Storytelling in documentary film and virtual reality films
Referring to the texts following from the two disciplines, I’ll attempt to find junctions and interstices between the ideas on narrative in two fields, with the goal of examining the impact of 360 degree filmmaking on documentary narrative.
Non-fiction film started at the genesis of filmmaking, and although Virtual Reality (VR) in this current incarnation is very new, forays into 3D are almost as old of film:
3D technology can be drawn the way back to the start of photography. A new invention by David Brewster in 1844, Stereoscope could take 3D photographic images. At the Great Exhibition in 1851, a picture of Queen Victoria taken by Louis Jules Duboscq, using the improved technology became very well known throughout the world. Soon, the craze for stereoscopic cameras caught on and these were quite commonly used by World War II.
In 1922 the first public 3D movie, “The Power of Love”, was produced and it was in 1935 that the first 3D Color movie was produced. Visionnw
I’ll look at 360degree films in a collaborative project between MA Documentary Film, MA Virtual Reality and the Independent Film Trust (IFT), Coldharbour, the aim being to produce up to 10 VR films to be created for an exhibition in London.
My particular focus will be on the way non-fiction storytelling is affected by working in 360 degrees in Virtual Reality.
There are many challenges and variables; the foremost being that the student workshops have not yet started. MA DF has a new Course Leader, MA VR is in its first year and this is the first collaboration with the IFT, although I know their Operations Manager as a Visiting Speaker on Investigative Journalism. The two courses have signed expressions of interest with the IFT, they have applied for and received funding, students have been briefed, and now the teaching and experimentation will soon start, all being well. 360 degree filmmaking is new to me too, and it will be still a while before it becomes a mainstream medium.
As Bucher (2018) notes – “Experimentation is key to moving the medium forward”.
Bucher, J. (2018) Storytelling for Virtual Reality: Methods and principles of crafting immersive narratives. New York: NY & Abingdon : Oxon : Routledge.
Visionnw (no date) The History of 3D Technology. Available at: http://www.visionnw.com/history-of-3d-technology.htm (Accessed: 30 Jan 2019).