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ABC releases immersive, 360 virtual reality experiences for 'CMA Fest'


Tue, Aug 15th 2017 12:40 pm
Including full performances from Dierks Bentley, Cole Swindell & Brett Eldredge
For the first time, ABC and the Country Music Association are taking "CMA Fest" - the ultimate fan experience showcasing performances from country music's hottest stars - to the next level with the release of full performances from Dierks Bentley with Cole Swindell and Brett Eldredge in virtual reality on ABC Facebook and YouTube channels, and via Littlstar's app for headsets and mobile devices.
Bentley and Swindell will perform "Flatliner," and Eldredge "Somethin' I'm Good At." A state-of-the-art 360 trailer is live HERE. Now in its 13th year on ABC, "CMA Fest" airs Wednesday, Aug. 16 (8 p.m. EDT).
Produced by ABC Entertainment Marketing Studios, CMA and Nokia's cameras, including the award-winning OZO+, were embedded into the show production at Nissan Stadium during CMA Music Festival in Nashville, where the concert special was filmed, giving viewers at home the chance to experience the massive music event from the stadium floor, back of the stage, front row and center stage.
The post-process was completed in-house at ABC entertainment marketing, where Nokia's OZO+ Creator software played an integral role in creating a seamless 360-degree image. A computer-generated stage display was built, allowing for the incorporation of traditional aspect-ratio footage into the 360 environments. This groundbreaking graphics work was also done in-house by ABC entertainment marketing's design team.
"This was a great partnership all around and part of ABC's continuing emphasis on providing new and engaging ways for our viewers to enjoy our content," said Bob Schefferine, vice president of ABC entertainment marketing production. "Together we are creating an experience that transcends even the best seats in the house, putting fans right on stage in front of tens of thousands of fans."
"CMA Music Festival is unique in the sense of the access that fans get to artists, so to partner with ABC and Nokia to offer an even more personal experience via the TV special, as though viewers were there live, is exciting," said CMA CMO Damon Whiteside. "CMA continues to set the industry standard for innovation while also creating memorable experiences for the fans."
The "CMA Fest" collaboration is ABC entertainment marketing's third VR production. It has had two groundbreaking executions with ABC's hit show "Dancing with the Stars." Last year, the team created an experience that enabled fans to join the pro dancers and troupe members on the ballroom floor for a disco-themed dance. Most recently, it simulcast the entire one-hour finale with a unique, live multicamera 360-degree video internet broadcast, marking the first time for a live VR-cast of a primetime TV show.
Additionally, ABC Digital Media Studios has also done innovative VR executions for "Quantico," "Nashville," "Disneyland 60" and The Oscars. The ABC News team has done reporting from such far away and hard-to-access places as North Korea, Syria, Vietnam and Tanzania.
Stay connected with CMA on CMAfest.com, Facebook.com/CMA, Twitter.com/countrymusic, Instagram.com/CMA, and "CMAsnaps" on Snapchat.

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