Virtual reality filmmaking it’s different not just because of the content or the experience, but also because of the process. The fundamental basis of writing, filming, creating visual effects, and working with sound is shifting to being viewer-centric.
Without ever setting foot on the set or being in a single meeting, every step of the creative process you have to ask the viewer what is seeing, feeling and thinking, and react to that.
With virtual reality, there’s suddenly no ‘behind the camera’, the set is all around you, and there’s nowhere to put your crew, your lights, your boom operator. Your camera is your viewer. Imagine what that does to, for example, the lighting, or production design.
People say that virtual reality is inherently more exciting than traditional film. But we shouldn’t think film and virtual reality are somehow competing for the same attention. It’s not either-or, it’s both. If Blade Runner was being made today it would still result in a traditional film, but might also have a VR component. That’s what is exciting, the universe you can build as a creator is expanding.
The importance of sound in filmmaking is disproportionate to the attention paid to it in virtual reality films, or even interactive stories generally. This area needs to further develop because sound and music it’s what controls your heart-strings.
The true power of virtual reality experiences is that the story you’re in will know you’re there. As Mark Bolas says: You will have a presence inside of the story.