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M. Night Shyamalan, Canon Team on Knock at the Cabin Experience  

The potential of immersive content is a key theme this week at CES, and demonstrating his interest in the subject, director M. Night Shyamalan took the stage at Canon’s press conference on Wednesday to introduce several unique experiences that he created in collaboration with the tech developer. They aim to allow CES attendees to step into his upcoming Universal thriller, Knock at the Cabin, when the CES exhibition floor opens on Thursday.

These experiences are enabled by featured Canon technology, including its Free Viewpoint video system, MReal mixed reality headset, Kokomo VR software and remote collaboration tool AMLOS.

Using an array of Canon Cinema EOS-based 4K cameras and lenses, the Free Viewpoint system captures volumetric camera data to create point cloud-based 3D models that can be used to reproduce various viewpoints. This was used to create a way for CES attendees to view an action scene from Knock at the Cabin from four different character perspectives. The experience was supervised by Shyamalan and shot at Canon’s volumetric video studio in Japan.

“Storytelling for me is completely being in the character’s shoes. So being able to juxtapose your viewpoint of something that’s happening and my viewpoint as something is happening is the beautiful part [of what the technology can do],” the director tells  . “[With] four different views of the same scene from the movie … you get to experience four different emotions of the same incident, which I found very cool and very interesting. The totality of those four emotions gave you a deeper feeling of the event that happened.”

The Free Viewpoint system is aimed at uses in locations from studios to stadiums, and has already been installed at two NBA arenas, the Cavaliers’ Rocket Mortgage Field House in Cleveland and the Nets’ Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Canon suggested that the video could be broadcast live and also compiled into replay clips.

A second Knock at the Cabin experience, using Canon’s MReal lightweight mixed reality headset, allows viewers to watch a break-in scene from from the movie as if they are a character. Canon said users could interact with virtual furniture and other objects in order to barricade themselves.

Enabling what is effectively a 3D video call when combined with a compatible VR headset and smartphone, Canon’s Kokomo VR software is used to allow CES visitors to put on a VR headset and step into a conversation with a character from Knock at the Cabin, which opens Feb. 3.

Finally, with AMLOS, CES attendees may connect with a rep from the Philadelphia set of Knock at the Cabin to “investigate the aftermath” of events from the movie. Canon reported that it worked with Shyamalan to develop clues that are placed throughout the space. AMLOS was also used as a collaboration tool in making these experiences.

Canon USA president and CEO Kazuto Ogawa said he hopes to work with more filmmakers on experiences such as these. “Canon’s ultimate role is to bring people closer together by revealing endless opportunities for creators,” he said.

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