VR cinema. Virtual spectacle as a dream

Новиков Василий Николаевич


The essay analyzes the meaning of the term “immersion” in relation to its application in modern cinema, explores the significance of physiological sensations in the perception of artistic and entertaining VR content, and discusses the main features of the aesthetics of 360° spherical video.

In a state of immersion, a person ceases to psychologically perceive the screen as a repeater of an artificially created world, actually merging with the surrounding space. This technology, embodied in VR films, poses many still unresolved issues: the management of the subject’s attention, the role of editing, the quality of sound, the use of music, film narration, the participation of the viewer in a film's events, work with light and color.

The VR video format with a 360° overview is used in many areas: music videos, virtual tours, documentary travels, independent “dives” into art works, digital painting, and installations. In all these cases, the viewer feels like an observer, finding himself in the very center of an infinite, all-encompassing virtuality.

In contrast to the traditional film that appeals to the mass consciousness of the audience, the viewing of VR content is aimed at the personal self-awareness of the individual. Images perceived in this format have a potentially higher impact on the human psyche and the human unconscious because they are remembered more vividly as a result of the complex involvement in the personalized experience “here and now”. The ability of the author-artist to create for the viewer an emotionally saturated “dream” — with the psychological fusion of the subject and the space takes place — is a qualitatively new quality of VR dives, a feature uncharacteristic of traditional visual arts.

Full Text

The article explores the meaning of the term ‘immersion’ in the context of modern cinema, the physiological feelings of a person perceiving an entertaining VR content and the effect of the 360-Degree video on the viewer. This issue is raised because a person in the state of immersion does not perceive the screen as the translator of artificial reality, but ‘merges’ with the plot. This state is most accurately rendered by the term ‘Dreamt Me’ defining both the artistic concept of the audiovisual product and the degree of the individual’s immersion into the VR content.

About the authors

Vasily N. Novikov


Author for correspondence.
Email: vestnik-vgik@vgik.info

Russian Federation

Post-Graduate Student


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Supplementary files

Supplementary Files Action
Новиков В.Н. Фото автора

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Artistic interactive VR quest ‘‘ The Psycho ’’

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A shot from the VR trailer for the film “Time of the First” (2017), directed by Dmitry Kiselev

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VR film “The Story of a Jester” (2016), directed by Alexey Bystritsky

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A.G. Inyarritu and E. Lyubetski at the premiere of his VR film “Flesh and Sand” (2017). At the Cannes International Film Festival, the film won an Oscar

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