James Cameron Unimpressed by Virtual Reality
James Cameron, that man behind some of the biggest blockbusters in cinematic history, doesn’t see what all the fuss is about when it comes to virtual reality. During a recent Wall Street Journal event Cameron was asked his thoughts about the Oculus Rift, which after the runaway success of their 2012 Kickstarter was bought for 2 billion USD in March of this year.
“There seems to be a lot of excitement around something that, to me, is a yawn frankly,” Cameron stated. “The question that always occurred to me is, when is it going to be mature, when is it going to be accepted by the public at large, when are people going to start authoring in VR and what will that be?”
It seems Cameron’s main issue is that the technology doesn’t offer a new or better way to tell a story than the current mediums – in particular film and video games. “What will the level of interactivity with the user be other than just ‘I can stand and look around’?” He did say that the Oculus Rift has a good display and retails for a good price but doesn’t believe that it’s doing anything different than VR devices that have been around for 20 years.
Cameron however did go on to say that he believes there is a future for virtual reality in the world of cinema – we just haven’t figured out what that future is yet. He believes that by giving viewers the ability to interact with the narrative and alter unfolding events, films could one day blend in many elements currently found in videogames. “At what point are we going to say cinema is cinema, games are games, is there a new narrative art form that involves aspects of both?”
Cameron compared the current landscape of cinema to the era of early film making in the 20th century, where filmmakers were pioneering techniques that would be used by directors for the next 100 years. The director talked about his disappointment that 3D technology had not been picked up more broadly in film and TV and predicted that it would take a major technology company like Apple to start including 3D technology as standard in order for 3D to really take off.
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