Moving Forward with Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR), seems to be the way that technology is beginning to head towards. With movies always being a popular icon and attraction for entertainment, there seems to be this need for something more. Just like music, one will sometimes want to “vibe” or “groove” with the music, often dancing to the beat, matching motion with sound. Now almost most of the time, DJs will use lights to enhance the experience one may have with music. With that being said, movies are starting to make the turn to really getting interactive in a whole new way.

If you go to Disney World or another theme park, there tends to be 4D movies or IMax. This allows an audience member to become more immersed into their cinematic experience. With 4D, the audience uses more senses than just seeing the movie. They smell and feel what’s on the screen. With IMax, a viewer can look around almost 360 degrees to see what is on the screen, making it as if they are almost really there. However, with the advancement of VR coming into play, the ballgame has really changed.

VR, an up and coming invention, allows the user to use a headset and goggles to listen and watch the movie or short film. The user can move their body, tilt their head or rotate and still maintain the scene, except with a first person perspective; as if they’re actually there. This past August, Netflix released a trailer for Stranger Things, on “Popular Science” in complete VR 360. This allowed users to experience the 2D version, but now as if they were actually inside the trailer. Now, Popular Science is starting to shed light on the use of VR and how it will potentially become the new norm for watching shows and movies.

Personally, I own one of these VR headsets. I think it’s very interesting how immersed one can actually get into a three minute short. Sometimes I take off the set wanting more. The experience under the headset is unreal and truly does feel like you are within the scene. As for moving forward, I think VR will be the new way to experience movies. Directors and writers will want their audience to actually be a part of the story, making it more emotional and potentially breaking the movie-audience barrier that has never been touched. Imagine witnessing a murder in VR with another character. Only you and that character know what was seen. For the rest of the movie, the actions you make and the events you experience will potentially put the criminal in jail or let him go free. That emotional bond to bring the murderer to justice will be unlike any other emotional rollercoaster experienced at the movies.

VR is only the beginning. At some point, we may be able to interact with characters within media and alter a storyline based on actions. Looking even further, this might be the way all media is transmitted; the news. Soon, these goggles might not be called “virtual reality” anymore. They might become “reality goggles” and life will become the virtual reality.




LINK: Netflix Releases VR 360 Trailer





CSI: Miami “Urban Hellraisers”

QUESTION: Observe and describe how the forensic scientists in CSI: Miami Season 4 Episode 9 (“Urban Hellraisers”) use evidence and proofs (artistic and inartistic) to locate the criminal(s).

In the criminal analysis, I believe there was a good mix of inartistic and artistic material throughout the episode. When it comes to CSI, there’s a lot that goes into it, most of which everyday people are not aware of. I’ll start off with the inartistic content.

Cotton swab tests are the glorified way of solving the case (at least it seems) in this episode. These tests are always done in society, either for HIV testing, picking up foreign materials or testing DNA. At one point, Mr. Wolfe, the forensic specialist, notices a watermark on the bottom of the duffel bag that contains the tampered cash. He takes a cotton swab, rubs it on the crystallized area and runs a test on the make up of the crystals. All of which are factual and true. They run the test and find out that the water is actually a coolant that’s used in ice rinks. The plot thickens.

For the most part, this episode does a good job sticking to factual and realistic material such as cotton swabbing evidence or scanning the robbers mask to identify its’ facial structure. However, in the beginning after the robbery, the team takes a look at the surveillance video outside of the bank. They see the car and the robbers getting out. However, through the pixelated footage, they notice a sticker on the windshield of the car. Now, normally this would be impossible to make out, especially considering the fact that the robbers look like pixelated people, almost like Minecraft characters. The detectives zoom in on the camera footage and somehow, like finding an needle in a haystack, they can read exactly what it says on the sticker. This is where it jumps the shark.

I’m sorry but that scene was completely designed by the writers to advance the plot and make the story compelling. It was a wise artistic move, especially considering it would be their only advancement to find the robbers. Without that little “jump”, the episode would probably have to be rewritten.

Then again, this is TV and I don’t want to point out how unrealistic an episode is. That’s no fun.

NOTE: Grasping work that involved artistic and inartistic material was a bit tough. However, I decided to challenge myself and see what I could come up with. Enjoy!

Mad Men, S:1, E:1

I’m not too sure what to think after watching the pilot of Mad Men. Personally, the costumes were well put together and the overall 1950’s? look really made the show stand out. However, the writing was awful.

I read both articles on the first episode and I’d have to agree with the reviews from The Washington Post. Intentionally, author Tom Shales didn’t flat out say that if you enjoyed the episode, you’re stupid, but essentially, that’s what he meant.

The Washington Post doesn’t necessarily flat out say that the pilot was awful and that no one should watch it. However, by the choice of Mr. Shales’ language, it infers the writing was boring and slow and not enjoyable, especially for a first episode. He writes, “the stories unfold in a dry, drab way and the pacing is desultory”. The story was slow and the plot went nowhere within the hour. Shows, especially pilots, are supposed to be compelling and thought-provoking. Unfortunately, I heard more about how cigarettes were bad for you than I saw Mr. Draper take any action to change it.

After watching this pilot, the only plot I can really see continuing on is the affair between Miss Olsen and Pete. Otherwise, the story seems wrapped up with the relationship mended with Miss Siff and the Lucky Strike clients pleased with Mr. Draper’s “It’s Toasted!” pitch.

Anyway, The Washington Post made it very clear that this pilot was not of any high-brow material stating, “the people in and around them spoil the show, gum up the works and shatter veracity”. The setting and scenery are too forced and it seems that Mad Men is shooting for the “Best Scenery” award rather than “Best Performance”.

The way the Mr. Shales presented his thoughts made it seem that if you liked it, you were fully accepting what you saw for face value and did not look any deeper into the actual show itself. If I heard someone tell me that, I would be quiet upset. Essentially, Mr. Shales was bad mouthing the show while also bad mouthing the audience that accepted it.



TV Autobiography

I remember when I was first introduced to television, it was to my first TV show, Teletubbies. I was probably around the age of five or so when I saw my first episode. All I can remember is not knowing what to make of it. There were dancing furry people with weird bodies and shapes and they made odd noises that were supposedly their names. Taking that that this was a kids show, there really wasn’t much substance to it except for making cookies and singing songs. Somehow I was entertained by that and so Teletubbies it was.

As for right now, the type of television I watch differs greatly from before. Instead of strictly entertainment, I’ve branched off into watching more news and non-fictional programming. I feel like TV has always had a connotation that it rots your brain and it’s a waste of time. For some programs, I completely agree. However, with more and more documentaries and educational series coming out, I believe TV is still a one-stop shop for learning. Of course, that’s up to the audience to decide what they want. I will stick to my non-fictional programming while others watch silly shows like Big Brother.

When I’m usually watching some sort of programming, it’s on the TV itself or on my laptop. Since I’m currently living on campus, I have limited access to cable so my shows consist of Impractical Jokers or CNN News (even though I would like to have Fox News as well). Big favorite is The Weather Channel but I don’t want to be that big of a loser. On my laptop, I usually watch Netflix which I mainly use for odd movies I find or Family Guy. I watch the mind-numbing stuff when I’m bored and tired of school for the day.

As for how I watch my shows, I’m usually distracted by my phone with an occasional text or Snapchat. I most likely will make myself a bowl of popcorn and a glass of milk while I watch. On some occasions, during commercials, I’ll even do a little homework and read.

I guess it’s multi-tasking at it’s finest!