Open Forum Friday: Is VR the Next Big Technological Leap for Cinema?

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With Facebook’s recent acquisition of Oculus VR for $2 billion, it seems safe to say that virtual reality has finally arrived and could be making an impact on our daily lives within the next couple of years. Up until now, the development of this technology has mostly been focused on interactive entertainment and, specifically, video games. But if it becomes as big as some people seem to think it will, there’s no reason why it couldn’t find applications in other industries as well… including the movie industry. Believe it or not, there are already several companies investigating the ways in which VR could be used to help us become further immersed in the world of cinema. Will this be the next big thing?

A company called Jaunt has developed a camera that can capture 3D stereoscopic video in all directions and they are now shopping it around to filmmakers. The idea is that wearing a VR headset allows you to see and hear pre-recorded video all around you in a full 360 degrees. People who have tried their demos have come away suitably impressed, and while it might sound a bit silly at the moment, it is essentially an extension of current technologies like IMAX, 3D, Dolby Atmos and D-Box. What do you think? Would the ability to look anywhere in a scene be a major evolution or would it take away from the art of filmmaking? Are you excited about the possibility of adding another level of immersion to movies? Do you believe in the VR revolution or will this be just another fad? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.

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  • Tommy

    Nope.

  • T. Heilman

    Like every other new technology, this will be used primarily as a masturbatory aid. It won’t benefit actual artistic intent.

  • Lisa

    Well of course! For pervert bastards like me this is gold.

    Finally i can get sucked off by Teori Black in POV and actually feel like I’m there.

  • Hugo Van Nor

    maybe were not getting enough seizures

  • Loren

    Using Oculus for a Virtual 3D world to interact with other people or Avatars would be cool. Wonder if this is what Facebook has in mind? As for Cinema i’m not quite sure how it would work. It might work well for live concerts or something, or the Opera, or plays. They could plop you down in first row seats and stuff. I think that would be cool. Your sitting in a seat in a theater, but your view would have you sitting in a different theater viewing that performance. I think Jay might have talked about this in one of the podcasts recently. Maybe it was that everyone would watch a different movie, but go into the same theater. What I’m proposing is that everyone would have the same view of a live or recorded performance. anyways.. what the hell do I know.

  • Tairy Greene

    Now we can watch a movie that’s a 2 hour long tracking shot.

  • Lori Cerny

    This smells of desperation.

  • Gerry

    4K TV smells of desperation to me, desperation to make more money.

    3D wasn’t popular so what’s the next ‘big thing’ to make people with perfectly good TV’s with fantastic 1080p picture quality buy another TV they don’t need, why 4K of course.

    Now it’s VR. I just can’t see it working for cinema.

    All those extra cameras shooting all those extra viewpoints are going to make shooting VR films prohibitively expensive, so Peter Jackson’s 3 x 3 hour movie version of Green Eggs And Ham will be one of the few films shot in VR.

    Why would you go to the cinema to enjoy a film by sitting in an auditorium and putting on a headset?

    Kids are definately going to be up for that, given the way they patiently watch whole 3D films without taking off their 3D glasses once.
    Good luck with your VR cinema trips with Kieron, Sean.

    Apparently one of the reasons 3D TV’s failed is that people don’t like wearing the glasses, hence glasses-less TV’s are being deveoped. So it won’t work for TV, is a good bet.

    Video games however, as consoles become more powerful, provided the headsets are as light and small as possible might work.
    No multiple cameras needed, just larger teams of programmers, artists etc.

  • Captain Fram

    Could be awesome for certain novelty experiences, like a whodunnit where you can catch extra information / miss out on certain things depending on where you look.

  • guest

    wouldnt have to worry about other people texting

  • Jonny Ashley

    I like it better than 3d as it now

  • Lori Cerny

    Let’s be honest, we’re all thinking this is for porn, right?