The filmmaking business has always had only one centric above all- do whatever makes more seats booked. It is only due to this that we see more technology immersed in the process, to improve the quality of storytelling, with every passing day. We, as consumers of movies, have always defined that quality with how much the experience of a film resembles reality. So, when leveraging some technology shortens the gap between seeing and experiencing, it then has monumental impacts on the future of film-making.
The technologies that have impacted the making of cinema more than any technology out there are clearly Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). They are making huge changes in the ways of storytelling and film-making. Let’s take a look at how AR and VR are knocking dominoes to the future of cinema.
Impacts of Virtual Reality
- Sight to Experience
Virtual reality can be considered as somewhat similar to the leap from 2-D to 3-D, with the essence of reality magnified infinitesimally. While people were experiencing just object moving in/out of the screen with 3-D, VR lets them act as flies on the wall. They can explore a particular scene from different angles.
- Increased Flexibility
Another gigantic impact will be the flexibility VR will bring in the movie-making process. It will give the directors the flexibility to shoot a scene from all the angles that they please rather than choosing one of them. It will also be flexible for the viewers to watch a movie on VR multiple times through different paths from multiple angles to look at different characters and plot-points. Apart from some fixed defaults in the timeline of a film, the viewers can also have choices for different timelines.
- New Standards
The very support of VR experience is the experience of a real environment. Hence, as these new technologies slowly get institutionalized in the cinema making processes, we will also see new thresholds for standards in VR films. Apart from a frame speed requirement of 60 fps in VR compared to 24 fps in films, standards like immersive 3-D VR, high-resolution imagery with seamless editing will be perceived as prerequisites rather than options.
Impacts of Augmented Reality
- Accessible VFX
The increased availability and functionality of AR tools and software can not only fully exploit the designers’ talent to create reality-resembling VFX, but also let directors and actors see pre-rendered versions of what they’re supposed to be interacting with and act accordingly.
- Unbounded Set Design
AR makes set design more efficient. Using AR we can use scanned 3D models of the prop-house offerings so designers can audition objects on location before ever pulling things from storehouses or off the truck. Sets, loaded with furniture, props, wall color, and wardrobe on virtual stand-ins can be shared as digital files by leveraging AR. This will be helpful to set designers as they will be able to pick up their device and experiment around the space, make changes, choices, and suggestions before using the real one.
But, Both VR and AR have their set of problems, most of them being related to the quality and skill of VR/AR tools and VR/AR professionals respectively. The whole idea of using AR in films is to create a world, otherwise too hard to create in real life and make it believable. So if your droid or spaceship doesn’t look like a real one or a part of the scene, on the screen, it defeats the whole purpose. On the other hand, there are no defined standards for VR in movie-making yet which makes it limited in terms of potential.
With all these impacts of incorporating AR and VR in the filmmaking process, the control in terms of camera movements, timelines, and even story pathways will shift from filmmakers to viewers due to VR, and the creative designers and set production will have a more flexible canvas due to AR. Some of the changes have been included in the process, while some are yet to include. These changes will define the trajectory of storytelling and filmmaking as we know it today.