Despite years of experimentation with various film techniques, Steven Soderbergh doesn’t believe that virtual reality (VR) is suitable for long narration. This likely means that Lucky Logan 2 won’t be in VR.
In an interview with IGN, we asked Soderbergh – who previously shot entire films on iPhones – if he was interested in VR for possible future projects. But the director was flat in his refusal.
“No, I don’t think VR has long narrative uses. I just don’t, ”says Soderbergh. “There are some major technical barriers that preclude a filmmaker from using some of the essential tools. That combined with the fact that you have the thing on your head for two hours combined with the inability to see anything with someone in order to share their experience with them. “
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While Soderbergh says that the social moment of interacting with others in response to a movie is a major negative against VR, he also mentions an even bigger problem.
“The inability to show the protagonist’s face in a VR room,” says Soderbergh. “There’s no POV or reverse angle on a character experiencing this is hugely limiting. In this way, we deal with visual stories by observing the characters’ expressions so that we can read the emotions of what we are experiencing. “
Likewise, Soderbergh has ruled out working in games, but only because the director admits he doesn’t have a lot of gaming experience. And because of this, he believes VR experiences “were really designed for games in my head”.
Just because Soderbergh doesn’t believe in VR movies doesn’t mean others haven’t tried. Several studios are working on exactly this, including Baobab Studios. And the VR game Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond actually featured a documentary called Colette, which won Best Documentary (Short) at the 2021 Oscars.
IGN has a full interview with Soderberg where we talk to him about his upcoming thriller Kimi, set in the Seattle COVID-19 pandemic. The director also touched on the state of theaters in the face of the ongoing pandemic.
Matt TM Kim is the news editor for IGN. You can reach him @lawofd.