The Mill's Boo Wong Describes What Stays and What Goes as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Offer New Canvas to Content Creators
"We are in the very early stages of VR," says Wong. "Some people say it is year two, because it is the second year that VR headsets have been available, but in some ways it is only year one. The first room-scale VR is shipping this year.
"So it is very, very early days. If you look at everything from the way you make content for VR to the way you deliver VR, the technology is still very young and very immature. Where it is going remains to be seen, but it is super exciting."
Producing VR content also brings new creative challenges, Wong says. No longer can content producers rely on what she calls the 'dictatorship of attention': being able to specify precisely what viewers will see.
"We have to understand that the story can exist all around the viewer. They have to find the message themselves. We can no longer tell people what to do or where to look. That is now the starting point for us when we create this type of content. The viewer has so much more control. We have to put them into a world that allows them to discover what we want them to see but without saying to them, 'Hey, you have to look here, because that is the only choice you have'."
However, says Wong, many of the skills honed over years of producing short form video content are equally relevant to VR content production. "We are finding a great deal of synergy. It is a really exciting space to work in. My directors are thrilled. My artists are thrilled."
One mature technology being eagerly embraced by video content producers moving into VR is game engines. "We are new to this technology but it is very close to what we have been doing on the computer-generated visual effects side," Wong says. "The technology is very developed with lots of great features. Tapping into this and using it to tell our stories in VR is awesome."
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