Immersive EntertainmentReviewRole PlayScience Fiction

ALITA: Battle Angel

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ALITA: Battle Angel

THE FINAL WORD:
  • As a journalist that has experienced many “immersive” experiences, this one definitely stands well above many.

    “An angel falls, a warrior rises.”

    Alita: Battle Angel is the new epic sci-fi adventure film based on a popular manga and created with a slew of Hollywood heavyweights. Robert Rodríguez directed the film, James Cameron wrote the screenplay and Jon Landau produced it. The film’s diverse cast includes; Mahershala Ali, Rosa Salazar, Eiza González, Lana Condor, Jennifer Connelly and Christoph Waltz.

    Alita takes place in the year 2563, 300 years after war creates a societal collapse. Alita (Rosa Salazar), a discarded cyborg, is found by Dr. Ido (Christoph Waltz). As Alita begins her new life in Iron City she slowly realizes she has unique fighting skills that make her a target for the corrupt leaders of the city.

    Behind the scenes of the immersive world of Passport to Iron City. Photo: Jennifer E. Ortega.

    Behind the scenes of the immersive world of Passport to Iron City. Photo: Jennifer E. Ortega.

    To celebrate the opening of the film on February 14th, 2019, 20th Century Fox partnered with creative production company, iam8bit and media and entertainment firm, The Seelig Group, to create a truly immersive experience. ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL – PASSPORT TO IRON CITY opens in Los Angeles, Austin and New York on January 26th, 2019. Passport to Iron City thrusts visitors 500 plus years into the future and into Alita’s world. Visitors fully experience a world created by Robert Rodríguez and James Cameron. Producer Jon Landau explains it as, “Iron City is as exhilarating as it is diverse. Passport to Iron City will allow visitors to experience the world of Alita: Battle Angel on a first hand interactive basis. Iam8bit has created a unique and engaging experience that will entertain everyone, including those that have seen and have not seen the movie.”

    I was able to attend a preview of Passport and it was quite an experience! When you first enter you are given a nifty badge with your name and picture on it and placed on a team. I was on the green team. Go green team! You then enter the Kansas bar, which is an exact replica from the film. There you can choose from wine or special edition beers inspired by Los Angeles, Austin and New York (My heart belongs to Los Angeles, but the New York beer was way better). If the experience ended at the bar I would have already been impressed. I felt like I was in some sort of cyber punk version of the cantina in Star Wars. The production value was amazing and included props from the film.

    Iron City Name Tag. Photo: Jennifer E. Ortega.

    Iron City Name Tag. Photo: Jennifer E. Ortega.

    After libations and meeting my other teammates that included my fellow journalist, Rick Hong, we were led to the main room, the main event. Basically, iam8bit has recreated the streets of Iron City. Teams go to different stations to play a variety of games. The goal is to increase your credits. After an hour or so the team with the most credits are the winners. The cast of characters that litter Iron City are unique, fun and always stay in character. I think my favorites had to be the taxi driver that told riddles and wore a red beret and Yoko Ono-esque glasses and the gruff man with feathers behind his left ear guarding a van. All the games were fun. I excelled in the game that involved smelling oils (I used to work in fragrances so I might have had an advantage there) and I loved the room that was filled with old keyboards adorned with lights and gadgets. I was awful at that game, but I loved it! The experience is capped off with a chance to bet some of your credits on a game of Motor Ball. While green team didn’t win, we did manage to come in 3rd place out of 9 and we’ll still be number one in my heart!

    LATIN HORROR's Jennifer E. Ortega at Iron City's KANSAS Bar. Photo: Rick Hong.

    LATIN HORROR’s Jennifer E. Ortega at Iron City’s KANSAS Bar. Photo: Rick Hong.

    Overall, you could immediately tell the amount of work that went into creating Passport to Iron City. It is as close to being on a movie set without actually being on a movie set. It is a fully engaging experience. You truly feel like you’re in the vision of James Cameron and Rodríguez. It’s like a little entryway into their minds. If you’re a fan of sci-fi or Rodríguez or James Cameron, absolutely check it out. As a journalist that has experienced many “immersive” experiences, this one definitely stands well above many.

    As a journalist that has experienced many “immersive” experiences, this one definitely stands well above many.

    For more information & to obtain tickets, go to: www.AlitaExperience.com

    About Alita: Battle Angel

    From visionary filmmakers James Cameron (AVATAR) and Robert Rodríguez (SIN CITY), comes ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, an epic adventure of hope and empowerment. When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers instead to help trigger her memories. But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city come after Alita that she discovers a clue to her past – she has unique fighting abilities that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she’s grown to love.

    About iam8bit

    Founded in 2005, iam8bit is a creative production company that refuses to be pigeonholed, having crafted unique and memorable experiences for a broad spectrum of brands like HBO, Nintendo, PlayStation, Microsoft, Capcom, Bethesda, Disney, MTV, Universal, Interscope, Warner Bros. and countless others. These attentively cultivated experiences come in many forms — from community and ticketed events to one-of-a-kind mailers and filmic content. In addition, iam8bit is known for developing and manufacturing unique, limited merchandise for video game, movie and TV brands, from Collector’s Editions to vinyl soundtracks and beyond. The company is co-owned by Jon M. Gibson and Amanda White, and is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA.

    About The Seelig Group

    The Seelig Group (TSG) is a private media and entertainment principal investment and advisory firm founded in 2012 by a group of successful and experienced entrepreneurs, executives, and investors. TSG and its principals have been partners with Fox Filmed Entertainment for over 10 years. TSG aims to be a pioneer in exploiting filmed entertainment, including in its role as executive producer, leveraging narrative analysis and creating immersive events.

    Jennifer E. Ortega
    Jennifer is a host, producer, screenwriter and journalist based in Los Angeles. She is known for her humor, pop culture knowledge, candor and authenticity that make her on-camera interviews stand out. As an entertainment journalist, Jennifer has published film & television reviews, exclusive interviews and event coverage for various online publications. As a screenwriter, Jennifer has written pilots, screenplays and has acted as a story consultant. She originally got her start working for an esteemed producer in New York and went on to work in television production for various reality shows. Jennifer is a true Valley Girl, born and raised in Encino and will be happy to talk about the wonders of the Valley for hours on end. She also really loves Twin Peaks & Matzah Ball soup.

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