Death of the Director: Media Company Jaunt Hopes To Release Virtual Reality Movies Soon

Virtual reality can make for a more immersive experience in gaming. But will the concept work for movies?

One of the primary functions of a movie director is to point the viewers’ eyes toward a very specific, often meticulously framed shot. None of this will matter much when virtual reality movies are available.

According to CNBC, these movies are coming soon enough. With funding from Disney, VR tech developer Jaunt is almost certainly going to release a feature film shot on one of their 360-degree cameras within the next few years. They have a small catalog of films at the moment, mostly promotional stuff for corporations, but it’s all short form pieces.

Virtual reality movies don’t make much sense. Immersion works in video games because you’re supposed to interact with your environment. Movies are meant to be passive experiences. Why the hell would you want to see what’s going on behind the main action, or get distracted by action happening on either side of it? This kind of storytelling can only become distracting, rendering narrative meaningless.

I’m only 36 years old, and I feel like I’m already an advanced curmudgeon. Hell, I can’t even watch a movie in regular 3-D, so I’m definitely not the target audience for this kind of tech. I’m sure someone will come up with an innovative way of telling a story with the Jaunt VR camera, but I have a feeling there’s going to be a lot of missteps along the way.

Whatever, just count me out right now. If you need to get in touch with me, I’ll be at my house, sitting in my big puffy chair while I watch John Carpenter movies.


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