Insights EDU

Insights Live Highlights: The Evolution of Film in XR

Christopher Gunby | Enterprise Account Manager | VirtualSpeech

08 Jul 2022 | 3 min read

The ninth episode of our Insights Live series featured Mark Rickard (Virtuality®), Alex Harz (Producer/Filmmaker) and Chris Gunby (AIXR – The Academy of International Extended Reality).

Groundbreaking developments in XR have been revolutionising the world of film over the past few years. XR opens up countless new possibilities for film and television producers. But how have we arrived here? And what will the future look like?

Our panellists explored the world of XR Film, and discussed the history behind immersive storytelling, as they sought to understand more about this form of immersive entertainment. Check out what they had to say in the highlights below.

The Key Highlights

How do we define Filmmaking in XR, and why do we do it? 



  • XR filmmaking involves taking the tools and techniques available for XR capture, and using them within storytelling. 
  • It’s very early days for the XR film industry, and we still don’t truly understand what’s possible and the limitations of the medium.
  • There is simply no place to hide for the filmmaker on a 360° shoot.
  • Everything you do is captured, so you need to realign how you approach telling the story. 
  • The immersion offered is not seen in traditional cinema.
  • This is crucial to the benefit afforded by an XR film experience.


What are the best Use Cases for XR Cinematic Storytelling? 

  • Even with early technological constraints, XR film created revolutionary experiences by marrying the immersive world with existing characters. 
  • For example, the 2016 ‘Mr Robot’ experience by Here be Dragons was a watershed moment for Mark Rickard.  
  • Fan IP culture is a major driver of XR film adoption amongst the masses as more studios look to use the medium
  • The introduction of a new perspective to existing beloved IP’s hooks people due to the existing emotional links fostered in the audience.
  • XR film thrives by giving people an emotional response or a visceral experience that is truly driven by immersion and interactivity. 


What does the Production and Distribution Landscape look like for XR Film Creators?


  • We still have some way to go to improve the opportunities for creatives
  • With advancement, comes challenges. The democratisation of creator tools have opened up the possibilities however, there’s still issues with infrastructure. 
  • These are mainly in rendering and the production process. 
  • Unless you have business experience, you can find yourself struggling to truly market a great high value project. 
  • The distribution landscape is fractured. Creators can find it difficult to leverage the relationships that you have early in the production process. 
  • For all the creativity, the industry is still driven by finance from larger players. 
  • There are however greater levels of interest, the demand is growing for XR content, but we need to make sure our infrastructure can support it.


How Can We Utilise Location Based Immersive Cinematic Storytelling?

  • The festival scene is largely driving interest right now. 
  • If cinema is a location based experience, it becomes an interesting business model. The collective experience needs to be encouraged.
  • Upwards of 80% of native VR experiences can be ported to shared experience settings, like dome environments. 
  • Mixed reality can afford multiple people the opportunity to enjoy the same experience. 
  • This is one of the brightest future applications of cinematic immersion through XR. 
  • It eliminates the need for a headset, and becomes more attractive to consumers. 
  • The capital investment for repurposing existing environments will be more attractive to funders.


Visit our calendar and register for our upcoming episodes to explore more of what our Insights Live Webinars have to offer.

About the author:

Chris has spent the last three years working in the immersive industries, initially running membership for AIXR before moving to immersive learning provider VirtualSpeech leading partnerships and enterprise sales.

Prior to this he worked in customer success roles across SaaS and Investment Research. He has a passion for technology, learning and public speaking, and has spoken at several events across Europe on the power of Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence for empowering learning, storytelling, entertainment and sustainability.