Acclaimed director/producer Ridley Scott is involved in a mysterious new virtual reality project, according to a recent interview with Yahoo Movies.
The 77 year old has been on the cutting edge of technology for decades, from the heavily special effects laden Alien and Blade Runner films, to films at the cutting edge of 3D in Prometheus and HDR in Exodus: Gods and Kings. It’s no surprise, then, that Scott would be a pioneer in the latest format desinged to bend our minds in the world of visual media.
Talking about future projects that involve virtual reality, Scott claimed he was already working on one, “I’m in one now — I shouldn’t say which.”
The mystery project isn’t a totally new frontier for the director, who will release a 15-minute long bit of added content to his recent Matt Damon-starring project The Martian as downloadable content for Oculus Rift. In it, the user will be able to see Mars from the perspective of an astronaut’s helmet, before a series of dark events unfold.
As far as Scott is concerned, it seems as though the use of virtual reality in contemporary filmmaking is inevitable. Asked about the utilization of VR in any of his own projects, the director said, “You have to go for it. You’ve got to, you’d be stupid not to.”
It’s a sticky bit of technology though, given that a room full of people walking around with their helmets on would offer some fairly significant challenges—such as inadvertently walking into one another. Scott’s solution to that problem is simple, “It points to me as probably a domestic experience, where you can sit in a room like this and [walk] through a whole universe by yourself, and then pass it on to your family.”
Any new technology offers it’s own set of challenges, but the intriguing possibilities opened up in a 360-degree viewing environment seem to outweigh the negatives. Even the idea of creating digital environments, such as movie theaters, fake outdoor venues, or even other worlds, in which to view content have many in the film industry excited to utilize the new tech. Imagine watching a giant screen playing The Martian on Mars.
Who knows, experiencing a full feature-length Hollywood film in a 3D environment might happen sooner than you think, especially given that, for high-level thinkers like Scott, the train has already left the station.