Oscar-winning film composer A R Rahman’s multi-sensory virtual reality film LeMusk has been nominated for the Producers Guild of America’s for the 2023 PGA Innovation Award ahead of the 34th Annual Producers Guild Awards. The PGA Innovation Award recognizes the production of a noteworthy, impactful new media program that significantly elevates the audience’s viewing experience. AR Rahman’s directorial debut LeMusk incorporates scent into a unique cinematic sensory experience.
ARR Studios produced the film in collaboration with Ideal Entertainment and Intel as co-producers, as well as Thenandal Studio and PalaniAndavar Holdings as associate producers. Gurachi Phoenix wrote the screenplay and AR Rahman composed the music for Le Musk.
The recipient of the 2023 PGA Innovation Award, as well as the PGA Award-winners of the Short Form category, will be announced the Nominee Celebration Event on the evening of February 23rd in Los Angeles, and highlighted at the PGA Awards ceremony on the evening of Saturday, February 25, 2023 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The award honors exceptional distinctiveness, inventiveness, and the impact of the submitted work in expanding the conventions of program format, content, audience interaction, production technique and delivery. This year’s nominees highlight access to historic moments, seamless application of AR/VR, and emotionally immersive experiences. The jury noted industry-wide emphasis on gaming, virtual togetherness, and mass adoption of innovative technology.
This is undoubtedly a proud occasion for India’s AR Rahman because and LeMusk is recognised as a nominee for the first time at the premier global innovation award recognised by the PGA defining the power of storytelling and technology.
Nominees for the 2023 PGA Innovation Award are listed below in alphabetical order. The PGA will honor the program as a whole, rather than the individual producers. As such, the producers of these programs are not required to go through the awards eligibility determination process.
2023 PGA Innovation Award Nominees:
Dance Monsters (Lime Pictures)
Experience Yosemite (CityLights)
Ghostbusters VR Academy (HOLOGATE)
LeMusk – A Cinematic Sensory Experience (Intel Corporation)
Lustration (New Canvas)
On The Morning You Wake (To the End of the World) (ASTREA)
OXYMORE by Jean-Michel Jarre (VRROOM)
PerfectoVerse (Watch and Play)
Stay Alive, My Son (UME Studios)
Stranger Things Immersive Watch Party (Sawhorse Productions)
Verizon Pepsi Halftime Ultra Pass (R/GA)
Programs released between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022 were eligible for the honor. Entries were vetted by a nominating committee, co-chaired this year by Eric Shamlin and John Canning, and reviewed and voted-on by a blue-ribbon jury of experts.
Le Musk, which can only be experienced in VR motion seats particularly developed for the film to blend virtual reality with motion, music, aroma, and haptics, also opens new avenues for collaboration between Hollywood and the Indian creative industry that has recently been at the forefront of producing stunning films for the global audience using cutting-edge technologies that redefine cinematic experience.
With scent being the key to unlocking the story, Le Musk is immersive, pathbreaking and unparalleled as it marks a new frontier in cinema. Earlier, the World Premiere of Le Musk took place at the Cannes XR, which was part of the 75th Cannes Film Festival, to a sold-out audience.
To watch LeMusk, the viewer has to watch the film in specialized chairs built by Positron with headsets and top gear earphones. The Positron chairs rotate the viewer from scene to scene to in a VR space.
Punctuated by scent, motion and music, LeMusk is a feature that ushers new ground in art and technology, merging worlds, mediums and cultures. The 36-minute film features a global star cast comprising Hollywood actress Nora Arnezeder (Army of the Dead) and Guy Burnet (Oppenheimer) in lead roles, joined by Munirih Grace and Mariam Zohrabyan from Armenia. The film, where technology meets the storytellers, constructs a compelling world of music, motion and scent, following the journey of an orphaned heiress and musician, who grows up to be a woman on a mission. Despite her tumultuous life, she has one constant companion – the lingering Muskan scent.
Centering an unforgettable protagonist in Arnezeder’s Juliet, Le Musk is an ode to music and memory. The movie is a potent portrait ofa woman spurned by the oldest, most treacherous quest of humankind — revenge.
The idea for Le Musk was born out of director Rahman’s conversation with his wife Saira Rahman. The partners share a love for perfume and wished to employ scent as a narrative device in immersive cinema. They tapped into the infinite possibilities posed by immersive VR soon after their exchange. Gradually, the world and characters of Le Musk took shape in the artist’s mind.
Shot in Rome, Le Musk is a technical masterpiece with inter-disciplinary expertise coming together from around the world. Shot on 14 different cameras capture super-resolution quality video. Post-produced in stereoscopic 360 VR workflow at higher resolution and frame rate, Le Musk’s was finished by 10 VFX houses from around the world with close to a Petabyte of data.
The Innovation Award was first introduced in 2019, when the PGA awarded the inaugural prize to the team behind “Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series – Episode 1.” In 2022, the team behind “For All Mankind: Time Capsule,” an AR app created by Apple to promote the second season of “For All Mankind,” was honored with the award. In 2023, this Award continues to highlight progress in the industry and the Guild’s commitment to recognizing innovation in storytelling.
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