The duo of Gigi Pritzker and Clint Kisker recently launched Madison Wells Media with the desire to create films, theater productions, and, yes, VR experiences under one umbrella, with the intent to cross-pollinate properties across the platforms in order to “expand on and grow the IP that’s born in any one of those units,” Kisker says. In other words, to eschew the typical Hollywood route of building up a movie franchise, say, by simply pumping out more sequels, and to create rich, sibling properties with their own unique sets of characteristics. Already, the process is being set in motion.
The company has set up business partnerships and investments to further this endeavor. One investment is with Atom Tickets, the movie ticket-buying app that provides detailed data on moviegoers’ viewing and purchasing behavior; another is with the Void, the location-based VR company. And Madison Wells is a partner with the independent movie studio STX Entertainment. And then there’s the deal with Sony Pictures to work with the studio’s VR content division on non-promotional VR and AR experiences. Under the agreement, Madison Wells’s VR division, Reality One, is Sony’s exclusive partner on VR episodes, shorts, games—whatever they may be—that are related to Sony movies. The two companies will also produce and finance VR content based on original IP. Those that are related to films will be produced independently as opposed to being promotional offshoots.
The company’s VR division, Reality One, already has a project in development, created in partnership with The Jungle Book director, Jon Favreau. Their goal is to create VR experiences that take place in your living room and in public spaces, as with The Void. For any skeptics out there, the fact that major Hollywood players are getting behind VR is a telltale sign that virtual reality has arrived.