Movie theaters have transformed over the past five decades from glitzy palaces displaying larger-than-life images to banal mall destinations with digital projection. But what will the movie theater of the future be like -- and how will we experience projected images decades from now? In a guest post from Tribeca Film's "Future of Film" blog, filmmaker and visual artist Andrei Severny imagines the movie theater of the future in which "cinema will quite literally start to merge and replace real life." It's a thrilling and terrifying idea. Read some of his thoughts below:
Theaters will gradually move away from looking at a rectangle of light in a dark room and evolve into large-scale public attractions becoming urban theme parks, where cinema is only part of the experience. However, the most immersive forms of cinema will play individually at one’s wish outside of both theaters and displays. There will be a merging of gaming and movies. First, through technologies emerging today - flexible screens, motion controls, haptic - or tactile - technology, smart glasses, virtual and augmented reality. The merging of real and projected worlds will produce a seamless experience - a complete illusion of being part of a film. We may reach a moment when the real world will become secondary. Landmarks and businesses will have stories, characters, sequences and scenes attached to them when one visits, all stored as potential experiences designed to increase one’s relationship to the place. Every location or object will contain massive amounts of recorded information ready for playback....
A truly dramatic change will come once scientists discover a way to manipulate senses directly through the brain. That is when cinema will quite literally start to merge and replace real life. In the new, enhanced reality people will visit other planets, venture deep into the oceans and inside volcanoes, or travel in time, all from wherever they happen to be. Software and sometimes robots will explore the unreachable physical world instead of people to collect real-time data and feed human senses. One will be able to choose between real-life exploration or a fictional quest with chosen characters. Since memories will be recorded, one would be able to include anyone they have ever encountered, including favorite celebrities or fictional heroes.
The border between reality and fiction will fade and some people will live most of their lives in a profoundly manipulated world. People's thoughts, experiences and behavior will lie in the hands of those in charge of the software. Marketing and politics are likely to pollute the system, but laws of enhanced reality voted on by the majority via the internet will come to the rescue. Humans will face challenging questions of identity. As always, there will be renegades who will try to stay "unplugged." However, the disadvantages of opting out will overcome most.
Read Severny's full story here.