Infinity Festival v. 5.0 Explore Edges Of Tech, Media & Entertainment

For someone who’s been writing about the intersection (or, as I prefer to say, the collision) of media, entertainment, and technology for decades, the annual Infinity Festival in Los Angeles can be a bit of a candy store, a chance to investigate in one place the bleeding edges of change in all of these areas.

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This year’s gathering, the fifth, takes place November 2-5 at Goya Studios in Hollywood. It will feature some familiar names, even to those hopefully mired in mainstream entertainment circles: comedian/game show host Howie Mandel, Napoleon Dynamite himself Jon Heder, the voice of the voices of Bollywood AR Rahman and virtual reality actor/director Elijah Allan-Blitz, whose credits include virtual reality experiences accompanying works by Ken Burns and Michael Pollan.

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The conference will also feature demonstrations and panels from sponsors such as HP
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Nvidia and XLA tours of nearby immersive entertainment venue Lighthouse Art Studio (Van Gogh immersive) courtesy of sponsors Lighthouse Immersive and Impact Museums, and a section called Art + Tech featuring works by 15 artists using technology in artistic ways, including Giuseppe Lo Schiavo, Carlos Luna James, Tiffany Trenda, Teek Mach and Luke Haynes. For the first time, there will be a career fair and student lab to help prospects stay stuck in one of entertainment’s fastest growing fields.

So what ties it all together?

“The show has always been a professional conference focused on how storytelling is enabled by technology, with a real focus on the media and entertainment category,” said the show’s chief curator, Lori H. Schwartz. . “Story is part of how all categories of businesses communicate their offerings and in terms of (media and entertainment) it is also central to the actual product. So our audience has always been a mix of creative, business, and technology resources that focus on content creation.

It’s no surprise that Allan-Blitz is talking about another one of his VR projects, in this case Remember, with Brie Larson, who debuted last month on Disney+. Mandel will talk about something far from his usual haunts, Proto, which allows people to broadcast interactive holographic images of themselves to audiences thousands of miles away. For a comedian who doesn’t know how much his audience loves his jokes, Proto could be a goldmine.

Heder has partnered with Verified Labs for an NFT collection called The Order of the Tigons, featuring artwork inspired by Heder’s own spider-hand and penchant for blended imaginary creatures, similar to those seen in Napoleon Dynamite.

Perhaps the most splashy event of the conference takes place before it begins. Rahman, twice Oscar winner (Slumdog Millionaire) and the festival’s immersive cinema chair, Intel’s
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Ravi Velhal, will be the first Musk, billed as a “full sensory cinematic experience”.

“We have been absolutely thrilled to see how this event has grown over the past five years and made a name for itself as a very relevant and unmissable festival,” said Infinity Festival President Hanno Basse. , who is the technical director of Digital. Domain. “But we are just getting started. As more and more people see the unique value of our integration of entertainment and technology, and more and more industry leaders see it as the place to discuss innovative ideas, we don’t see no limit to what the Infinity Festival can offer.

The festival will also feature mini-summits focused on a variety of topics, including a SoCal Women’s Summit with panels from groups such as Women in Tech Hollywood and MESA, Hollywood’s behind-the-scenes tech trade group. Virtual production, one of the hottest trends in Hollywood video creation, will benefit from an entire workshop sponsored by the Z line of computers and peripherals HP and graphics card maker Nvidia.

“What’s exciting about how the show is developing reflects several trends,” Schwartz said. “The pandemic has accelerated technological innovation and remote working. The democratization of the tools provided by many of our partners, the increased opportunities for creators around the world to have access to these tools, has created a perfect storm in the interest and understanding of the content we reflect at the festival.

Schwartz described several trends transforming Hollywood and highlighted by the show:

  • “Virtual production is a very high priority right now. This completely changes the production pipeline and creates new job opportunities.
  • “Artificial intelligence and its impact on all aspects of media and entertainment.
  • “The Cloud and how it enables many of the remote work solutions that have really sprung up since the pandemic.
  • “Under the Web3 umbrella are certainly NFTs as a fan-engagement (mechanism) but also the virtualization of experiences, whether in VR, (augmented reality), or a mixture of both.
  • “Experimental or immersive venues that take the traditional family entertainment venue to the next level.”

The conference is well-suited to Los Angeles, which not only features all of Hollywood’s studios, but a substantial and growing tech presence, including huge production hubs for Apple.
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TV+/Beats Music, Google/YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix
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whose operations in Los Angeles are largely within a few blocks of Goya Studios, where the conference will take place.

“We really are a show that is a product of Los Angeles and its unique cultural history as the home of Hollywood and adjacent to Silicon Valley,” Schwartz said. “Los Angeles has become the true home of technology solutions for content creation.”

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