VR Experience: The Meg

The Meg: Submersive VR Experience, is a video that Warner Bros. Pictures uploaded to YouTube. This experience allows the viewer to be deep in the ocean with the largest prehistoric shark to ever exist. Warner Bros. Pictures allows you to explore where the movie “The Meg” takes place in the ocean and get up close to the shark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IZK1k1elBU

The best part about this video is the storytelling. You start off in the ocean as a diver. You see nothing besides the submersible. The story telling begins as soon as the crew starts talking to you. Suddenly you start to see a shark in the distance, and the crew tells you not to worry because it is a small one. You can hear your heartbeat starting to beat faster and faster as it comes closer to you. Then, out of nowhere, you see another shark that is at least 75 feet long coming towards you. As it approaches you, the crew in your earpiece starts to lose signal and you can tell they are worried in their voice. The storytelling then ends when the crew tells you to swim up now in a scared voice. Just as you start to move up, the meg comes up out of nowhere and attacks. It ends in a black screen and no sound making you believe the shark just killed you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EVAd19zfn0

The characters in this VR experience helped with the storytelling and helped make it more intense. Without these voices in the background, I feel as if this would not be as effective. The storytelling allows you to actually feel as if you are in the movie as a diver.

The emotion in this VR experience can be described as suspenseful. The sound of the heart beating faster and faster, allows the viewer to have more anxiety about being in the ocean alone. I personally felt that watching this without sound had a different effect on my emotions than it did with sound. Going along with sound, the storytelling in this experience also had an effect on my emotions. The crew that was talking in my ear had a tone in their voice that they were alarmed. This storytelling had conflict in it and that allowed me to feel more tense and questioning what was going to happen. This allowed my emotions of being scared to heighten. Even though this storytelling was narrative driven, I also believe that it could have been experience driven also. For the reason being it helped my experience of being in the ocean (location narrative) with no one around me besides the crew talking in my ear.

I thought that this VR experience was extremely appropriate for VR. I personally do not thing that it would have the same effect if it was just a normal video. I decided to see if this was the case and did watch it without the 360° effect. Although I still jumped at the moments the shark came up to the screen, the experience was not as successful than VR. In VR, I was able to feel like I was actually in the water and the whole storytelling was much stronger in this setting.

https://www.warnerbros.com/company/divisions/motion-pictures/#new-line-cinema

Even though this was a great use of VR storytelling, there can always be improvements. The one thing I wish I could do in this situation was to swim away or move around. I would wonder if this could be better in AR and how that would change the experience. The other thing I would change would be to add someone else in the water with me. I feel as if the storytelling would be stronger and they could add something happening to the other diver. Overall, I thought that Warner Bro. Pictures did a great job on this VR experience and it made me want to see the movie.

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