Wevr’s VR Technology and Creative Network Continues to Lead With the Release Of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 2016
Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit issue is a media event on a massive scale. The issue is essentially a brand unto itself, read by over 60 million people annually, more than a quarter of those women. For men 18-34 it is viewed more than the Super Bowl. This year Sports Illustrated wanted to move the issue into virtual reality so they reached out to Wevr.
We were genuinely intrigued by the possibility of working with Sports Illustrated and Time Inc brands. Whether their Swimsuit Issue or Sportsperson of the Year, this is an iconic brand who wanted to venture into VR. We believe that Wevr is perfectly suited for such an endeavor. We told Sports Illustrated that we could deliver everything they needed to create an immersive experience. In addition, Wevr’s technology could plug into Sports Illustrated’s mobile app and play VR on both IOS and Android as well as merely a mobile phone using the Magic Mirror platform. Wevr’s technology is designed to work on PC desktops and mobile phones for all VR headsets.
One of the signed directors in Wevr’s network is Peter Martin who we had just collaborated with on a groundbreaking VR piece for cutting edge hip-hop duo Run The Jewels. Peter is an Academy Award nominated documentary producer and a recognized pioneer of next generation entertainment. Among his many credits are a CGI animated film starring Nick Cave & PJ Harvey and a virtual fashion show for designer Alexander McQueen.
As an artist who consistently looks for ways to combine cutting edge technology with pop culture, Peter was fascinated by the idea. “I typically only like doing projects that haven’t been done before,” Peter told us. “So the excitement for me was how do you convert an iconic magazine into a VR experience. You really have to invent a new language because it’s not a blank canvas. It’s an existing brand that people know, and transitioning it into VR was an intriguing challenge.”
The resulting experience is everything SI envisioned and more. The audience is totally transported onto an exotic beach with the most beautiful women in the world. The medium’s inherent intimacy is maximized at every turn. As Chris Hercik, Sports Illustrated’s Creative Director, says, “We want our fans to experience Swimsuit on every level. Partnering with Wevr for our first-ever VR shoot allowed us to utilize their best in market technology and creative network to help direct, produce and post produce this one-of-a-kind experience. The partnership was phenomenal from start to finish and allowed us to create the highest quality, fully immersive experience.”
“I think what Wevr brings to the table is this unique understanding of the technology and its use,” director Peter Martin says. “They are probably the best company around to work with as a creative. They bring state of the art technology but they also have a unique ability to communicate with artists. I have a complete alignment with Wevr. We are both pioneers who want to push the medium forward and help it evolve.”