Continuing the thought from yesterday, we don’t need to wait 100 years to see a sensory evolution of the protagonist driven linear narrative.
Technologies are already emerging that allow movies to be seen from many different angles. For example, Total Cinema 360 develops software for shooting a movie using the same “see in all directions” camera that Google uses for Google Street View. Viewers can then put on an Oculus Rift and look around to see the movie in any direction.
Some computer games are a bit like movies with a user controllable camera. But games are usually more about making choices to affect the outcome than about conveying a traditional linear narrative. Probably because of this focus, the “acting” by non-player characters generally leaves much to be desired.
But game-related technology can be used another way. Suppose we just want to make a movie that can be wandered through — observed from any location and angle. Even today we can use motion capture and 3D graphical modeling, animation and rendering to create all the digital assets that would be needed to make such an immersive movie. Using emerging technologies like the newest version of the Microsoft Kinect, motion capture doesn’t even need to be prohibitively expensive.
But this is where we get to something that is not quite a movie as we know it: If the viewer can wander around the room and see things from any angle (as in immersive theatre pieces like “Tamara”, “Tony and Tina’s Wedding” and “Sleep No More”) then many of the traditional means of subliminal signaling used by filmmakers would no longer work.
The creators of such “immersive film worlds” cannot use many of the traditional filmmaker’s techniques for creating subjective experiences: The interplay between establishing shots, two-shots and close-ups, the choice of lens power and depth of focus, placing key and fill lights for a particular shot, and so forth.
New and different techniques will need to be developed, which do not rely on camera placement. Over time these new techniques will mature and evolve, and then we will truly have a new medium — Movies 2.0.