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Understanding the Cinematography Principles of Virtual Reality

NoFilmSchool talks to Paul Raphael of pioneering VR studio Félix & Paul Studios about some of the production lessons they have learned as they have made their VR films like Lebron James: Striving for Greatness and Nomads.

Says Raphael. “I think it’s wrong to say that there’s no cinematography in VR. It’s just very different from traditional cinematography where you’re thinking inside of a frame and you’ve basically got this planar, two-dimensional image in front of you. When you’re framing in VR, you still have composition. You’re positioning the camera in a very specific place. The way we tend to go about composing for our VR [at Felix & Paul] is to think of the camera as a person. Ultimately, someone is going to put a headset on and they’re gonna see this shot as if they were there. So, by really thinking of the camera as a person, you tend to get a better feeling for where the camera can and should be. Can someone actually be here or not?”