A Yorkshire company is on the brink of making this ambition become a reality.
The team from Doncaster-based Prox & Reverie is flying to Los Angeles with the aim of kickstarting a new business partnership with Warner Bros which could allow audiences to use virtual reality to step into their favourite story or sports event and meet the characters.
As part of the 5G Futures research and development challenge, the team has developed an idea called INTERCHANGE which is being presented to Warner Bros.
The trade mission will highlight the cutting edge imagination and innovation in Yorkshire, which is part of the XR Stories investment in a new creative cluster.
XR Stories, which comprises the BFI, Screen Yorkshire, University of York, the European Regional Development fund and the Arts Research and Humanities Council, aims to turn Yorkshire into a global centre for developing new ideas in digital storytelling.
Prox & Reverie is owned and managed by ex-Disney executive Alistair Maclean-Clark and Virtual Reality producer and director Martin Taylor.
A spokesman said: “In Doncaster, Prox & Reverie has built an experimental new studio called The Forge that blends cinema, digital and virtual reality storytelling, putting South Yorkshire on the map as a global leader in cinematic world building, industrial application and human insight.”
“The work will connect local talent and put it on a global stage. This is the first stage in building the studio of the future in the town that will combine commercial sound stages with Virtual Production stage alongside a full immersive capability.”
“This world-first doorway system allows for lifelike characters and live interactive motion-captured avatars of fictional and real characters to be created and streamed to multiple users and locations simultaneously in completely life-like environments.”
In the company’s regenerated workspace - the old Art College on Church View, which is close to Doncaster Minster - Prox & Reverie is building applications for organisations ranging from theatre companies which are looking to bring Shakespeare to life to town planners.
The company, which has 15 staff, has been working with XR Stories on projects which develop and enhance new virtual interactions for global partners.
Mr Maclean-Clark added: “We will fly to Los Angeles to present one of these IP projects to Warner Bros.
“During a recent 12-month stealth phase we’ve been collaborating with them to develop a portable physical doorway system capable of connecting worlds, both real and fictional.
"Audiences can step through doorways into their favourite Warner Bros story world or sports event and interact with their favourite characters or stars.
“This project has taken more than two and a half years to develop and has the opportunity to be truly scalable.
He added: "It’s beauty is that it can be used by a plethora of IP owners including branded content, arts and museums or education wanting their audiences to engage with their characters and worlds in a fully immersive way.
“The business model combining delivery of our IP projects and solutions alongside servicing clients, gives our clients access to the latest technology and applications and to our highly experienced in-house team.”
Prox & Reverie is a key part of a digital ecosystem, combining LightForge Academy (training in Film/TV/VFX/Games and Immersive), Kudos QA (quality assurance testing for games and websites) and Firebrand VFX (a visual effects facility).
A spokesman said: “As a business P&R is keen to hire locally wherever possible and has secured 90% of our 15-person workforce from South Yorkshire.”
“We see training young talent as a key part of our model, and we aim to connect local talent to a global, creative tech world with many exciting career opportunities.”