Since starting this journey, I have consistently seen VR as a new theatrical space and not as an extension of filmmaking (although there are aspects of filmmaking that directly and necessarily apply). Theatre makers will often talk about being in 'the space' and working & playing with 'the space'. We can often be precious about 'the space' as well. From my theatre director vantage point I see VR as a virtual performance space. It’s a place where the story happens around the audience, not simply in front of them - it is immersive theatre in its most holistic form.
What I find exciting is that this immersion opens up several new frontiers. Firstly, the role of audience member becomes a dynamic new landscape to explore. The audience's presence, agency and empathy become important factors in how we include them in the storytelling design and process. Secondly, there is more exciting terrain to traverse in determining what existing rules govern these spaces from a theatrical perspective and what new principles are emerging that will allow us to exploit these environments to their fullest. I want to turn to both of these issues in my next two posts.
Lastly, have a look at the following links as I think they provide a good backdrop for what is to come... I also find Chris Milk's talk rather inspiring.
ps. Click here to see more of the amazing work of Adrien M and Claire B.