The Doors Have Been Opened For Virtual Reality Moviegoing

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With the development of the Oculus Rift, virtual reality is fast approaching. And while a lot of people are excited about the possibilities it opens up for the future of gaming, I haven’t heard a lot of talk about if or how movies might start incorporating this new technology.

Now 20th Century Fox is stepping their toes into the water. Their indie-film division, Fox Searchlight, has partnered up with Samsung and Oculus to create “Wild – The Experience”, a virtual reality add-on to their current Oscar-nominated film with Reese Witherspoon. Over the course of this three-minute experience, you are immersed in the woods along the Pacific Crest Trail where the movie takes place. Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed comes walking through and sits down on a boulder a few feet in front of you. She suddenly looks right behind you and when you turn around to see, Laura Dern, who plays Cheryl’s mother, is there, where previously there was nothing. Strayed has an exchange with her mother, who appears throughout the film as a memory, before getting up to go. And you stand right in the middle of all of this.

The can of worms that this opens up is endless. How would a full-feature film made in this format be conceived? Could studios provide VR options for their older titles, allowing you to be immersed in your favourite film worlds? It’s a crazy new world we live in.

“Wild – The Experience” debuted at the recent CES convention and will also play at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival.

Source: New York Times

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