Working with several partners I am actively developing a longer-form live-action made-for-Virtual Reality experience. As someone who lives the intersection of storytelling and technology, it’s very exciting and groundbreaking.
The beginning of Virtual Reality really started one-hundred plus years ago, in 1895, when the first people viewed The Lumière Brothers’ Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat or when they saw Edwin S. Porter’s The Great Train Robbery in 1903. See my Blog at theVRFilmmaker for more on the birth of VR.
But modern VR has come a long way since then!
“By combining stereoscopic 3-D, 360-degree visuals, and a wide field of view—along with a supersize dose of engineering and software magic— [the Oculus Rift] hacks your visual cortex. As far as your brain is concerned, there’s no difference between experiencing something on the Rift and experiencing it in the real world.”*
Traditionally we have experienced stories on film and television by watching through a window. We are on one side and what we are watching is separate from us on the other side. Even 3D movies are faced with this limitation – we are still looking out a window.
The Oculus Rift, Samsung GearVR, Vive and the other Virtual Reality headsets changes all that. They put you, as Don Knotts said in Pleasantville, “Right in the show!”
To me, the Virtual-Reality spheric format gives us the ability to tell stories in a whole new way. You can read about my insights at the VR Filmmaker, a blog I host.
Over my career I have often embraced pioneering technology to tell better stories that entertain and enlighten audiences.
Whether it was helping to conceive the groundbreaking visual technology on the film Pleasantville. Technology that became today’s digital intermediate. Or, that I was an early adopter of digital motion capture techniques to “record” a performer’s movements (James Brown on EMP’s Funk Blast) I’ve always looked for cutting edge technology that can help us create a more exciting experience for audiences.
It really is as groundbreaking as silent cinema was one hundred years ago. And that is very exciting to me!