Given that the organizers have been exhibiting feature length virtual reality films since 2015, could Tribeca Film Festival make virtual reality movies mainstream?
By: Ringo Bones
From computer generated animation extravaganzas to serious documentary films, exhibitors at Tribeca had been taking advantage of the improved virtual reality headsets now commonly available to the general public. From Oculus Rift and related virtual reality headsets, it seems like the virtual reality format is no longer limited to serious computer gaming and thanks to Tribeca, virtual reality could represent the next step in the evolution of the art of cinema – even a step above current Imax 3D.
Ever since it has evolved past its nystagmus plagued and sea-sickness inducing first generation virtual reality headsets of the early 1990s, serious computer gamers have been the first ones to exploit the potential of a new generation of improved virtual reality headsets – like the Oculus Rift – during the first decade of the 21st Century. And thanks to Tribeca’s first crop of virtual reality films of 2015, it seems like this year’s Tribeca will be remembered as the time when immersive virtual reality movies went mainstream.
The 2016 Tribeca was also notable for Turning Forest virtual reality because it was one of the first VR based films that uses motion tracked surround sound that makes the headset wearer experience a wrap-around surround sound that’s congruent to the virtual reality film being played. Most virtual reality headsets on the market still don’t have this newfangled surround sound feature. And the same motion tracked surround sound technology will be used for the upcoming Chernobyl VR documentary that aims to make the viewer as if he or she were actually there during the world’s worst nuclear power plant accident that happened back in April 26, 1986.