Virtual reality made a big splash at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. While visiting the festival’s Virtual Arcade in late April, I had the chance to play the drums with gummy hamburgers, ride a dragon, watch a short film, and even fly by a planet. However, the most excitement occurred when I realized that I was standing in a room full of people who were all exploring the possibilities of a new piece of technology that could (quite literally) revolutionize our world.
It is difficult to explain VR without using tried and true phrases such as “immersive” or “engaging”, but that’s exactly what Virtual Reality is. Though still in it’s infancy, Virtual Reality transports it’s users to interactive and often colorful environments that offer everything from entertainment, retail, and or educational opportunities. For filmmakers this could mean creating a new world to tell a story in, and allowing people to explore and experience them first-hand. Can you imagine what it would be like to experience a film like James Cameron’s “Avatar”, or J. J. Abrams’ “Cloverfield” in a VR?
While VR is all about heightened storytelling, the true opportunities presented by VR reach far beyond the world of film. VR offers a fresh canvas for any brand from just about any industry with the desire to reach customers in new and exciting ways. Once more and more creatives gain experience with the format, we’re going to see much more incredible work made for the platform. The only challenge VR is facing is whether customers are willing to take on the steep cost for admission. That being said, if the current sales of Samsung Gear VR are any indication, this might not be a problem.