Movies have been made in largely the same way for decades. Omitting 3D movies (which everyone obviously loves … okay maybe not…), film has been produced and released in much the same way since it’s inception. With VR, the industry is being revolutionized to include things like virtual theaters, 360 degree video, and more, leading to an enlightenment in the way we interact with our media. While the new technology is starting to take off to what seems like the nth degree, there are some who want to defend the way movies were traditionally made. To many people change in the space is seen as a bad thing, and to Stephen Spielberg, the coming of virtual reality is an apparently “dangerous” endeavor.
The only reason I say it is dangerous is because it gives the viewer a lot of latitude not to take direction from the storytellers but make their own choices of where to look.
He may have a point in that directors are going to have a harder time directing the attention of the audience, but the whole point of virtual reality is just that – you have freedom. Just as business had to fundamentally change with the creation of the internet, so must film change to adapt to virtual reality. Change is not necessarily a bad thing. It ignites markets that had previously run dry of ideas, and brings together communities with the sole purpose of advancing the technology. We have already seen some incredible film experiences born from the technology, allowing viewers to peek inside ever crevice and corner constructed by the artist. VR video allows viewers to see a movie from every possible angle, adding a whole new twist with every viewing.
Obviously my opinions are my own, and there are those who make very valid points when they talk about the art of traditional film, but it’s hard to imagine that that medium will ever disappear entirely. Just with any new technology, adoption isn’t exactly instantaneous. There is a very limited amount of content that has been created solely for virtual reality at the moment, and it will likely be a bit before any feature films are filmed completely in VR. While virtual reality is incredibly interesting and new, it likely will never completely overtake the traditional film industry. The mediums are too different to replace each other entirely, and each hold their own special methods of storytelling.
What do you think about VR film? Is it “dangerous” as Spielbirg says? Are you hoping for some 360 degree feature films in the future?
Image source: USA Today