In Charlie Kaufman/Spike Jones’ Being John Malkovich, sad non-celebrities are given the opportunity to go inside the mind of a somewhat random celebrity — John Malkovich — and “see what he sees, feel what he feels.” The experience exhilarates people who get to, for example, be present inside John Malkovich as he selects new towels from a catalog and eats Chinese leftovers. Though Paul McCartney may be a bit more of an icon, and though presumably it’ll focus on slightly less prosaic experiences and its viewers will thus be less sad, a just-announced “virtual reality documentary series” titled PURE McCartney VR — in which Paul McCartney will talk about his music from the comfort of his home… in a 360 degree VR format — immediately brought the former film to mind.
The Hollywood Reporter announced that the series, directed by Tony Kaye and produced by the virtual reality startup Jaunt, is premiering today surrounding the upcoming release of the Pure McCartney compilation album — featuring 67 songs from McCartney’s post-Beatles career — on June 10. (Knowing the title of the VR experience comes from that makes it all sound a lot less creepy.) The series features the former Beatle telling stories about specific tracks and sharing never-before-seen archival footage. Each part of the 6-part series will focus on one song (each from his solo career) — the first two, released today, are “Dance Tonight” and “Coming Up,” then on May 31, “My Valentine” Part 1, followed by “My Valentine” Part 2 on June 7, “Mull of Kintyre” on June 10 and finally “Early Days” on June 14. These will all be available to watch on the Jaunt VR App, available on Android, OS, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive and Desktop 360.
The L.A. Times quotes a statement from Jaunt, in which the company described the experience as “allowing fans to embark on a personal journey with Paul” as he walks “people through how these songs came to be and some of the emotions and personal experiences that led to the creation of the songs and the original music videos associated with them.” Jaunt Studios President Cliff Plumer says:
We used to see artists connect with their fans through album covers and liner notes, but that personal expression, and deeper understanding of the music, has diminished over the years… With virtual reality, Paul McCartney is taking the most innovative step yet; he’s connecting directly with his fans, to share his innermost thoughts and experiences, in an entirely new, personal and immersive way.