Versions is the essential guide to virtual reality and beyond. It investigates the rapidly deteriorating boundary between the real world and the one behind the screen. Versions launched in 2016 at the eponymous conference dedicated to creativity and VR with the New Museum’s incubator NEW INC.

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Paul McCartney brings his music career to life with animated VR

Paul McCartney brings his music career to life with animated VR

It’s rare to get a real glimpse into what goes behind making music. Sure, there are documentaries. There are retrospective biopics. There’s VH1’s often overdramatic series Behind the Music. At times, there’s even intricately detailed liner notes made alongside an album as it was being created. But Paul McCartney, legendary solo musician (and former member of the band that needs no introduction), is a musician that’s remained relatively opaque in his career. That’s changing now, with a six-part virtual reality documentary series to celebrate the release of his 67-track retrospective album PURE McCartney.

No two mini-documentaries are the same, just like McCartney’s music

The VR series, aptly entitled Pure McCartney VR, is a joint venture with Jaunt. In the series, an enthusiastic McCartney leads the viewer step-by-step through notable songs in his discography. As he tells the stories behind the songs, they literally come to life all around you. Animated buses whizz by as McCartney talks about making his way to London in the video about “Dance Tonight.” In “Early Days,” McCartney reminisces about getting his start with his comrades in The Beatles, as a dizzying spectacle of art and light complements his monologue. Each segment is wildly different from the last, and no two mini-documentaries are the same. Just like McCartney’s music.

Pure McCartney VR isn’t Jaunt and McCartney’s first VR venture. Their relationship first blossomed back in August 2014, when McCartney helped bid the Bay Area’s legendary Candlestick Park farewell by performing its very last concert before its demolition. As McCartney played to a sold-out 69,732-seat stadium, Jaunt was there with their nifty 360-degree cameras to capture the set’s climactic moment—a bombastic, fireworks-embellished performance of “Live and Let Die.”

Paul McCartney painting his own name for some nefarious VR purpose.

In an interview with UploadVR, executive producer Lucas Wilson of Pure McCartney VR mused about what separates VR immersion from other forms of media. “We’re used to going to concerts, but very few of us have actually been on stage,” said Wilson. “We’ve grown accustomed to hearing from our favorite artists on social media, but rarely do those words come directly from their mouths. VR is changing all that. It’s the most personal way of connecting with your fans.”

Pure McCartney VR is musical storytelling proudly displayed in a fresh way. It’s McCartney himself being the historian, while the VR works to immerse the viewer into a world unlike their own. One soundtracked by a story and music, and visualized to an encircled degree. Pure McCartney VR is an immersive piece of history, as the viewer can now watch firsthand as McCartney’s anecdotes and memories come to life. In VR, McCartney’s world comes alive, and we’re able to live in it.

You can watch Jaunt VR’s six-part Pure McCartney VR here, where its sixth installment is still incoming.

Photos: Courtesy of Jaunt Studios

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