VR technology is unlikely to become mainstream in the film industry any time soon – cinema owners

Although virtual reality (VR) technologies are rapidly gaining popularity and are expected by some to become commonplace in a few years, they are unlikely to replace full-fledged feature films on cinema screens anytime soon, an expert told the Russian film industry sputnik

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – February 21, 2023) Although virtual reality (VR) technologies are rapidly gaining popularity and are expected by some to become commonplace within a few years, they are still unlikely to become full-fledged feature films cinema screens will ever be replaced soon, an expert on the Russian film industry told Sputnik.

The festival of virtual cinema “Culture 360” took place in St. Petersburg, where Russian VR short films and animation works were presented.

“These days, virtual tours and short films are being created that have a strong immersive effect, but it’s probably too early to speak of full-fledged VR feature films,” Eduard Pichugin, board member of the Producers Guild of Russia and owner of Velikan Parkkino im Russian St. Petersburg said.

Pichugin noted that VR films offered a unique and engaging way to spend an evening, but were primarily intended for individual consumption.

“VR is only possible if you wear VR glasses. The effect is closer to what we can experience playing a computer game than traditionally watching movies where there is a group effect of empathy,” explained Pichugin.

Today VR is actively evolving and every major tech company has presented their own vision of the technology including Sony, Microsoft, Samsung, Qualcomm and many others.

Nevertheless, the amount of content available in this format is still small, since the equipment required for VR film production is quite expensive, according to the expert.

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There are some film producers who have already started producing films with 360-degree cameras, which are necessary for VR screening, but overall this concept is not yet fully accepted by the public, Pichugin noted. This means the future of VR cinemas is still vague, he said.

“Remember when it was expected that 3D would be the future of filmmaking? As we see now, that didn’t happen,” he stressed.

At the same time, virtual reality and augmented reality (AR) have been around for some time and, according to the expert, have gradually influenced other mainstream media.

“VR tours, for example, allow people to visit places in a different way by being immersed in a virtual reality environment. It is interesting to observe the development of modern technology, just as people saw the emergence of cinema in the 19th century. Perhaps, we are on the verge of a new technological breakthrough and the re-emergence of a new art form,” concluded Pichugin.