For me, this past year has been all about trying new things and igniting new passions. I did some freelance film work, began teaching more classes, and I got involved with various forms of interactive media that introduced me to the tech startup world. Recently, I attended a meetup at Google about virtual reality (VR) filmmaking, and it really sparked something in me. I have to say that the energy and enthusiasm building around VR is palpable, especially in the Bay Area.
The first time I viewed something in VR, I felt transported to a new place. I was in awe of how present I felt in the scene, and the connection I felt to the individuals on camera. It was amazing and I could instantly see the potential of the medium to tell personal stories, connect people from across the world, and bring about a new level of understanding between cultures. It’s probably the documentary filmmaker in me that makes me so excited about this, but I believe that this technology can change the world and I want to be a part of that. I also think that the storytelling capabilities of VR can be pushed much further than they have so far, and filmmakers need to be the ones to experiment with how to do that.
I’m anxious to start producing content in this new medium and have been trying to watch every new cinematic VR project being released. I bought a Samsung Gear VR headset, and I think it’s probably the best product on the market right now for mobile VR. I’ve also teamed up with a local startup who is bringing me on some VR shoots with their prototype rig, and teaching me how to stitch and edit video. So I’m stepping into new territory here, and I’m excited about where the industry is headed. I’m hoping 2016 will not only be a big year for VR in general, but the year I start breaking new ground with content production.