3 December 2015

Screenwriting & Directing: December 7th. The future of film and 360' storytelling - Holly Read

Blog post for December 7th: Holly Read

What is the future of film?

I ask myself this question a lot. With so many new technologies developing and emerging, there are so many possibilities for film-makers to develop film techniques and relationships with the audience. When I think about the future of film there is one concept which comes to mind, which, in my opinion, would revolutionize the film industry. The idea is based off the "simulator rides" at Universal Studios in Florida, in which audiences are placed in cubicles which move, spin and rotate, creating the feeling that the passenger is actually moving, falling or flying, following the action which is displayed on a giant, all-encompassing screen, making you feel like you're in that world and interacting with the characters. It was a great experience for me, I went on the Harry Potter ride which took you on a tour of Hogwarts. At one point in the ride you're flying on a broom over the Quidditch pitch, falling straight to the ground following the characters of the movie. It actually felt like we were at Hogwarts on the Quidditch pitch. This kind of technology could revolutionize film as it puts the spectator in the main seat, following the action as if they were actually in the world, stimulating rain, sudden drops, running, flying, spinning, the possibilities are endless. The cubicle the audience is placed in can move around like a traditional ride through different sets but also moving on the spot according to the action which is projected onto the giant screen (which takes up the whole view, you can't see any limitations or edges). It forces the spectator to be completely immersed in the action not only mentally but physically too. Yes, this is a concept that could potentially apply to feature films, but just like 3D and Imax, it doesn't mean it will change film in it's entirety. For one, if used non-stop during the whole film it could cause discomfort among the audience. Secondly, film-makers may choose to focus on the ride aspect of the film rather than the story. You wouldn't need to be thrown around the whole time. What would be the point in that? Furthermore, it would be difficult to accommodate large audiences at once as it would require a lot of space. I still believe it's an interesting concept though as the audience will feel more involved in the movie. They wouldn't portray a main character but rather a secondary character just following the story, they would replace the camera. 

360' storytelling:

I think 360 degrees storytelling is a great concept, but it could cause confusion for the spectator. Film-makers traditionally apply film-making techniques (specific shots, lighting, etc) to express a certain and idea and motif that holds a certain degree of importance within the film. When the spectator has the possibility of looking all around themselves, they are given no direction, they aren't told where to look which would impact their understanding of the story, they could miss out of the important details which reveal information about characters or the plot, they could miss the message the film-maker wanted to express. If we were to transfer this technique to film I think it would only work for certain sequences (action sequences more specifically) rather than scenes which require the audience to look a certain way at the scene presented to them, scenes that are essential to the overall plot. 
If I was a film-maker asked to used this technique I would only use it for certain moments in the film rather than the whole thing, otherwise the audience would only see the information and may not understand it. 

Holly READ


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