Week 6: Response to Is Virtual Reality the Future of Film?

Living in Los Angeles cinema and entertainment are often a topic of conversation. Currently film in undergoing a major shift is both distribution and consumption. In this News Week Article entitled, “Is Virtual Reality the Future of Film?”, Anthony Cuthbertson delves into the topic of narrative within virtual reality.  Cuthbertson also interviews Steven Spieldberg to get his take on the future of VR in cinema.

A few of my friends have purchased the Samsung Galaxy and have tried the VR function and have heard mixed reviews. The VR space is still in its infancy and there is little content available to consume outside of pornography. Interestingly the pornography industry has been a the leading edge of many technology and filmmaking paradigm shifts over the past decade. Including video compression, live chat, 3D video online and so on. Many people believe that VR is the next big leap in cinema but Spieldberg has his doubts saying, “I think we’re moving into a dangerous medium with virtual reality. 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.”

His statement backups so much of that I have been reading about when it comes to digital story telling. That the basic relationship between the storyteller and the audience is changing from a more passing consumer to and active aspect to the narrative. In VR the consumer decides where to look it no loner is decided by the director. VR is a one take environment meaning editing no longer has as much importance since the user is part of the story not just watching the story.

I’m excited to see where VR goes over the next few years but I’m also no convinced that it will replace movies. Most likely VR will remain it’s own form or entertainment allowing people to experience a more life like fantasy. Hopefully the content will soon catch up with the technology.