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Randal Kleiser Releases Virtual Reality Series 'Defrost'

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Randal Kleiser Releases Virtual Reality Series 'Defrost'

Director Randal Kleiser's experimental 12-episode virtual reality series Defrost was released today for download or streaming on select VR headsets, including Oculus Go, Oculus Rift, Mi VR and Pico VR.

It's a self-financed project made with stereoscopic 3D and 3D spatial sound. Tech-savvy writer-director Kleiser (Grease) debuted the pilot in 2015 and then produced a complete series. Episodes were previewed at events such as Sundance, Cannes and Comic-Con. Kleiser produced the series with Tanna Frederick.

The episodes, about five minutes each, are told through the eyes of Joan Garrison, a woman who wakes up in 2045 after being cryogenically frozen for 30 years and is reunited with her family. The cast includes Harry Hamlin, Carl Weathers, Veronica Cartwright, Christopher Atkins, Bruce Davidson and Frederick.

"It's a first-person experience," explained Kleiser when the pilot debuted in 2015. He filmed the pilot with a dummy of Joan's body placed in a wheelchair, with a 360-degree VR camera in the position of her head, allowing the viewer to follow the story as Joan. Kleiser himself appears as the hospital employee pushing the wheelchair, which effectively allowed him to serve as camera operator while directing.

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Variety:  Randal Kleiser’s Sci-Fi Virtual Reality Drama ‘Defrost’ Debuts at Sundance (Exclusive)

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Variety: Randal Kleiser’s Sci-Fi Virtual Reality Drama ‘Defrost’ Debuts at Sundance (Exclusive)

Years before Randal Kleiser started working on his hit musical “Grease”, he wrote a Sci-Fi screen play about cryogenic life extension. The idea: A woman gets woken up from decades of sub-zero temperature suspension, to find herself confronted with a much older family, some very advanced technology and a nagging suspicion that some things just don’t feel right. Kleiser wanted the whole film to play out from the protagonist’s point of view, but never really got a chance to do so. The script disappeared in a drawer, and remained forgotten for decades.

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Tanna Frederick - DEFROST, A Virtual Reality Short Movie Breaking the 4th Wall

Tanna Frederick, award-winning actress of film and theater has produced a state of the art 360-degree Virtual Reality movie, Defrost, that pulls the viewer into an emotional immersive experience, unlike seeing a movie on the big screen. With the use of Samsung Gear VR goggles, Defrost is one of the first attempts in the industry to tell a narrative story with the 360-degree technology.  Frederick said, “Producing this project with the new technology is an attempt to create an emotional experience. The audience follows the first person point of view of Joan Garrison who wakes up after 30 years of being frozen for medical reasons. She feels trapped. She is just seeing life again for first time. We go on the journey through her awakening by following her perspective as she is being wheeled down the hallway.” 

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