Emmy award-winning producer Neil Mandt and media veteran Lauren Mandt believe that true crime is the most popular genre of content which led them to create CrimeDoor, an augmented reality app that recreates crime scenes.
Neil has several years of experience in writing, directing, and producing video content during his time in media. Apart from being a five-time Emmy award-winning producer, director, and technology entrepreneur, he was also a reporter in Detroit and a producer for ABC.
“I was in charge of the O.J. Simpson criminal trial, most notably, and the Oklahoma City bombing. Then, I came to Hollywood [and] started writing and directing feature films.”
Lauren has amassed enormous experience in spa and fashion marketing.
“Neil and I met and combined forces. I was able to bring what I learned in marketing and branding to his production company.”
Neil found a calling for immersive media, which imitates the physical world through digital simulation after a decade-long run in television that included producing the Olympics, Super Bowl, IndyCar, and New Year’s Eve, among several other notable events.
“We both had been working in the immersive space together since 2015,” Neil said. “Lauren was more on the operation side and I was on the creative side.”
The success of Pokémon GO prompted the couple to work on similar concepts that would add value to other two-dimensional content platforms.
True crime has gained enormous popularity in recent years owing to the rise of podcasts and other avenues to narrate crime stories. Nevertheless, all of this combined with Lauren being an avid enthusiast of true crime had a lot of roles to play behind the inception of the idea.
“A year-and-a-half ago, Lauren and I were watching ‘The Staircase’ on Netflix,” Neil said. “I wanted to know more about it and thought, how can we get [information] more efficiently. I asked Lauren: ‘Where’s the home base, the ESPN.com,’ for true crime?”
After understanding that no platform could serve their need at the moment, Lauren and Neal decided to create one themselves.
The gameplay involves the users choosing a case and then scanning the floor using their phone. Using embedded AR technology, the app superimposes crime scenes derived from photo and video evidence on the user’s surroundings.
The app enables the users to navigate through three-dimensional crime scenes modeled by companies with the caliber of creating Marvel-type movies.
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