There’s a lot of really bad virtual reality content out there right now. There’s a lot of ugly content too. And this is a great opportunity for anyone looking to learn how to tell stories in VR because there are a lot of other people’s mistakes out there to learn from. For the record, anyone working in VR right now gets a gold star in my book, a huge amount of admiration, and much gratitude, for they are lighting the path for everyone else – even if I sometimes go “huh?” after watching some of it.
By studying today’s virtual reality content, you can watch the language of VR be developed in real time!
Watching less-than-successful attempts is a profound way to really understand the language of an art form. When I started filmmaking in college, one of the things I did was to watch as many silent films as I could, trying to view them in the order they were made, 1900, 1905, 1910 and so on. I watched as they learned to use the close-up and they learned about cross-cutting, or as they tried and failed at using an iris-in as a close-up.
So really study the virtual reality content that doesn’t work and understand why it doesn’t. Watch it several times. You want to know why Tennessee Williams is such a brilliant writer? Read some of his less successful plays and you’ll see him not perform the magic trick so well.
At the same time – as the blog title promises – there is some really good work being done which is very exciting. As a rule, I’ve found the virtual reality content hosted on VRSE.com to be consistently very good. There seems to be more care taken in crafting the work they are sharing.
But watching all of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly, on a regular basis is a great way to speak the language of VR cinema fluently.
I’d love to hear what virtual reality content you’ve seen that excites you or didn’t meet your expectations.