Imagine, a young moviegoer buys his ticket, gets his popcorn, and claims his seat in front of the screen displaying ads for snack bundles, movie ticket discounts and local commercials.
Instead of watching the screen, however, the young man puts on a helmet, straps into his seat and dives into the world of the film in virtual reality, or VR.
The scent of grass wafts through his nostrils as he arrives in the grassy plains of what seems to be a prehistoric age area. In the distance he can see dinosaurs chewing leaves from trees, enormously long necks and some smaller creatures prancing through the tall grass.
He can hear the sounds of the dinosaurs all around him and he swears he can feel the vibrations of their footsteps echoing in his head.
Suddenly, the shadow of a larger dinosaur casts over him. He turns his head to look at what it is thats looming over his virtual body, there a Tyrannosauraus Rex, jaw wide, teeth dripping in saliva stares at him nearly eye to eye.
He turns his head, hoping the creature will go away, and when he turns back, the creature is gone, distracted by the characters of the film driving away in a Jeep as it gives chase.
This could be what film looks and feels like in the next couple of years thanks to the millions of dollars invested in virtual reality across the world of media.
The new technology could change the face of film, putting viewers directly in the movie, instead of posing as an outside viewpoint to the events unfolding on-screen.
Short films already utilzing this technology have been released on mobile devices and at several film festivals, and have been recieved well.
Filmmakers using this new technology have seen that viewers felt closer to the characters and developed stronger emotions during the film.
With this technology in the hands of educated filmmakers and studios, it could provide amazing new experiences in Hollywood, essentially opening a new era of film.
Since 1895 when the first film was shot and shown in paris, Cinema has allowed viewers the opportunity to epxlore unknown worlds, different planets, and even see personified emotions residing in a young teens head.
The cinema world is changing though, virtual reality is taking the stage and it is happening soon.
Marketers, journalists, and artists all make use of this rising technological marvel and cinema will be the next victim to the spectacle that is VR.
News publishers have already begun to report using 360-degree cameras and utlizing VR to help viewers witness things like the battles in Syria as if they were there themselves.
This type of technology is game-changing, quite literally.
Since the beginning of the era of film, seeing movies was an experience unattainable at home. Theaters contained speakers, projectors, and other technology that was meant to draw viewers in and keep their attentions wrapped around the film and its world.
In the era of VR, consumers want more, and film-makers want to feed that fire growing in the consumer market.
As VR becomes a more affordable product, huge changes are being made to the VR market. Headsets such as Oculus Rift, or the Samsung Gear VR, while originally meant for gaming, are opening doors to cinematic experiences opening doors to cinematic experiences unseen anywhere.
Fox Searchlights Pictures launched a three-minute 360-degree film called “Wild” back in 2014 and studios are pouring thousands into VR firms and workshops to learn and utlize the infant technology to achieve films that could allow viewers to experience a whole new type of movie.
Of course, with VR headset prices drastically declining, home sales will increase, pushing theaters to jump on and adopt the new technology or fail and allow home sales to overtake the market.
Previously, movies could only be viewed at a fixed angle decided by the director and camera crew. With VR, the consumer can choose what angle to view the film in. If they want to turn away from the horrific killing of the main character, they can, or if they want to escape the gaze of the evil creature stirring in the dark, that is also a possibility.
This technology immerses the viewer in the world that the director and screenwriter are trying to portray.
While it still has a few years before it reaches a price friendly for the majority of consumers and filmmakers, it is a product that is likely here to stay and will likely change the way that we interface with technology.