Movie audience experiences the world in a movie through movie characters. Some movies, however, invite the audience into their world in a special way. Movie audience from around the world lined up at the entrance of the virtual reality (VR) theater in the BIFF Hill at the Busan Cinema Center on Friday to “immerse” themselves in movies.
The Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) screened 23 VR movies for the first time in 2017. A total of 53 VR films are being screened this year, and they also increased in variety to include drama, documentary, animation, and sci-fi. “The Tide 1~6” produced by Dexter Studio, “Code of Freedom 1991,” which users enter the bloodshed as a journalist with camera, “Fire Escape: An Interactive VR Series,” which invites users into a mysterious murder scene, and “The Key” create an illusion as if users are plugged into a virtual world like Neo in Matrix.
The development of VR content has been accelerated with the improvement of hardware, 5G, and cloud technology. VR movies offer a whole new experience in that they are in 360 degrees and the audience is allowed to move around, touching and operating objects in movies. International film festivals are scrambling to launch a new competition for VR movies. For example, the Venice International Film Festival introduced a Virtual Reality Competition in 2017. The growth of VR content is noticeable in Korea. Last year, VR film “Buddy,” directed by Chae Soo-eung, won the Best VR Experience award at the Venice International Film Festival.
Barunson Film is developing VR content with its film making knowhow and Dexter Studio is producing and distributing a variety of VR content, collaborating with webtoon writers, using its VFX technology. “In the beginning, VR content that focused on simple and stimulating effect drew much attention but the effect can be maximized only when the content is combined with well-structured story and technology,” said Park Jae-ha, head of the VR Game Department at Barunson Film. “The VR film market will be in full swing by 2022, when the development of technology and content reaches a certain level.”
Seo-Hyun Lee email@example.com