Virtual Reality Technology Breaking Into The Entertainment Industry

Technology has changed our lives in countless ways, from the way that we eat to the way that we drive. Of course, not all of those changes are good, as fully one-fourth of all auto accidents are caused by distracted drivers looking at their cell phones. Even so, technology certainly has its perks. One of the more popular forms of new technology, virtual reality, is even making its way into the movie business.

“Instead of just a regular screenplay, it’s like a combination of novel and prose and screenplay. We needed to let them know what viewers were going to feel, what was going to be beside them, what they were going to see, how the camera was going to move,” said virtual reality filmmaker Brian Seth Hurst, chief storyteller at StoryTech Immersive, to the Deseret News.

StoryTech Immersive just produced a new virtual reality film that recently debuted though PBS Digital Studios.

The film turned heads at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and the popular virtual reality showcase VR On the Mountain. The movie, My Brother’s Keeper, took viewers into the Civil War and placed them on the front lines. In addition to giving a futuristic peek into a historical war, VR is a great way for the younger generation to get more involved in the entertainment business.

Despite the growing popularity, VR technology for the movies might be difficult for experienced film directors to successfully master, as it requires different skills and shooting styles.

“You can’t do quick cuts,” said Don R. Wilcox, executive producer for PBS Digital Studios. “You can’t throw people off balance. You have to be able to direct a person’s attention to the right spot so they’re witnessing what you want them to witness.”

According to the Financial Times, in addition to the Sundance Film Festival’s VR showcase, an Oscar nomination for a 360-degree VR animation has been announced as well. The animated short is Pearl, which was released by Google last year, and allows the viewer to either focus on the father, the daughter, or the rest of the environment.

“In the end, it’s all about the story,” added Hurst. “I don’t think that changes with any medium. Good storytelling is good storytelling.”

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