Virtual Reality is one of the most intimate and personal viewing experiences, yet producers must create it without the powerful tools developed by the filmmakers who came before them. The VR user has replaced the cinematographer and editor by putting on a headset and exploring the worlds we create in the way they want to. Directors cannot cut to an important plot detail or zoom in on a character during a crucial scene. They must rely on new ways of thinking and designing to capture the user. "Frameless Storytelling" has emerged as a way to describe this new type of media where the audience can go anywhere and do anything. Producers are experimenting with sound, light and motion to guide the audience. We are learning these lessons while constructing Life Hutch VR and have recently turned to theme park design for inspiration, specifically the greatest theme park designer of all time, Walt Disney.
Anyone who has enjoyed Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean or Haunted Mansion has experienced their mastery of frameless storytelling firsthand. Rides likes these take us on an emotional journey where we suspend disbelief and sit back to enjoy the show, an experience we are trying to create in virtual reality. A group called Walt Disney Imagineering was formed in 1952 to design Disneyland, and ever since they have been at the forefront of crafting immersive entertainment experiences.
Marty Sklar led Imagineering for many years and captured his guiding principles into what he called "Mickey's Ten Commandments."
Here are a few that we refer to every day and think are critical to VR storytellers.
Organize the flow of people and ideas
Make sure there is a logic and sequence in our stories and the way Guests experience them
Create a wienie (visual magnet)
Create visual “targets” that will lead Guests clearly and logically through your facility
Communicate with visual literacy
Make good use of color, shape, form, texture – all the nonverbal ways of communication
Avoid overload and create turn-ons
Resist the temptation to overload your audience with too much information and too many objects
Tell one story at a time
Stick to the story line; good stories are clear, logical, and consistent
You can read more Marty Sklar and his incredible team in the book One Little Spark and subscribe to our email alerts to get the latest updates on Life Hutch VR.