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Warning to wannabe VR filmmakers: Viewers expect perfection

Warning to wannabe VR filmmakers: Viewers expect perfection

Filmmakers interested in taking on VR projects be warned: viewers have a chronically low tolerance for low quality and corporate clients looking to make VR promos expect perfection.

These were just some of the lessons shared by Alex Mahon, CEO of The Foundry, a UK based software company that has already made a name for itself in the burgeoning world of VR film production.

During a keynote interview at IBC 2016 in Amsterdam on September 9, Mahon said VR content production remains at an early stage, with producers experimenting with varying degrees of success. “It’s trial and error and therefore there’ll be loads of crap for quite a while,” Mahon admitted.

This creates a challenge for viewers of VR content, who have a low tolerance for poor quality. “Tolerance for lower quality is next to zero in this environment; you are so immersed in it that if it’s not very good you want to get out quick,” she said.

Check out footage from Alex Mahon’s interview at IBC here:

 

This also means that commercial clients interested in VR content for promotional or marketing purposes tend to be pedantic about quality – which is not necessarily a bad thing. “With commercial work, clients’ tolerance for anything less than perfection is zero,” Mahon added. “They want everything to look perfect so they end up doing loads more work in post than they imagined. As a viewer, because you feel that sense of immediacy and presence as soon as you go into the environment, any flaw that’s not quite like the real world feels very visceral to you, so you desire perfection even before you desire a story.”

Alex Mahon of The Foundry being interviewed by Stewart Clarke, editor of TBI Vision at IBC 2016.

Alex Mahon of The Foundry being interviewed by Stewart Clarke, editor of TBI Vision at IBC 2016.

Despite these challenges, Mahon struck an optimistic note, especially when talking about some of the high level projects set to take place in the coming months. She pointed to Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB’s forthcoming VR game focused on the Star Wars character Darth Vader as project that could help change perceptions of VR.

 

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The Editor is a technology journalist with 15 years experience of covering telecoms and media.

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