There is now a rush among many tech manufacturers to keep up with the growing evolution that is virtual reality. However, despite all the hustle-and-bustle concerning the technology, this particular medium still faces a lot of major challenges, especially when we’re talking about filmmaking.
It is the Year of Virtual Reality, But Not Without Challenges
If you were to ask any fan of the tech industry about what year this is, they would most probably answer that it is the year of virtual reality. There are a lot of companies, even billion-dollar corporations, that are rushing into the VR sector. These include Sony, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, and HTC. This wave started back in 2014 when social media networking giant Facebook bought Oculus, which at that time was just a startup VR company. However, the social media company bought that startup for a whopping $2-billion, and it might just be very hard not to say no to that. Since then, not only tech enthusiasts have been a part of the VR phenomenon, but also journalists and investors as well.
With the virtual reality technology, users will make use of image-filled goggles, along with controllers, to immerse themselves in another world. When you turn your head in practically any direction possible, the “camera angle” of whatever it is that you’re viewing with the headset will change as well. This is obviously a tool meant for games.
According to tech advocates, the next step for VR is not for more games, but that of movies. At the time of writing, Disney, Fox, and even Lionsgate Films have already committed a large amount into producing 360-degree movies. It might be easy to proclaim that it will soon replace “flat” movies in the long run. However, the challenges are extremely difficult to deal with.
To start, VR headsets are expensive and it is quite heavy to wear at the moment for a two-hour-long full-length movie. Furthermore, there are technical challenges that need to be taken care of. Movies made for a more virtual experience are ridiculously difficult to shoot with current technologies. When creating films, it already takes a huge amount of effort to keep lights, crew, and vehicles out of the shot. Therefore, if you’re producing movies in full 360-degrees, then where would you hide your equipment, your crew, or the lights?
These problems are just minute as compared to the ultimate challenge being faced by virtual reality movies, and that is audience attention. Think about it – when producing “flat” movies, all eyes and ears will be directed onto a flat surface which allows audiences to take in all of the action being portrayed easily. If you’re shooting in VR, then what if you’re looking to the right when there’s something important happening to the left?