What can the storyteller do for the audience in a VR story? This is something that we have been looking into for class. There are clues that can direct the viewer, but it’s impossible to entirely direct their attention. I think it’s important that this is accepted when starting to make a story in VR.
In the d.school post on designing for VR, one thing that really jumped out at me was that with user centric design concepts in mind, it’s important to have repetition in the story so that the viewer just familiar with the way you are trying to tell the story and when they see a specific queue multiple times, they will learn how to react in a scene.
In the second reading, I found this paragraph focusing on why documentary VR has been successful:
“The documentary genre has certainly flourished in 360 video. It clearly feels tremendously affecting to be in a refugee camp. And as soon as you hear a omnipresent voiceover booming, the viewer is comfortable in the format. Nothing is being asked of them. They can just look around and witness. You could argue this takes away some of the magic of the true documentarian artiste, who will build the mise en scene for maximum effect, but there’s no denying it’s a powerful empathy hit. But it doesn’t require us to HAVE to see something happen, like linear narrative might. I might miss something by looking left rather than right in a VR Docu, but the voiceover can ultimately save me.”
I think the interesting point here is the last couple of word “…the voiceover can ultimately save me” reducing the FOMO the viewer might have and as a result be looking around so much and ultimately miss the important part of the scene.
This poses something interesting… would a narrater in a narrative film help to ease the mind of the viewer?
Another interesting quote from this reading is the following: ” The rear 180 adds to immersion, the front 180 tells the story.” Something to think about when creating scenes moving forward.
I definitely don’t have the answer to whether or not storytelling in VR will work, but I’m excited to find out.
Here is our assignment for the week ( I worked with Alex and Lauren to cut together this homage to Woody Allen’s film, Manhattan):
For our second assignment we were asked to record 60 seconds of an environment that would work well in a 360 video. A place that has movement and takes all planes in to consideration (x, y and z).
Ashley, Oriana and I decided to travel to Bryant Park’s Ice Skating Rink. As shown in the video below, there is some great movement of the skaters moving in a circular motion around the camera, as well as the towering buildings and trees add some visual “height” to the piece.
After watching the second cut outlined in the article above (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPhdLz2Ebfw), there are a couple of notes that I want to highlight that I think worked really well:
The simple use of attention grabbing sounds, makes you look for where the sound is coming from. This seems to be an affective tool to draw the attention of the viewer
In the gondola scene, there was only one individual that you could see the face of in the scene, everyone else had their back turned to the camera. Because of this, I was immediately interested in watching the individual where I could see her face, and after doing a 360 look around, I found myself fixed on her. This could also be a great way to draw the eye of the viewer in a VR film.
This was a really interesting article for this point that she highlight (something I struggled with in our first assignment in this VR class):
What this picture shows is that as you go from scene to scene, if the viewer is watching the hiker climb the glacier and the next frame will be lined up in that same orientation as shown in the next shot. In the second shot, this may not be where you want the viewer to be focusing on. That being said, it is very important to plan out the exact shots before going out with the camera.