Like flying cars, virtual reality has long been advertised as an exciting feature of the future — and like flying cars, it’s a concept so parodied and mocked that it’s hard to take the concept seriously anymore.
Except, Hollywood finally is. In recent years, studios such as Disney have embraced the idea of introducing virtual-reality elements into their upcoming films, championing VR as a way to make movies more “interactive.”
As a longtime movie lover, I feel a knee-jerk resistance to virtual reality. I don’t need gimmicks, and I like films at exactly the level of interactivity that they are right now. So I wanted to talk to someone who might change my mind.
Ted Schilowitz works at 20th Century Fox, which is helping lead the charge on VR development, creating an entire virtual-reality supplement to its Oscar-nominated blockbuster The Martian. He’s a true believer in the VR revolution.
And so, he was the perfect guest for the inaugural episode of my new monthly podcast, What Am I Missing?, in which I track down true believers, hobbyists and experts to help convert me to their passions.
Give it a listen below.
Tim Grierson is one-half of The New Republic’s film column Grierson and Leitch. He is also a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone and Vulture as well as the author of six books, including a biography of Public Enemy.