Topic: Future of Cinema
Members: Justine, Mitch, Harry, Isabel
For all the technological advances in society, cinema had essentially remained unchanged in its format since its inception. It has been a tried and true method, the simplest design and seemingly un-needing of change. That is, until change occurs, and we can see how it can be better.
VR, and 360 are the two words that are sending the cinema world aflutter. Two new, rapidly developing technologies that have the capacity to take the concept of cinema, and reinvent it.
Our project began with the topic of the ‘Future of Cinema’, and we were tasked with exploring what this means. Cinema has long-danced around the ideas of expanding the cinematic experience from sitting in a chair and watching a 2D screen. 3D movies and screens expanded this, and in the early days was sensational and groundbreaking. Now, it has struggled to get off the ground as something more than a novelty. 4D, and incorporating senses like touch to continue this expansion, making your skin cold or water spraying to elicit more stimulus to the audience. It is popular in theme parks, but you’ll be hardpressed to find a practical way this could be engaged in a cinema setting. Outdoor cinemas, sought to break out of the locked in room of a theatre, but the flat screen persisted.
Many directors and film makers alike have speculated what the future holds for cinema. James Cameron sees the pivotal structure of cinema remaining, but ‘computer generated’, ‘hyper-realistic’ will change the movie-going experience (Muñoz 2010). Production companies are already investigating and experimenting with the latest and greatest, Dreamworks aiming for ‘Super Cinema’ of pre-rendered CGI, 360 3D footage. All the bells and whistles (Lang 2014).
The class discussion roundtable, when given the question what is the future of cinema, were more inclined on focusing on what the actual technology will be, and what it can do rather than what the future cinema will be. The technologies are in their infancy, and only just showing what they can be capable of, but connecting them to cinema has proven challenging.
And so, our pitch for the future of cinema is not dissimilar. In that it will be an exploration of the technology and its capacities, and can we include a narrative within a new technology, when previous storytelling elements are removed (Framing, Focusing, etc)
What many reportings and articles reached in their conclusion, that I will discuss along with the progress of our own exploration, was that no matter what technology changes, the core of storytelling must remain. Will the way the storytelling be told change with the technology, or will a new form of storytelling emerge from it?
Muñoz, L (2010) ‘James Cameron on the Future of Cinema'<http://www.smithsonianmag.com/40th-anniversary/james-cameron-on-the-future-of-cinema-983659/?no-ist>
Lang B (2014) ‘DreamWorks Reveals Glimpse of 360 Degree ‘Super Cinema’ Rendering for VR Films (video)'<http://www.roadtovr.com/dreamworks-reveals-video-360-degree-virtual-reality-super-cinema-format/>