Disney+ debuts AR short film
The Future. Disney+ is testing augmented reality capabilities with a new short film called “Remembering.” Audiences can experience the world of the film outside of the confines of their TV screens by accessing AR capabilities via an app, opening up new entertainment opportunities. For now, the AR elements can’t be interacted with, but adding that capability may create a new kind of storytelling altogether.
“Remembering” the future
TechCrunch dives into Disney+’s first AR short film.
- “Remembering,” starring Brie Larson, follows a writer trying to recall an idea after she was interrupted by a phone call. Her inner child goes on a quest in “The World of Imagination” in order to find it.
- The eight-minute short features an in-movie AR component that can be accessed via the “Remembering: The AR Experience” iOS app.
- As you’re watching the short, an audio cue alerts your iPhone or iPad that the AR component is coming up, prompting you to raise your device toward the screen.
- Through the device, you’ll be able to see “a waterfall flowing down to the floor as well as dolphins, butterflies, trees, foliage, glowing flowers and other wondrous digital elements.”
“Remembering” was written and directed by Elijah Allan-Blitz, who also produced with Larson through their company, The Great Unknown Productions. The team won an Emmy in 2020 for a VR series titled The Messy Truth.
New dreams, fresh streams
Almost every major Hollywood studio and streamer has dabbled with AR in the past couple of years, but Disney’s “Remembering” app is the first of its kind to connect directly to content on a streaming service. Disney told TechCrunch that it’s an experiment to see if adding optional AR features “enhances” the viewing experience.
And if it can enhance the viewing experience, it may also be able to enhance subscriber growth. It’s what every service is after these days: Netflix is experimenting with interactive storytelling and live streaming, Paramount+ is bundling with Walmart, and Amazon is testing multiple commentary tracks for live sports.
The streaming ecosystem allows for experimentation. You never know what can be a hit.