Since the unveiling of Samsung’s Gear VR in November 2015, virtual reality has taken a bold new direction. Going by the recent research by Touchstone and by the VR report by Greenlight, if there really is 95% virtual reality awareness, there is no better time for filmmakers to hit the market than now. A major challenge however, might be that there is a distinctive difference between merely hearing about virtual reality and actually having an immersive experience with a virtual reality device. The latter represents 35%, and this gap births the dilemma that VR device manufacturers and film producers alike have to reckon with.
Just recently, VRE attended the Bergen International Film Festival (BIFF) in Norway to have a glimpse of how directors have embraced the latest of virtual reality technology by Samsung and others in the space. What we witnessed was an overwhelming curiosity from partners and users in the industry. In fact, the year 2016 has been labeled the year of virtual reality.
Earlier on, the first 360-degree video series that was released exemplified the use of Samsung Gear VR, and was produced by Samsung in partnership with Oculus VR. It was titled Striving for Greatness featuring basketball star LeBron James, and was produced by Félix & Paul Studios. This 12 minute film was uploaded on the Oculus store and on James’ Facebook profile for download via the Samsung Milk VR app.
Months later, and the social media giant has taken a keen interest on 360-degree film technology picking on Samsung’s Gear VR platform for this noble task. Why Samsung? some may ask. Apparently, Samsung Gear VRs strategically fit into Facebook’s mass market approach. This fair priced device has hit the market with a bang, becoming one of the largest virtual reality video players with the lowest risk. However, that 360-degree content is costly to produce and a bit limited now; the mass market strategy may or may not be realized immediately. The future looks promising though with the high number of video content uploaded daily on social media, along with the high awareness of virtual reality.
What’s in the Samsung Gear VR for commercial film producers? Going by the trend, virtual reality is catching up and fast with the mass market. Soon, the immersion experience in 360-degree videos that enthusiasts are looking for will be a common need in the mass market.
Even though it may take some time for virtual reality to go mainstream, directors are hopeful that when this will happen, returns for their investments will be evident. In addition, virtual reality is here to stay so why not invest now and reap in the future?
Agreeably, right now virtual reality hire may seem like a catch-22 decision being that such equipment is not only expensive to hire but also limited in the market. Again, looking at it from the consumer’s end, most gadgets such as computers and smartphones in the market are far from being compatible with this new technology. Consumer’s curiosity however, explains why billions upon billions of dollars are being invested in this industry. Right from the virtual reality headset production, to the production of compatible systems and handsets, to development of applications that support VR- business is in meeting consumer needs.
Law firm Perkins and Coie and the Advocacy group report on the state of VR; it is obvious that there is and has always been a keen interest on VR by entrepreneurs, consumers, content producers, consultants, investors, and even executives.
The other reason, apart from the obvious virtual reality technology trend in the market, why directors opt for Samsung Gear VR hire, is its unique ability to be deployed easily without fuss to a broad range of the public.
When the VRE team recently visited the BIFF (Bergen International Film Festival), we experienced the 360 films that were available. The subject matter was serious and they covered documentaries that were powerful. Due to the immersive nature of 360, these films were extremely emotive- almost too much so when we experienced some of the more difficult and emotional subject matter.
For directors to get inside the head of their audience, stir emotions and allow the viewer to experience much more closely what the director is trying to convey is the key advantage of VR and 360 film making. This concept is sure to grow exponentially having experienced it ourselves.
Filming for VR requires additional skill sets and some specialist equipment, but we are sure that as directors and producers learn how to use this new medium more effectively, we will start to see more and more 360 films produced for mainstream consumption.
Rent Samsung Gear VR For Your Event or Exhibition
VRE can support your event with the hire of Samsung Gear VR. We can provide as many devices as you need, and we can also pre-upload your devices with your VR application or movie if required.