26 Jun The Brave New World Of Virtual-Reality Filmmaking
While gamers wait patiently for their virtual-reality headsets to go on sale, there’s another industry ripe for the VR picking: movies. That means, as VR technology matures, filmmakers have to work out a new approach to their craft. But if they get it right, audiences are in for a far more immersive and interactive ride.
Companies like Samsung, Google and Oculus have been evangelizing VR cinema experiences, hoping to bring the sorts of videos that make their virtual-reality platforms a real destination for movie watchers. But to make their campaigns work, they need filmmakers and video producers who know what they’re doing.
That can be tricky. Within the umbrella of VR movies, there are different approaches around the level of physical movement given to an audience, the available viewing angle (perhaps just 180 degrees instead of 360) and whether to use computer animation software or live action cameras to create these experiences.
One of the companies working at the forefront of VR content creation is Nurulize. The firm recently helped to produce a virtual-reality short called RISE with director David Karlak. The film shows off what moviemakers can do—including creating entire worlds rather than merely 2D pictures that move in front of your eyes.
Making Movies, VR Style
VR cinema could be pivotal to virtual reality’s success in grabbing mainstream eyeballs. Gaming may be a multibillion-dollar industry, but even so, it’s still somewhat of a niche. When it comes to potential users (or audiences), far more people watch videos in today’s media-obsessed world—which makes VR’s potential reach quite vast.
But making polished VR movies requires an equal amount of artistic talent and technical skill. On one hand, filmmakers have a new medium to showcase stories with an unprecedented level of immersiveness. But if they aren’t careful, they can make their viewers sick to their stomachs.
According to Nurulize CEO Philip Lunn, VR movie makers are still sussing out the finer points of the craft, with new tools and strategies still being worked out. But there’s a lot of exploring left to do.
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