Augmented reality (AR) has come of age and found its way into movie promotions.
For upcoming film “Welcome to Marwen,” Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation created an AR app to deliver “the first-ever 3D digital recreation of a movie scene.”
The film is based on the true story of artist Mark Hogancamp (played by Steve Carell), who is violently attacked and loses his memory. Hogancamp creates the imaginary world of a miniature Belgian town called Marwen populated by life-like dolls and action figures—and casts himself as a war hero.
Welcome to hope. Welcome to healing. Welcome to Marwen. From the groundbreaking director of Forrest Gump, watch the new #WelcomeToMarwen trailer – In theaters this Christmas. pic.twitter.com/F4uT2oRBef
— #WelcomeToMarwen (@marwenmovie) November 29, 2018
“Welcome to Marwen” shows that “when your only weapon is your imagination…you’ll find courage in the most unexpected place.”
The trailer for the new Robert Zemeckis film (director of “Forrest Gump” and the “Back to the Future” trilogy) uses AR to display a scaled-down recreation of a scene from the film with intricately detailed set pieces and animated 3D characters.
The app, which is available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play, lets fans review the scene in a 3D model of a town square created by the protagonist to heal and recover. It also and enables users to snap a photo inside Marwen to share as a digital postcard while perusing photo galleries, character bios and behind-the-scenes content.
As Hogancamp constructs a new life with pieces from the past and the AR present, he transforms to Captain Hogie, a World War II fighter pilot and gathers strength to carry on in the non-augmented real world.
— #WelcomeToMarwen (@marwenmovie) November 30, 2018
The AR app “lets viewers see scenes from different angles and pause the action to take snapshots in two aspect ratios, as Carrell’s character does in the movie,” reports Mobile Marketer. “It combines a computer-generated reality with a smartphone user’s real surroundings to dramatize the movie’s themes and introduce key characters to movie fans ahead of the December premiere.”
Watch the first-ever scene from a movie in 3D augmented reality! Download the Welcome to Marwen AR app in the app store, brought to you by Robert Zemeckis and #WelcomeToMarwen, in theaters this Christmas.
App Store: https://t.co/TkWKCW18yH
— Cinemark Theatres (@Cinemark) November 29, 2018
AR has been trending in movie promotions and video game tie-ins this year, spurred by Google and Apple’s release of software tools for developers to create immersive smartphone experiences—meeting today’s mobile-first movie audiences where they are.
— #WelcomeToMarwen (@marwenmovie) November 21, 2018
Universal created a Jurassic World Alive AR game on Facebook for the DVD release of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”
And Sony Pictures is promoting “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” with a mobile web AR experience that requires no app download.
Thomas P Caudell, a Boeing engineer coined the phrase “augmented reality” in 1990, but arguably, the first concept of augmented reality occurred in a Frank L Baum novel written in 1901 where electronic glasses mapped data onto people and was called a “character marker.”
AR has come of age and found its way into movie promotions—in this case, an augmented reality within an augmented reality.