As part of an initiative led by the cultural services of the French Embassy in Canada, with the support of the Consulate General of France in Québec, coordinated by Alliance Française de Vancouver in partnership with Xn Québec, we are proposing a series of portraits of the XR industry in Canada. Through this series of portraits which discuss the history and vision of these companies, we invite you to discover the talents behind the immersive and techno-creative studios listed in our database of XR in Canada.
This portrait of MAMMOTH XR, a studio located in Calgary and specialized in XR, was realized with the help of Fabio Hofnik.
What sets you apart from other companies in Canada?
MAMMOTH XR is an award-winning XR content creation studio. We make custom AR and VR content. Our collective of creatives, futurists, and explorers combines powerful storytelling with innovative technology to create the ultimate audience experiences. Our mission is to create immersive and intuitive experiences that educate, entertain, and inspire while staying true to business objectives.
The key feature that sets us apart is that we are strictly experts in XR mediums. Training companies are incorporating VR but they’re still training companies. Creative agencies are dabbling in AR but they’re still advertising companies. We are an XR company. Our expertise is XR. We combine our expertise of the medium with our partners’ expertise in their industry. As a result, we have created content for energy, agriculture, healthcare, education, training, not-for-profit, and entertainment.
We also spend 20% of our time on internal projects we’re passionate about!
Tell us about some of your past projects
We have not yet worked on any international projects but here are a few projects we had fun working on.
Fairness Works: Refugee Crisis
One of our first projects was a 360 video in collaboration with a local agency that helped shed light on the Syrian refugee crisis and give the user the perspective of what it would be like to be a refugee if a crisis were to happen in North America.
Nutrients for Life
Nutrients for Life is a virtual reality experience designed to teach kids about farming as part of a travelling education installation that reaches around the continent throughout the year. This experience premiered at the Calgary Stampede. It was such a hit that the lineup was so long kids were crying because they didn’t get a chance to play – literally!
Shell Deep Water
This is an interactive 3D model using AR plane functionality. It has interactable hotspots with additional popup information.
Case Study — Challenges and Takeaways
Sammy the Snowman AR installation
Sammy the Snowman is a one-of-a-kind interactive augmented reality experience featured at a mall in Alberta for Christmas 2018. It was the first authentic AR installation that included real-time interactivity with users in the physical space.
Essentially there were four spots in a designated area that we targeted with computer vision. If anyone was standing on that point, it triggered a specific animation. The animation was a sequence of a snowman being built and then magically coming to life.
One of the challenges was that the experience was designed to be an open, standalone installation. The point was for audiences of kids and families to discover it and experiment with how it worked. Only by working together could they build the snowman by standing on the four locations and bring it to life! But our client felt insecure about leaving it unattended. They put ropes up around it and had it staffed with a controlled line. As a result, it was never really implemented the way it was intended and we felt like it was a missed opportunity.
Sammy the Snowman drew over 1500 guests on the first day of its launch, and put more smiles on faces than we could count. Few things make us happier than that
What are your thoughts on international coproduction
One of the biggest advantages is actually just access to more funding bodies. It’s hard to find funding for projects anywhere in the world. Partnerships are enticing for funders and funding bodies often have partnerships of their own. Similarly, access to additional markets is always a huge plus.
And then like any partnerships, the melding of minds is always a wonderful experience. Combining different perspectives and skill sets results in final products that would never otherwise exist. Everyone comes out of the experience with newly developed insights and points of view.
Looking ahead: Why should companies seek you out for co-productions?
We have a full team that is capable of doing everything in-house. We are motivated by passion and cool projects. More than making money, we just like working on cool projects with cool people. If potential partners have a similar mindset, then we would be an outstanding fit.
Our dream projects at this point are leaning towards more XR gaming experiences. One of our favourite things about XR is that it cannot simply be categorized into gaming or filmmaking. It is a new medium with a new language and new tools for storytelling.
It can best be described simply as an experience. Any project that walks that line is of interest to us.
Mapping XR in Canada
Do you want to develop a collaboration with Canada? Discover Canada’s immersive and techno-creative studios by checking out Québec/Canada XR’s living database of XR in Canada.
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