The Future Of Film

A NSFW art exhibition explores Oculus Rift, the virtual reality headset:

Adi Robertson elaborates:

Long-running performance art installation The Machine to be Another is a literal, perhaps radical take on the Oculus Rift’s promise to let you simulate being anywhere or anyone. In what the artists call the “gender swap” experiment, two people stand in a room, each wearing a Rift headset. They agree on and synchronize their movements, rubbing hands over stomachs or taking off shoes. But while they feel their own bodies, they “see” out of each other’s eyes. … [T]he video … is an artistic example of how something like Sex with Glass can be done right.

Meanwhile, Hugh Hancock considers how virtual reality (VR) will come to be incorporated into mainstream movies:

There’s been a lot of research into “VR Sickness” recently, and the news isn’t good for movies-in-VR.

It turns out that one of the major causes of VR sickness is rapid or unexpected movement outwith the user’s control. Users seem to be able to cope provided there’s an obvious visual reason for the movement, but otherwise, movement you can’t control sends you right off to talk to Huey on the big porcelain telephone.

So, for a filmmaker, that means no tracking shots, certainly no rapid flythroughs, and worst of all – no cuts. Cuts – film editing as a whole – are one of the most fundemental tools of movie storytelling, and removing them sends us back in time to the dawn of cinema, before Eisenstein, back to 1910 and the Kuleshov Effect.

He suggests filmmakers seeking to embody the viewer in their narratives look to VR porn:

So far, all reasonably workable VR porn adopts a “breaking the fourth wall” approach, either by having performers perform to the viewer and treat him/her as a voyeur, or more dramatically by placing the viewer straight into the scene with his/her viewpoint positioned where one of the actors’ heads can be assumed to be. This ties in with both Oculus VR’s best practise document, which recommends giving the VR participant a visible body in the virtual space, and some of the more successful game experiences in VR.

Previous Dish on virtual reality here and here.