Annecy 2016 - Challenges of Virtual Reality

Annecy 2016
Challenges of Virtual Reality


The panel discussed the impact and potential of virtual reality for narrative film making. It’s an exciting frontier that raises questions about whether the traditional rules of narrative film making still apply to virtual reality. What impact will VR have on storytelling, staging, mise-en-scene and sound? What happens to the traditional role of the director?

In traditional film the director can carefully design the shot and every decision on framing, composition and wardrobe can help to amplify the narrative. How will this work in VR where the viewer can look anywhere?

It became clear that there are other ways to fulfil the normal film making rules. That although the viewer can look anywhere, the director can persuade the viewer to look using sound, composition and character eye to eye contact. Eric Darnell of Baobab Studios summed it up in a humorous quote,

“the power of the bunny!”

Invasion! Baobab Studio

Eric said inspire the viewer to look where you want them to look. Think like a magician, direct them where you want them to look. Bring it back to theatre, directing the audience’s attention. Frame the point of interest. Eric played a short VR sample film where a very cute rabbit engages your attention, called Invasion!. Eric pointed out how he was using traditional rules to lead the viewer’s eye. Sound became very important because you instinctively turn towards the sound.

 Rosa Mulraney


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