Why do I love festivals so much? One reason might be that I find myself being surprised anew every time. Only on festivals do you find gems you would have otherwise never encountered. This holds true for classic films; doubly so for virtual reality experiences. The VR animated film Lucid turned out to be just that kind of discovery at Venice VR, where it celebrated its premiere. The captivating adventure revolving around a mother-daughter duo asks the big questions of life – and demonstrates, almost in passing, the definition of virtuous storytelling in VR.
Does it not sound like a battle cry? TriBeeeCaaa! Tribeca, here I come! Those familiar with me will know that, when it comes to film festivals, I am not squeamish in the slightest. Sleep deprivation, long waiting lines, no time for food or drink– count me in! The Tribeca Film Festival marked my first overseas event, and it came with the ambitious goal of sampling every single experience found in the virtual reality exhibit. How did I do? See for yourself.
Many fans of VR associate 360-degree film most strongly with one thing: watching instead of participating. Satisfying a role this may be – the more time I spent in the goggles, the greater the wish becomes to be part of the story. I start catching myself exhibiting little ticks: nodding, tiptoeing around, laughing, speaking, gesticulating into an empty room; only to realize: “Oh right, that doesn’t work here.” Quite frustrating, actually; and I was not the only one to feel this, as they are amongst us: interactive films in 360 degrees, of which I have compiled some particularly striking examples in this article (including my favorite of 2017!).