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Future of Virtual Reality in Film

Video Media has been evolving exponentially in the past 10 years with the rise of digital camera quality, better editing software, better technological hardware, and the combination of the multiple technological advancements that gave rise to the video media today.

In the professional world however, digital cameras. high end special effects software, and the integration of Virtual reality have come together to create the foreseeable future of media and in film. Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park, back in 1993 revolutionized the film industry by integrating very realistic computer generated motion graphics. We now jump to 2009 with James Cameron's Avatar, where a whole world is created and filmed in a CGI (Computer generated imagery) world. The film was shot with a virtual camera that roamed through the digital world. Here is the behind the scene Link.

The combination of traditional camera capture and seamless CGI seem to be the promising future of Video Media. All marvel films and big budget films utilize CGI whether it be creating new worlds through green screen, or a subtle but effective use of de-aging faces in Martin Scorsese's The Irishman. Link This was another feat in itself using multiple camera technology, and new VFX methods. Many creative innovations had to come together to make this unprecedented effect happen.

In the recent years (2019), this type of technology has been accessible to commercials and smaller budget projects. With the collaboration of Lux Machina, Magnopus, Profile Studios, Quixel, ARRI, and Matt Workman, this type of technology has achieved something revolutionary.

Combined with camera tracking and realistic motion responsive LED backdrop, the commercial gives a undeniable impression that it was shot in a real location. This is the first of its kinda, and is a promising future for expanding possibilities and creativity. Here instead of having VFX on the character, it is the background. With high latitude of information available in cameras today, the mood and the time of day can be manipulated in post production.

Matt Workman is a commercial cinematographer and now is a developer for pre visualization for cinematography preproduction plans, whether it be lighting, framing, or camera movement. His contribution to the previsualization planning in the cinematography art is underrated. Now Matt Workman is developing a similar technology that was used in James Cameron's Avatar in his home with consumer products. He uses consumer VR technology in conjunction with his add-on in Cine Tracer. If you are a filmmaker, Matt Workman is an invaluable source for the advancement of technology in film and video media.

Now here is the question. Will film be shot with this technology more often in the future?

Yes, I believe it will expand even further with bigger sets. TV shows, like Mandalorian filmed exterior scenes indoor with realistic backdrops. It is becoming harder to distinguish a set from a real location, which is an amazing advancement.

Can authenticity be replaced?

Maybe, I might be naive about the future of this technology since it's very new. (Similar to cinematographers in the early 2010s if digital format will eventually replace film capture.) I believe there is a human aspect of shooting on location that the virtual reality world cannot replace. The environment, and the effects it has to the actors, directors, cinematographers, and the story can make the film even more expressive. I could be wrong since virtual reality can cut the budget of location more than half, and since it's only the conception of the technology, I cannot foresee its limitation.

It is exciting and sad to see the virtual technology take over the future of film making and visual media in general. The thrill of traveling, and exploring new real life locations will be taken away from the production's experience. But at the end of the day, it is a product for a consumer, and if it looks real enough, the filmmakers have accomplished their goal.


Nyv Mercado

Level Nine Productions

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