Henderson, NV – Today I’ve been surrounded by immersive storytellers, sharing their experiences with virtual reality, CG characters and the future of entertainment. 100 professors and filmmakers are taking this journey with me (several hundred more arrive for the main event starting tomorrow, where we’ll get to “hack VR” among other hands-on experiences). We’re participating in Digital Innovation Day, the prequel to the annual conference of the University Film and Video Association, “Content Creation in the 21st Century” where I’ll be speaking on Tuesday. As a self-taught filmmaker, I never took courses from the brilliant educators and industry leaders here this week, so this is an exciting opportunity to learn from them. Here are a few takeaways from the folks on the bleeding edge of this new generation of digital storytelling:
- the workflow and camera technology are new and still evolving, and costs vary widely (from the $350 Ricoh Theta-S, good for shot planning, to the Nokia Ozo that can cost $60,000)
- the role of sound is critical–we “see through our ears” (if we want a user to turn in a certain direction to catch some action, the sound might give them a clue)
- throw out what you think of as “script”–VR doesn’t work that way (there’s not a beginning, middle and end or story arc as you traditionally think of it)
- where do you hide the crew and gear when you shoot 360? (answer: VFX is needed in post, and sometimes the director hides in plain sight as one of the talent)
- promising collaborations between industry and universities are pushing the bounds of this new medium (we watched innovative productions involving professors and students from Florida State University, Loyola Marymount University, University of Nevada Las Vegas, and more)
- the story only works when we have an emotional connection to the experience. (some things don’t change after all!)
I’ll be back with more from the conference. If you’re looking for the slide deck for my prezy, click on the Speaking tab of this website. Tweet to me @brandbuzz if you’d like to connect during the conference. My new book will be at the Focal Press/Routledge booth.
Amy DeLouise is a director-producer of short form nonfiction who speaks at/occasionally gets to attend cool conferences.