“Cinema is such an author driven medium – the authorial signature of the filmmaker is so important and it’s so elevated [but] in VR, you don’t want to be in the way of your story because the viewer is right there experiencing the piece first hand, and it’s their experience in a way,” explains Félix Lajeunesse, one half (alongside Paul Raphaël) of virtual reality filmmaking team Felix & Paul.
The duo offered guidance to VR creators in Rachael Steven’s article,
“I think that is the hardest thing to learn [as a director],” Lajeunesse continues. “What we do [at Felix & Paul] is still author-driven, but the way we approach and direct our experiences is completely different from the way we do it in film. I see experiences that are done by traditional filmmakers stepping into virtual reality and I very often can’t stand it, because I have the impression of this heavy hand that is guiding me through everything and the presence of the director is unbearable to me.
“Another thing is that you’re used as a filmmaker to thinking of the camera as your point of view. You might say a film is from a character’s point of view but it’s not really, it’s the directors. In virtual reality … you’re bringing the viewer inside of your stories and [you have to think about], how are you going to do that? How are you going to make them feel as if they belong in the space, as if they have an emotional connection with the characters? So you’re treating the camera not as a 360 camera, but as a person that you are implementing in your story. That’s something that is radically different from the film mindset but something that we believe – and not everyone feels the same, so this is just our opinion – but we believe is really important.”
To read more of Steven’s article,