Text version below, for clarity:

Fifty Shades Darker: Masquerade Ball

The Good: – Hollywood is keen on “VR for PR” which is a good thing.

– Good Music and Sound Design.

The Bad: – It’s an eyesore when watching “Cinematic VR” where the scene goes flat as you look around (you’re at a Masqurade Ball!)

– 2D to 3D Conversion houses: In VR, the 3D screen is strapped to your face – you can tell badly done floor reflections as well as when the world outside the window is ‘pasted’ onto the window!

– In the picture above -the woman on the right has half her body go flat as she greets the couple at the ball.

NuVision: Episodic VR series.

The Good:

– Cinematic VR is going mainstream with demand rising for production of Episodic content.

– The story looks promising and could turn out to be a real VR page turner.

– This episode shows proof that seeing the human form and acting, up-close in VR, is what will draw audiences in*

The Bad:

– The Stereoscopy is a bit off: – This production needs a stereographer AND a Camera rig redesign.

– Massive need for Stereo QC (quality control)

– Scale if off – the hyperstereo in this espisode makes furniture look like lego pieces and people seem to be minifigures.

– *Just as HD initially had actors fearing closeups, bad acting will fear VR.

The Click Effect.

The Good:

– Underwater VR is not an easy task, and there were some good scenes captured here.

– Immersion factor is high…when it works. For non divers, this is the closest one could come to, to experiencing deep sea diving.

The Bad:

– Editors need to unlearn ‘the cut’ Not specifically whether to cut or not, but more lower level effects of VR on audiences.

– The first scene is good, then the whole production goes south the moment the first cross dissolve kicks in

– This film can literally lead to sea sickness because of the camera bobbing around as the divers leave the ship wreck.

– Stereo conversion in many shots leads to scale mismatches (divers go from larger than life to toy size in single scenes)

– Curators at film festivals need to up their tech skills for this Genre. VR has the power to immerse, yet also cause physical harm to audiences.

The Harbinger Trial.

The Good:

– Quite immersive. This isn;t really the same as the others, as it’s done in a Game Engine and CG only. Yet, there is story.

– Audience interaction is high and I can see such VR narrative experiences playing out well at IMAX VR, DREAMSCAPE and other “VR cinemas” that will begin to mushroom this year, worldwide.

The Bad:

– Despite it being dead easy compared to video based VR to control all aspects of the production…the Camera has you floating way above and feels unnatural.

So, there it is. My critique (mostly from a technical perspective) on some of the recent releases on the Oculus / Samsung Gear VR platform,

To those involved in the production of these experiences, I appreciate the work put in, and hopefully the critique comes across constructively.

If there’s questions or you’d like to read more on cinematic VR production, reach me via or on twitter @cly3d.