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Award-Winning Virtual Reality Studio Wevr Adds Tribeca Selection EXTRAVAGANZA to Transport Platform

  (October 12, 2017)
Award-Winning Virtual Reality Studio Wevr Adds Tribeca Selection EXTRAVAGANZA to Transport Platform

Wevr, the award-winning virtual reality studio and content distributor, today announced the addition of EXTRAVAGANZA, the satirical virtual reality short directed by Ethan Shaftel, to its Transport platform. This marks the first public release of the acclaimed experience, which premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival's Virtual Arcade and Cannes Film Festival's Marche du Film “NEXT" VR programs. EXTRAVAGANZA is available to download on Wevr Transport today for Samsung Gear VR.

EXTRAVAGANZA mixes 3D animation and live-action footage into a hilariously immersive short that stars Paul Scheer (30 Rock, The League, Fresh Off the Boat), John Gemberling (Broad City, Marry Me), Will Greenberg (Wrecked, Workaholics) and Annie Tedesco (Granite Flats, NCIS). The experience sees the viewer become a puppet trapped in a stunningly offensive puppet show, performing for a clueless executive (Scheer). Confronted with his glaringly obvious blind spots and prejudices, EXTRAVAGANZA asks - can technology change society for the better, or does it just magnify our worst traits in new ways?

“The moment we first saw EXTRAVAGANZA, we knew it'd be right at home on Transport," said Wevr co-founder and EVP, Anthony Batt. “Shaftel blends the perfect combination of charm, wit, and humor into a uniquely immersive narrative that pushes the VR industry forward, and that's exactly the kind of brave content Wevr is all about."

"VR is intimate, sometimes shockingly so," said Ethan Shaftel, writer and director of EXTRAVAGANZA. “We ask the viewer to step inside the story's world in a way that traditional cinema does not, and that makes them vulnerable. I wanted to push buttons with the imagery and commentary, but I learned we had to balance that with support and camaraderie from the other characters. Being on Wevr Transport is huge for us, because it means we get to share this world with the loyal audience they've built through a steady stream of boundary-pushing VR films."

When asked his thoughts on working in virtual reality, Paul Scheer simply replied, “I love working in virtual reality because I know some day computers are going to take over, so this is a sure fire way to keep me in their good graces."

The addition of EXTRAVAGANZA to Transport follows Wevr's recent acquisitions of IF NOT LOVE, a tragic account of the consequences of hatred and intolerance, written and directed by renowned writer and director, Rose Troche (Go Fish, The L Word); Auto, a speculative fiction about the problematic role of a “safety driver" in a future self-driving taxi from filmmaker Steven Schardt (Humpday, Your Sister's Sister, and Treatment); and Apex, the darkly beautiful apocalyptic experience from artist and musician Arjan van Meerten, which premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival's Virtual Arcade.

EXTRAVAGANZA was created using MAXON's Cinema 4D software and CV-VR dedicated plug-in for rendering virtual reality content.

To learn more about Wevr Transport, please visit

About Wevr
Wevr creates award-winning VR experiences and is the studio behind Wevr Transport™, an independent virtual reality content network for VR creators and their audiences. Wevr's flagship title, theBlu: Season 1, is a top selling room-scale VR experience from director Jake Rowell, and is lauded as one of VR's “must-do" experiences. Wevr's content has been featured at Sundance Film Festival, Cinequest, and Tribeca Film Festival, which this year saw the debut of Arjan van Meerten's apocalyptic music video, Apex. Other popular experiences include Jon Favreau's Gnomes & Goblins (co-produced with Reality One), Deepak Chopra's Finding Your True Self, Run The Jewels' Crown, Reggie Watt's Waves, Samsung and Skybound Entertainment's GONE, and Adult Swim's Virtual Brainload. Wevr was founded by Neville Spiteri, Anthony Batt, and Scott Yara, and is based in Venice, California.

About Ethan Shaftel
Ethan's work bridges cinema, interactive design, and immersive media. His VR film EXTRAVAGANZA is a mix of live-action and 3D starring comedian Paul Scheer, which premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.

Before VR, Ethan created dozens of immersive media projects including a room-sized video installation for Nike, animated parade floats for Disneyland Tokyo, and live-action and animated screen content for artists such as Rihanna, Beyonce, Jay Z, Stevie Wonder, and many more.

Ethan's work as a director and writer in traditional film includes SUSPENSION, a science fiction feature distributed by Warner Bros, plus award-winning shorts and music videos including Vimeo Staff Pick and festival favorite FLESH COMPUTER. In the interactive realm, he developed games for Hasbro and Fox as the founding creative director of a successful LA-based game startup.

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