it is my very strong opinion that content creators and filmmakers need to prepare for virtual reality right now. allow me to explain.
i’ve been fortunate enough to have experienced some virtual reality first hand. in fact, Sam and Eric are working with a company named Lumaforge with the technology to create virtual reality content and it’s really exciting stuff. Eric actually wrote about Lumaforge a few weeks ago, though he wrote much more about Lumashare than their VR capabilities.
at any rate, if you’ve never had the chance to wear a virtual reality headset like the Oculus Rift or the Samsung Gear VR, then you can’t really understand exactly how it feels. it’s the kind of experience you just have to witness yourself. so if you stumble upon the opportunity to check one out during the coming months, please take that opportunity. truth be told, by the time Oculus releases their first consumer level headset in December, the opportunities are bound to expand exponentially.
i myself pre-ordered a Samsung Gear VR for my S6 Edge the moment i could, and got it in the mail just a few days after it was first available on Best Buy’s web site. it’s an amazing piece of equipment. it has its flaws like anything else of course, but it’s a whole new world of entertainment and by early 2016 it’s going to explode.
i’ve spoken about my new toy and all the research i’ve been doing on virtual reality in general on the past few Film Geeks podcasts. there really is no way to know exactly what the impact will be once there’s an infrastructure and an actual consumer level product on the market, but i do think a solid understanding of the art form itself can help.
in many ways, virtual reality is a complete game changer, but in others it’s not. for instance, the experience is so different than watching a movie that i don’t think it will ever replace movie-going or TV watching per se. it is however likely to appeal to certain people more than film and TV, and will therefore cut into the amount of time those people would normally spend watching film and TV.
as content creators it is vital that we pay attention to such technological advancements because we need to understand where our audience is going. new technologies always provide new opportunities and the people who make it their business to understand these technologies are far more likely to benefit from them. i’ll spend a little more time in coming articles explaining some of my thoughts on the pros and cons of virtual reality vs. similar forms of entertainment. i’m also directing a VR movie soon and have spoken about that same topic during interviews for the Kickstarter campaign which will fund it. of course there are tons of sources of info on the topic in general, but i don’t know if i’ve seen any specifically discussing the pros and cons from the point of view of a content creator. so if that’s of interest to you, keep your eyes out for it.
no matter where you look to find more info on virtual reality and how it’s made, if you’re a content creator you should make it your business to understand the art form and it’s advantages over similar art forms as deeply as you possibly can.