said, highlighting the abundant volume of information. There are not only official announcements, but it is also highly valued as a medium that conveys candid remarks such as interviews with key persons and event coverage by more than ten writers, including Mr. Kubota.
■ The VR world where video creators challenge themselves
Shun Kubota will take the podium at INTER BEE IGNITION as coordinator and hosted a panel discussion. Chiyaki Mishiro, the president of EJE, and Toru Watanabe of the Watanabe Unit, a group of creators, will also join the discussion.
EJE is expanding creation, planning, and management for a wide range of content including video production for media such as commercials, video distribution over the Internet, and platform management. The Watanabe Unit is a team of video creators belonging to Concent, Inc. In addition to working on music video production for music artists, they also work on content creation including omnidirectional video and seek out new forms of “information experience.”
■ VR demands new production techniques
Mr. Kubota explained the objectives of this session as follows.
“Looking at VR in Japan, you can see that the trajectory of games and animation is particularly active. Overseas, though, particularly in the United States, expectations are mainly focused on applications and services using live-action imagery. For example, in the world of content business focused on Hollywood's leading studios, studies are underway to make popular movies in VR. This approach is an attempt at a multi-purpose use of digital content to incorporate a film’s world perspective, experienced in VR, into the development of theme parks, etc. There is also a movement in the film industry to distribute VR content for promotional activities. There are also undertakings being made in the world of journalism by such entities as the New York Times to relay on-location tension in a way not possible through normal news reporting by presenting 360-degree imagery of conflict zones, etc.”
"Even in Japan, the movement to explore new possibilities of VR is gaining momentum thanks to creators of video such as EJE and the Watanabe Unit, who I am introducing. 360-degree live-action video requires shooting, editing, and production techniques that are different than traditional methods. Various efforts have begun on a trial-and-error basis to address an unknown world for which nobody has an answer. has been started for and towards a world where nobody knows the answer yet. Through this introduction of their efforts and thoughts to members of the film and broadcast industry that attend Inter BEE, you may find something that acts as a hint to your creative direction."
“EJE, who will take part in the session, works on a wide range of content creation on the Internet and is using that experience to explore VR video that is compatible with Internet applications. I would like you to listen from a producer’s perspective regarding the place of 360-degree video in overall content production."
"The Watanabe Unit has worked on a number of rather sophisticated music videos, even with normal video content. They will use this experience to promote VR production that priorities production. They will explain the & quot; charm & quot; and added flavors with actual examples.”
This looks to be an interesting session to explore topics including the positioning of VR and future forms of creativity in the video business.
INTER BEE IGNITION Session
[Will VR evolve in video? Pioneers talk about VR from viewing to “experience”]
■Date and time: November 18 (Fri) 1:00 – 2:30 PM
■Venue: Exhibition Hall 4 INTER BEE IGNITION Open Stage
■Reservation method: Advance reservation is unnecessary. Please come on by after completing the pre-entry registration with Inter BEE on the Internet.
Pre-entry registration site： https://regist.jesa.or.jp/interbee-regist/index.php?lang=0
■Moderator： Shun Kubota (President of Mogura, Inc. / Editor in Chief of Mogura VR)
Toru Watanabe (Omnidirectional video producer “the Watanabe Unit”
Chiyaki Mishiro (President of EJE, Inc.)