During the last eight years, Rendering Moments has become an integral part of large events on Earth. Through the use of 360 cameras and audio capture, “Renderers” have filmed and broadcasted weddings and other gatherings in real time to millions of invited virtual guests. This technology is now heading to Mars, through a partnership with Dispersion and Copeland Winery.
Sasha Martinez and Kevin Baker started their company, Rendering Moments, soon after graduating from Stanford in 2036. Both founders were computer science majors and amateur event photographers/videographers, usually hired for campus events; however, the team soon realized that they could leverage their photography and computer science skillsets to professionally capture events using more immersive technologies.
“After both of us attended a friend’s wedding in Napa, Kevin and I were struck by how many videographers were at the wedding. We realized that some of these videographers were trying to livestream the wedding to the bride and groom’s friends and family around the world. In fact, the groom’s grandparents lived in Kenya and couldn’t fly to California to the wedding due to their health conditions. As a result, the grandparents partook in the festivities via a one-way livestream,” explains Martinez.
Martinez highlights that this one-way livestream experience was “rudimentary in nature. It wasn’t any different from watching a wedding video the day after the wedding takes place, since there was no interaction with or between the virtual guests. In addition, the production level of these streams was atrocious—throttled by the Wi-Fi speed and the use of smartphones camera and other non-purpose built cameras.” Martinez and Baker realized that they can create and offer a better event livestreaming experience by developing a unique platform that used newer video/audio technologies, on-site connectivity support, and better video and audio production team.
The team built custom video and audio rigs and a streaming platform to seamlessly push live video to a virtual event audience on a suite of devices: mobile, television, desktop, and virtual reality. In addition, the platform allows for these virtual guests to engage in conversations and interact with other virtual guests. This interaction can take place through chat, text, or Virtual/Augmented reality conversations. Baker says “virtual reality is the best way to take part in a wedding. For example, invited virtual guests livestream particular areas of the venue by moving the reference camera along a simulated map of the wedding.”
Rendering Moments also places a significant emphasis on accurate audio capture. “In the wedding videos that we saw before, we noticed that audio was never a top priority—poor audio capture often led to wedding videographers playing some generic music on top of the video footage. As a viewer, we want to be part of the event as much as possible. Without hearing the noise, commotion of the wedding—the laughter, jokes being made—the attendees lose much of the experience” highlights Baker.
Close to a decade after starting the company, Rendering Moments has become a global operation, hosting around 250 events per day, around Earth. Despite the premium cost of the service (livestream packages start at $20000 USD), Rendering Moments may actually be less expensive than inviting dozens of people to a wedding or event, but also giving these virtual guests the option to become part of the event at their own convenience.
The company is now looking to expand their operation to the Red Planet. Rendering Moments has partnered with Copeland Winery and Dispersion, in order to stream (with varying latency between the planets) weddings and other events on Mars to guests on both planets. This new platform, called Rendering Moments on Mars, is launching in conjunction with the grand opening of Copeland Winery’s new event space, La Playa—the largest event space on Mars.
For the first time, Rendering Moments on Mars built its 360 video and audio technology into the permanent walls and fixtures of La Playa. By embedding into the physical event space at the winery, Rendering Moments on Mars can provide a much more immersive experience, all the while eliminating the cost of set up and removal of the video, audio, and streaming equipment. Rendering Moments calls this 360 video/audio physical integration, Enabled—the company has 30 more Enabled event spaces on Earth that are opening in the next three months.
Ayesha Copeland, founder of Copeland Winery, says that “the integration with Rendering Moments on Mars has allowed us to offer something unique to our Martian guests: the ability to share their special moments with friends and family on both Earth and Mars. The ability to share our most human and meaningful moments on Mars, using these new technologies, gives settlers a deeper sense of connection with their friends and family who are far away on the Blue Planet.”
To inaugurate the event space, Copeland Winery will be hosting their first wedding in La Playa on SOL 180.