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
Lexile: 1070L

Assign to Google Classroom

"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 "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 in the orchestra seats.
During the filming, the audience members were politely asked not to wave at the cameras, resist the urge to clap at the beginning and 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 and 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."

Source URL:

Filed Under:  
Assigned 62 times
Why were five takes required to create the virtual reality experience?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • mikaylaz.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 09:31 a.m.

    The five takes were required to make the full experience feel real and to make sure that they got enough footage.

  • delainnab.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 09:33 a.m.

    Five takes were required so they get every detail of the scene.

  • caseyw.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 09:33 a.m.

    So they could get all views.

  • masons.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 09:39 a.m.

    So they could get all sides of the performance

  • madilynm.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 09:41 a.m.

    Why they took five takes was took make sure that they could get every part of the scene and put it live on TV

  • isaact.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 09:44 a.m.

    I love the movie lion king.Its the best Disney movie ever.

  • calebt.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 09:44 a.m.

    I need to try that.

  • nylej.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 09:48 a.m.

    I want to watch the lion King and school of rock today.

  • tatumh.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 09:50 a.m.

    I would love to see this great new reality of the lion king I know it'll be the best

  • gagec.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 09:55 a.m.

    I did not know that they did all that to make that movie.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment