What Virtual Reality has to offer?
Have you heard about It? I’m sure you did, or at least see people wearing strange glasses, or somebody showed you some epic roller coaster ride via their smartphone into a paper box? Not yet? Well, go run for a test because this is the next big future innovation that will be part very soon in our everyday life.
Indeed, virtual reality is something new but also expected for so long, everybody dreamed about this right? Remember when you could see a different world putting a toy box on your eyes? Do you remember the feeling of discovering a brand new world when you saw Avatar with the 3D glasses? Now you can be completely immersed into a environment with the sound, the visual, and the sensations.
What Virtual Reality has to offer, is improved experience: Like the Daft Punk would say it’s harder, better and stronger. Virtual Reality solves many challenges for storytellers such as:
It’s immersive; your are 100% experience the content wearing a headset avoiding distraction.
It’s impactful; The intensity of the experience is greater than traditional content. You can feel actually falling from the great wall of the North!
It’s memorable; your brain automatically remembers strong emotions & feelings better from such immersive experience.’
It’s novel; because it’s new, people and early adopters have a natural interest for such technology and its potential.
Strong potential indeed. But is it just a new fancy feature? That sounds nice but is that it? Is it like 3D? 3D glasses are not that revolutionary. People thought about it at a very early stage of the cinema creation, nowadays it’s more a trendy feature for marketing that makes our movie tickets more expensive.
I believe Virtual Reality brings something bigger than 3D. I think it’s not just an accessory that improves your experience, but something that profoundly redefines experience itself.
Virtual Reality brings a new reality in front of your eyes. And if your reality changes, your paradigm can changes too which means only an innovation cannot do that but it has to be a technical revolution. A revolution that impacts all the aspect of your everyday life. Based on this belief, I found how impactful virtual reality could be – or is already – in the entertainment industry; the very industry of experience, emotions and dreams.
Virtual Reality impacts how you create the content and on how you tell stories
Let think everything through from the start. When video games studios immediately understood Virtual Reality as an obvious next step, movies studios are now following the path by putting the viewer into the story. No more decor, or film set anymore, you are in the movie. Still a bit strange to say so, but Baobab Studios did it! Invasion, a computer animated-film of 7 minutes(video below) premiered at the 15th Tribeca film Festival (2016). It requires the use of Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Samsung Gear VR to experience the movie. Since the audience can look everywhere, directors have invent a new cinematic language.
This novelty has been spotted as a golden mine by Here are Dragons Studios – collaboratively with Within app – which are specialized in producing and delivering virtual reality content. It is a pioneer business as the cost of such productions are still high. But they are about to decrease years after years thanks to the different technical innovations that are now developed and cut down the marginal cost.
The last work Here are Dragons delivered was released for the Comic-Con 2016. The studio made a 13-minute narrative VR experience for Mr Robot TV show. You are immersed into the lead character Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) flashbacks. Thanks to Virtual Reality, you have a new experience of the show that captures the atmosphere. With this new medium, can you imagine the possibilities of narration? It pushes the boundaries of traditional medium like cinema, or TV, and also web series. With one story, you can literally have different angles to experience it; you can watch a movies in the theater and extend the experience by an aside VR story.
Actually, this has been already been tested by movie studios, that produced VR content related to a movie to extend the audience experience and help its promotion.