Image credits – Wikipedia If you’ve been following the innovation timeline with regard to cinema, you’d have noticed by now that VR or Virtual Reality is the next big thing. But, is it really? Well, it certainly seems so considering the actions of a few major players. For instance, IMAX recently announced that it would be partnering with Google to build a virtual reality camera. If that wasn’t enough, the theater company has even planned on launching virtual reality experiences designed by filmmakers from Hollywood. These aren’t just your average filmmakers. We are talking about people like Michael Bay, who personally wants to offer his audiences a more immersive experience with IMAX’s upcoming project. Bay Isn’t Alone Bay isn’t the only one capitalizing on VR. Many filmmakers are looking at VR as a tool that is capable of altering the dynamic between creator and viewer. Heather Wright, Executive Producer at Aardman Animations, is one such individual who is making the most of VR. She is currently involved in a VR project with BBC. Wright explains that VR is able to offer something that traditional cinema cannot, which is, allowing the viewer to explore the story or journey by themselves. Of course, this means the very basics of film-making will have to undergo serious alterations. IMAX’s move is being referred to as a gutsy one because the company is experimenting with an experience that completely removes the viewer from the actual world. Image credits – Flickr CEO Richard Gelfond believes that VR will soon see manufacturers and content creators swarming towards it, with the objective of establishing their territory. He also speaks of IMAX’s new VR project serving as a social experience, which is similar to what cinemas currently provide. Miles to Go… But, all said and done, VR still has a long way to go. IMAX and Bay are just a handful of the “big names” experimenting with VR and film. The possibilities are infinite, but, the film industry has only scratched the surface. Also, the viability of VR as an effective storytelling medium is dependent on the storytellers themselves. Some say that VR will only grow to compliment cinema, rather than replace it. Director Jon Favreau of Iron Man fame is one of them. He feels that VR is just another “vehicle for entertainment” and not a suitable replacement for film. Though he agrees that VR can be an effective storytelling medium, he also believes that it is limited to very specific styles of storytelling.