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On Wednesday, VRJournal was briefed on the production of a new short film inspired by the emergence of convenient and accessible new filmmaking tools for virtual reality content creators.

While virtual reality may be no laughing matter, the new film in question certainly is.

MAXON, a developer of professional 3D modeling, animation, painting and rendering solutions, has just announced EXTRAVAGANZA — a new virtual reality (VR) short film satire directed by Ethan Shaftel.

The film leverages the company’s Cinema 4D software and its CV-VR Cam dedicated plug-in for rendering virtual reality content.

According to a provided statement:

The film, which stars Paul Scheer (The League, 30 Rock), John Gemberling (Broad City, Santa Clarita Diet), Will Greenberg (Wrecked), and Annie Tedesco (Bella and the Bulldogs), debuted to positive acclaim at the Tribeca Film Festival’s Immersive Virtual Arcade, April 19th-30th, 2017 and will make its European premiere during the Cannes Film Festival May 17th-28th, 2017 at the Marche du Film “NEXT” VR program. (Watch the EXTRAVAGANZA trailer here.)

EXTRAVAGANZA, we’re told, is an immersive experience where the viewer puts on a VR headset and becomes a programmed puppet forced to perform in a ludicrous show for a clueless executive (Paul Scheer). But things aren’t exactly what they seem and the viewer might yet break free of their programming. EXTRAVAGANZA asks the question, does technology change society for the better, or does it simply magnify our worst traits in new ways?

“In EXTRAVAGANZA the viewer finds themselves in the novel position of being “consumed” by an audience, subjected to their insults and confronted with many of mainstream entertainment’s blind spots and prejudices,” explains Shaftel. “Using MAXON’s 3D and virtual reality filmmaking tools allowed us to create an immersive environment so that we could bring assumptions to the surface we have about how stories are told that couldn’t otherwise be told in a traditional film medium.”

If this catches your interest (and how could it not?), check out the film’s trailer here.

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