VR Headset Recording: The Future of Recorded Video?
Virtual reality is as of yet a practically untapped world when you take into consideration the endless possibilities and the public outcry for them is only growing louder. Fairly soon the VR headset sales will overtake their current console counterparts and the world’s denizens will begin to “plug in”, but what does that mean for filmmakers and producers? Will the world of two-dimensional film dry up into a puddle of its former self, replaced strictly with VR headset recordings on the next YouTube? Some tech advocates are already placing the call for VR movies (who can blame them?), but does that automatically mean the beginning of the end for 2D? VR headset filmmaking is about to turn things upside down!
Ever since Facebook bought out the Oculus Rift in 2014 for $2 billion the media has been on the frontlines of dreaming up the possibilities, some even going so far as to state you’ll end up purchasing a headset solely for the films. While the idea does sound appealing there’s simply no way for that to happen in the near future. Games are vastly simpler to replace with VR than films and there’s a massive, glaring reason why. It’s not the challenge of shooting the film itself and it’s not the cost of equipment, it’s the fact that directors cannot direct an audience’s attention in a fully immersive environment. Vr headset filmmaking could have several disadvantages too. Sure, watching Captain America and Ironman duke it out would be incredible, but can you imagine how much of a movie like that you would miss if you were turned in the wrong direction? What about a horror movie where you miss the scare because the rest of the environment looks like somewhere you haven’t been?
No, virtual reality will not completely replace 2D films for quite some time. When the entire world you’re immersed in is drawing your focus from the currently-boring main dialogue, or when the bad guy is coming up to the hero from behind you we still have to figure out how to point attention where it needs to go. Some studios have managed to make that fact work for them however; one tried breaking up a longer film into multiple different parts, actively pulling the viewer into the story itself like an active participant!
That’s not going to stop virtual reality from happening in the filmmaking industry however, as even IMAX has busted out into the scene in cahoots with Starbreeze, a Stockholm-based entertainment tech company to produce 6 VR theaters around the globe. Granted these will be very basic and not Hollywood level films, but when has the human race ever stopped just when things were getting good? The Sundance Film Festival has already started featuring a slew of different virtual films; James Cameron even piped in with his opinion.
However, Vr headset filmmaking won’t give up so easily. While it may not come to replace the current movies we love anytime in the near future that doesn’t mean it can’t branch out into a whole new style of movie; you know, the ones that won’t have awkward close-ups toward your favorite actors and actresses. For now we can enjoy the best of both worlds, but there’s still bound to be some incredible challenges for the filmmaking community as demand rises, so be ready for them!