How soon will it be before we all enjoy VR films?

By He Keyao ( ) Updated: 2016-04-23 06:23:24
How soon will it be before we all enjoy VR films?

Wang Yu, COO of Qihuan Technology, another VR start-up in Beijing, shared his ideas on VR film production. [Photo by He Keyao/]

Possible solution: leveraging on traditional films

Compared with traditional films, VR movies have innate advantages -- more interaction, a stronger sense of immersion and more personal experience. But this also means huge costs, especially for the scenario setting and post-production - another challenge that VR producers have to face.

Wang Yu, COO of Qihuan Technology, another VR start-up in Beijing, and Dong Yuhui, a film director who also founded a movie start-up called Yihui Film, stressed that leveraging on traditional movies and TV products can be a shortcut for VR films.

"Traditional films are good at story-telling and narration, while VR films stand out in giving audiences a better reality experience, " said Wang Yu. "Why can’t we combine the two?"

Wang said that by cooperating with traditional movie production teams and using well-received literary or TV content, VR films can enjoy more popularity with less cost.

A VR TV product, Ice Fantasy, co-produced by Qihuan Technology, will be presented to Chinese audiences soon and it is a full interpretation of Wang's idea. This VR drama, based on a popular work by Chinese celebrated novelist Guo Jingming, was produced with its traditional TV version, which will be aired in July. By sharing the storyline, celebrity cast and their large number of fans, the VR product is predicted to become a hit in the market.

Qihuan Technology's operation pattern strongly echoes Dong’s view.

"By doing this, it can easily make those fans of the original story and celebrities become lovers of its VR version," said Dong, who called for closer cooperation between VR teams and traditional ones at the beginning of the production.

"VR films are not a replacement of traditional ones. Instead, it is a brand new art form that will perfectly co-exist with traditional TV products," Dong said.

Earlier this year, American cable and satellite television network HBO released a VR trailer for Season 6 of Game of Throne, which is a sensation among fans. Yet the future of mature VR film and TV industries is still yet to be seen.

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