Over a year ago now James Cameron, the legendary filmmaker behind the likes of The Terminator, Titanic and, of course, Avatar, noted that he was ‘interested’ in the potential of virtual reality (VR) and its use within film. Sadly, it later emerged that the director had been unimpressed with what he’d seen from the likes of the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD). Cameron described the technology as “a yawn, frankly.” Nearly a year on and Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey has had the chance to reply to his comments.
Speaking with IGN, Luckey concluded that Cameron’s view of VR was ‘incorrect’ about VR. “He is incorrect,” Luckey told the site. “All you have to do is try virtual reality to understand that it goes beyond anything you can do, even on a 3D television or a 3D movie screen.
“Being surrounded, feeling like you’re actually present in a virtual world, it gives you a much more compelling canvas to tell stories with than having to frame everything into a small rectangle you just watch,” he explained. “I think that speaks for itself.”
Of course, Oculus VR itself is heavily involved with VR filmmaking right now. Back in January 2015 the company revealed Oculus Story Studio, a new division devoted entirely to creating VR movies that set standards and inspire others to give the new medium a chance. So far the group has revealed 2 movies, the first being Lost and the second more recent piece being Henry. The latter is an animated short in which a hedgehog celebrates his birthday while longing for companionship. Henry is set to arrive for free for those that purchase the Oculus Rift when it launches next year.
Will James Cameron ever change his mind on VR tech? The director is was obviously one of the big evangelists behind 3D technology with the release of 2009’s Avatar, and perhaps improvements in tech since his last trail could bring him around.
VRFocus will continue to follow VR and all of its many uses closely, reporting back with any further updates.