philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Why Virtual Reality’s Disruption Of Hollywood Isn’t Here Yet (But It’s Not Dead Either) Reality is another area that has plenty of potential but not mass adoption by Hollywood but that may be about to change if Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Ugly Dolls) 'THE LIMIT' is an early taste of a future that's almost here.

The trailer for Rodriguez's 'THE LIMIT' is fast-paced and offers a glimpse at an immersive thrill-ride that involves jumping out of a plane, a high-speed car chase amongst other heart-rate elevating elements. The drawbacks are not the desire to make content like this but the challenges that come with filming. Aside from costs, creating in this medium is a challenge according to Rodriguez; "I couldn’t really plan even simple things, like how close the vehicles should get to each other until we were there on the day and I was looking through the camera because the lens is very wide. POV works much better in VR than in traditional film and TV, but it takes a lot of coordination between all involved."

Creating cinematic VR requires new 'languages' that lead to a different relationship with the audience according to Rodriguez; "Designing a story that is immersive and a lean-back experience [is tough], one where the audience has freedom of movement and can choose where to look, but at the same time you want to direct them as well to see and hear what you want them to in order to get the most out of the film, is harder."

Speaking to the DGA, Jon Favreau (Avengers) isn't convinced on VR's cinematic future either; "Part of the job of the filmmaker is to support that immersion. And often it relates to how you make choices that you believe the audience would make. So, if you're cutting a scene properly, it's almost like you don't need VR because you're looking where they want to look anyway."

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