10 Quotes on Virtual Reality Filmmaking & Storytelling from SxSW

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10 Quotes on Virtual Reality Filmmaking & Storytelling from SxSW



I’ve pulled together some of my favorite quotes about the future of filmmaking and storytelling in virtual reality from my time at SxSW. These quotes really make me think, challenging my existing paradigms and helping me imagine what the future might be like.


“Now, VR needs to be driven by creative. Creative will make the tech better.”

Cliff Plumer, President at Jaunt Studio



“You have to think more like architecture than a set to frame.”

Ramiro Lopez Dau, Director & Animation Supervisor at Oculus Story Studio



“Throw out everything you know about filmmaking in a traditional sense.”

Rob Holzer, Founder at Matter Unlimited



“I feel like I’m trying to master something that will be archaic in a year.”

Gabo Arora, Co-creator of the United Nations Virtual Reality film series


“As storytellers now is time to take a stand & carve out space so VR isn’t just known for porn.”

Hayley Pappas from RYOT Films (rough paraphrase)


“I worry about some of the other things this could cause. There needs to be a sense of reality even in virtual reality.”

Cliff Plumer, President at Jaunt Studio


“With a pen you can write a love letter or a hate letter … It’s up to us to set the example of what VR should be.”

Chris Milk, Founder of VRSE


“Rule of thumb in VR story: What’s the most interesting thing that could happen if you were there? Spectacle isn’t sustainable.”

Chris Milk, Founder of VRSE


“This doesn’t replace television or cinema. Nothing goes away.

People said radio was the end to literature and TV was the end of radio. But we still read books and listen to the radio and watch TV.

There is a common perception that this is the future of film. It is definitively not an evolution of film.

The first thing to recognize is that this is not film.

It’s not about retrofitting movie theaters with VR headsets.

This is a new medium. It’s an unwritten canvas. People can figure out what a story looks like and an audience can see if they like it. It’s a really unique time.

We will make movies in VR but that isn’t the final form in storytelling by any means.

The frame is a manufactured structure. But it isn’t the way we experience life.

You experience stories every day and you never think, this would be a better day if we had a rectangle telling me where to look.

It’s going to take thousands of artists and directors to figure it out. That’s how things evolve. One person in a lab doesn’t crack the case of storytelling.”

Chris Milk, Founder of VRSE


“Feeding our senses a stimuli that is so similar to what we see in reality, that we interpret it as reality.

In all other mediums your consciousness is interpreting a medium. But in VR there is no gap. You aren’t internalizing it. You are internal in it.

It’s a quantum leap in mediums because the medium is disappearing.

If you just look at the medium and what it’s doing, we are basically broadcasting human senses to your conciseness.

We are duplicating perception.

If you scale that out, you can see where the medium goes. Eventually using the other senses we have. Touch being the big one.

Right now the experiences we are making are observational of a character where you are immersed in that world.

In film you watch a character in a different world.

Now you are watching a story about a character in a story that you’re also in.

But, that’s not where we’ll end up.

In the future, you will be the character. The story will happen to you.

The medium is more and more experiential. It will happen to us.”

Chris Milk, Founder of VRSE