James Cameron ‘incorrect’ about VR, says Palmer Luckey

by Ian Hamilton • August 13th, 2015

When mediums emerge or change dramatically certain artists are able to adapt while others cannot. When films added sound, for example, an actor who looked great on screen but had a strange voice suddenly couldn’t find work. More recently, people like James Cameron, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have pioneered the changes to filmmaking that have shaped modern movies. Consider their respective work on Titanic, Star Wars: Episode I and Jurassic Park for examples of how they adapted to computer generated imagery. So whenever an artist of that caliber weighs in on a change, the world takes notice.

Now the world is at the cusp of affordable VR and Steven Spielberg is directing, for release in December 2017 , the adaptation of ’80s-inspired VR book Ready Player One. On the other hand, James Cameron, as of last year, was cautious to herald the arrival of consumer VR.

“When is it going to be mature, when is it going to be accepted by the public at large, when are people going to start authoring in VR and what will that be?” Cameron said, as quoted by Hollywood Reporter.  “What will the level of interactivity with the user be other than just ‘I can stand and look around.'”

The latest bit of commentary comes courtesy of Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, who is publicly showing increased confidence in the storytelling capabilities of VR after the premiere of Oculus Story Studio short film Henry last month.

“He [James Cameron] is incorrect..All you have to do is try virtual reality to understand that it goes beyond anything you can do, even on a 3D television or a 3D movie screen,” Luckey told IGN. “Feeling like you’re actually present in a virtual world, it gives you a much more compelling canvas to tell stories with than having to frame everything into a small rectangle you just watch.”

Minds change though and new hardware and demos can have a great effect on people. To Cameron’s point, he didn’t have a chance to try the added interactivity of the Oculus Touch or HTC Vive when he made those comments last year.  With HTC continuing to tour the Vive, the Kaleidoscope VR film festival starting later this month, and Oculus Connect next month, there are going to be more opportunities to change influential minds.

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