Ty Burr on the challenges and potential of doing feature films in VR:
Most of us would never leave Rick’s Café Américain. We’d go behind the bar with Sascha, hover by Emil the croupier at the roulette table, hang out with Sam as he played “As Time Goes By” again. Me, I’d be following Peter Lorre’s sniveling Ugarte. But the central drama of Rick’s rekindled love and sacrifice for Ilsa Lund? We’d probably never get that far. Director Michael Curtiz and the Warner Brothers elves did such a brilliant job imagining the world of Casablanca that we’d be content to explore it until we bumped up against the walls, like Jim Carrey in The Truman Show.
Similarly, a virtual-reality Citizen Kane might be a survey of the title character’s infinite basement, each talisman sparking its own flashback in no particular order. The Godfather VR Edition might allow us to prowl the haunted house of Don Corleone’s extended family, with the drama of Michael’s slow rise and rot only one small thread amid the warp and weft.
The other possibility, of course, is that "films" done in VR are just totally different. Maybe it's not about a single narrative arc, maybe it's about multiple narrative arcs. Something like Sleep No More comes to mind. There's a cinematic quality, for sure, but it's also entirely different...Read more...