Now you can experience “The Lion King” in virtual reality
Now you can experience “The Lion King” in virtual reality This image released by Disney Theatrical Productions shows Jelany Remy as Simba in the Broadway musical "The Lion King. The Disney stage blockbuster on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, released 360-degree footage of its opening song “Circle of Life” that lets users look left, right, up, backstage and at the audience even when sitting on a couch. (Joan Marcus/ Disney Theatrical Productions via AP/Jerome Delay)
Now you can experience “The Lion King” in virtual reality
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"The Lion King" on Broadway is offering fans a view of the musical that even the very best seat in the theater can't rival.
The Disney stage blockbuster has released 360-degree footage of its opening song. That is "Circle of Life." It lets users look left, right, up, backstage and at the audience, even when sitting on a couch.
"It seemed like a really perfect marriage. A universally known song like 'Circle of Life' being distributed and displayed through a completely new technology that we hope will open up 'The Lion King' to a new generation of theater-goers," said Andrew Flatt.  He is the senior vice president for marketing at Disney Theatrical Group.
The footage was shot at the Minskoff Theatre. That is the home of "The Lion King." It took five takes of the song with all 31 cast members onstage to capture all the footage. Several hundred volunteers and fans cheered. They were sitting in the orchestra seats.
During the filming, the audience members were politely asked not to wave at the cameras. They had to resist the urge to clap at the beginning. And they needed to keep their energy levels up for all five takes.
To create the virtual reality world, some half-dozen GoPro cameras were mounted on a stand. The stand was placed in the center of the stage. The actors then swirled around in their Julie Taymor-created costumes and masks.
The stand also telescoped 20 feet into the air to capture the view as Pride Rock rises up and baby Simba is introduced. Software stitched together the various videos into a seamless, 360-degree view. Call it a circle of life.
Viewers can follow one performer, or look out into the aisles to see elephants arriving, see the conductor and audience faces, or peer backstage to find out what's coming next. It is a thrilling, heady experience.
"I keep turning in different directions and discovering new things," said Flatt. "I hope that the video inspires memories and perhaps brings back to the theater people who've seen the show. But, in the same token, I hope it opens up the eyes of people who never thought 'The Lion King' would be for them."
The footage can be seen free on laptops and desktops via YouTube and Facebook (using cursors to move around the virtual world) or smartphones and tablets (where the screen tracks movement) or special immersive headsets like Samsung's Gear VR and Google Cardboard.
It's part of a wave of immersive videos. They are taking the Internet by storm. So far, such videos have been made of a "Star Wars" planet, the "Saturday Night Live" set, a Bill Clinton tour of East Africa and a LeBron James workout, among others.
The addition of "The Lion King" is noteworthy because, at 18, it is one of the oldest shows on Broadway. But it has embraced technology that's truly cutting edge. It's the first such video ever done in a Broadway theater. Another such video was done for the new musical "School of Rock." But that was shot in a classroom.
"Nothing will replace the actual theatrical experience. We're well aware of that. But I think the way that consumers are trending at the moment is they want to know more. They want to go beyond the surface of something. And that includes the Broadway experience," Flatt said. "That's why the virtual reality platform is groundbreaking."

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Why were five takes required to create the virtual reality experience?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • trinityloly-
    12/04/2015 - 10:22 a.m.

    This article is about a Broadway show "The Lion King"they have released 360 view of the opening song. This is where they have cameras everywhere so you never miss a thing. How they do this is they use several Go Pro cameras placed in several different places to catch the audience, backstage and everything that's happening in the room.

    CTQ: Five takes were probably so that they didn't miss a thing or the audience was too loud.

  • jademoly-
    12/04/2015 - 10:36 a.m.

    The Broadway Disney stage is creating a 360 degrees footage of specific Broadway performances so people can see this and experience them at home or on the go. They do this so people might come to actual performances and to open the eyes of the people who didn't much enjoy "The Lion King".

    CTQ~ Five takes were required to create the virtual reality experience so the could capture everything including the stage, up, down, behind, and left and right. Because most people like to look around when they are somewhere new.

  • hopeholy-
    12/04/2015 - 10:45 a.m.

    This article is about the Lion King show. People want to use technology to give you the full experience of the show on your computer. I don't like this very much because I have been to the Lion King show before and nothing compares to the real thing.

  • cameronb-hor
    12/04/2015 - 11:12 a.m.

    It took five required because they want it to be more advanced. They want more in the shot then the first loin king. They but a GoPro in the front of the stage.

  • isiahholy-
    12/04/2015 - 11:52 a.m.

    its about a brodway preduction of lion king and how the brodway preduction of lion king is created.

  • christophersoly-
    12/04/2015 - 12:00 p.m.

    I thank it would be a little shy at it I do not like it.

  • stormieesoly-
    12/04/2015 - 12:00 p.m.

    Disney stage blockbusters have created a new type of technology with The Lion King. They recorded a 360 degree footage of the song 'The Circle Of Life' and they played it in a theater for the fans to take a "closer look" at the movie. And Disney hopes this brings back memories of the movie Lion King.
    CTQ: There were 5 takes required because their were 31 cast members and get all cast members on stage to capture all the footage.

  • christophersoly-
    12/04/2015 - 12:04 p.m.

    i would be shy because you have to act it and i am scard of crowds.

  • lindseygoly-
    12/04/2015 - 01:13 p.m.

    This is about how The Lion King is on Broadway. It is broadcast and you can watch it on your laptop. They make it by having go-pro cameras all around the stage. It is also shot in a 360 degree angle. I think it would be cool to watch it in this way or in the actual show itself.
    CTQ: Five takes were required to create the virtual reality experience because then they were able to get the whole shot and make sure they captured everything. If they happened to miss something the first time they might get it the second time.

  • emilys-ver
    12/04/2015 - 01:20 p.m.

    I think it is amazing how they used Go Pro cameras to capture the footage because the Go Pros don't capture sound ,so they mustn't added The Circle of Life recording.

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