Virtual reality has been becoming more and more popular in more and more fields, with film-making being no exception to this rule. In fact, it can be said that film-making is particularly well-suited to virtual reality, seeing as how the combination of the two can produce new possibilities that would have been impossible in previous times. Something that promises to produce some rather interesting results indeed.
Here are five examples of how virtual reality is being used in filmmaking:
Increased Sense of Immersion
First and foremost, the use of virtual reality in film-making results in an increased sense of immersion, so much so that it cannot be compared with traditional forms of film-making. After all, virtual reality enables a person to experience the events that were captured on film, which is not quite as good as being there in truth but is nonetheless coming closer and closer all the time. In contrast, its predecessor does not provide people with the chance to experience the events captured on film but rather the chance to watch them on a screen, meaning that there is always a distance that cannot be overcome between them and what is happening. To illustrate the sheer gulf between the two, imagine someone using virtual reality moving around to get a better view of what is happening, which would never be possible with its predecessor because the viewers are limited to the viewpoint of the camera.
As stated, virtual reality offers the user a chance to interact with the events that have been captured on film. However, moving around to get a better look is the least of what kinds of interactivity can be included in virtual reality experiences. As a result, there are now various parties looking into the potential of letting viewers interact with what has been captured on the film to a serious extent, so much so that it can change the course of events altogether. Although this is still at an early point, it is nonetheless something that possesses enormous potential, particularly since at an extreme end, it is not difficult to imagine a blurring of the lines between film and video games. Something that would make for an enormous step-up compared to what existed before.
Interaction Between the Audience and the Characters
Speaking of which, increased interactivity means the potential for direct interaction between the audience and the characters. Certainly, there have been a lot of stories featuring characters that were essentially nothing but audience surrogates, but at the end of the day, those were still characters within the story, meaning that there was still a distance between the audience and the characters with whom the audience surrogates interacted. With the advent of virtual reality, it is now possible to thrust the viewers into the stories captured on film, which in turn, enables the possibility of interaction between them and the characters with no obstacles between them. As a result, there are now new forms of storytelling that are being experimented with, which would not be possible without the new medium on which they exist.
More Flexible Timelines
Currently, stories have serious limitations when it comes to their timelines. For example, it is possible to tell a non-linear narrative through the use of flashbacks, framing narratives, and other narrative devices, but a film will run for no more than its total run-time. In contrast, increased interactivity means increased control for virtual reality users as well, which would result in a much more flexible timelines as they exercise that control to experience the narrative in the manner that best-suits their particular needs and their particular interests.
New Standards of Filmmaking
Finally, it should be mentioned that virtual reality is already causing interested parties to start adopting new standards of film-making. After all, something made using virtual reality cannot produce a full sense of immersion until the results are good enough to make the viewer's brain think that they are actually there on some level. One example of changing standards is how virtual reality has to have a minimum of 60 frames per second to maintain the sense of immersion, whereas its predecessor needed to have no more than a minimum of 24 frames per second to maintain the illusion of motion. Likewise, various parties are experimenting with multi-camera setups as well as other new innovations and inventions, meaning that what we see with virtual reality in the present is probably no more than just the embryonic stage of what it will become in the future.
Written by Garrett Parker
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