Still need convincing that this virtual reality film idea has potential, even after Condition One and Jaunt came out with prototype camera rigs and test footage ?
Sir David Attenborough, the man behind dozens of critically acclaimed nature documentaries over the past five decades, is now bringing upcoming film Conquest of the Skies to the Oculus Rift, according to a report by Realscreen.
The news comes by way of Atlantic Productions commercial director John Morris, who said, "We're now filming for the Oculus Rift, so when we filmed our recent flight in Borneo, we filmed with an eight-camera rig, so you get the full 360-degree experience."
Unfortunately, the footage was most likely shot for the original Oculus dev kit, so it's unlikely to take advantage of the latest model's positional tracking. There's also no way to tell what the quality is like without seeing the film itself — early test footage by Condition One had a black circle at top and bottom where the camera rig couldn't capture, and I don't know how much this is present in Conquest of the Skies.
But in less than two months we've gone from a lone startup in the field of VR film to two startups and a documentary by David Attenborough. That's quite a leap in a nascent field — especially since, as I've said before, there isn't even a consumer virtual reality headset on the market yet. The only thing we're waiting on now is for a major film studio to announce an interest in the Rift.
For his part, Morris said he sees "millions of [Rift headsets] being sold" and sees the technology as "a new platform you can monetize."
And like Condition One, Morris acknowledges the challenges ahead. "We look at this as being comparable to the beginning of the film industry," he said.
Either way, I'll soon be relaxing in an armchair attached to the bottom of a helicopter, flying high over Borneo and listening to the dulcet tones of Sir Attenborough. At this rate I may never leave virtual reality again.
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