You are an independent film maker who has an idea for a film. There are many steps required to take your passion project from a mere idea to light reflecting off the silver screen. Lucky for you, you live in an age and world full of tools that can drastically reduce the challenges you might face along the way. But that does not mean it will all be easy, which is why I am here to offer you a new tool to add to your arsenal.

You have your idea and you've written your script. Now to figure out locations, camera angles, lighting, motion and positions of actors during the scenes. So you put on your VR headset and you are immediately taken to a blank set.

From there you quickly create the scene by finding a template that you can take and adjust a few settings to get the lighting and layout just right. In this case you grabbed a small town template, you add in a few cars, set it to dusk, set the backdrop to be a range of towering mountains. With your script already uploaded to this virtual set you can now step into the roles of each of your characters and start recording your scenes, playing with different positions and various camera angles until you get it just right.

First you will record yourself as “Character A”. After selecting an avatar from some presets, you will speak, gesture, and move around the set as if you were that character. Once you have Character A recorded you go back to the top of the scene and record yourself as Character B while seeing, hearing, and interacting with your past self with what you just recorded as Character A playing back in real time as you add in the next character. You do this over and over again until you record each actor in this entire scene in this virtual set. Oh and did I mention you can apply a variety of voice filters to each character, just in case you aren’t a professional voice actor.

When all of the characters are recorded it is time to play camera man. You can now set up multiple cameras. You can swap out the lenses, put them on virtual dollies and cranes and take as many takes as you want until you find the best camera angles for your scene. You can just wander around the scene as your “actors” keep acting on repeat until you get the inspiration for the perfect camera angle. You can re-record character layers as needed, you can adjust the scene, add in props, change the lighting until you are happy with how it plays out.

From there you can take off the probably now sweaty headset and come back into the real world, take all of these virtual scenes and recordings from the cameras you set up in the virtual set and import them into your favorite editor and make a rough edit of the scene, build out your shot list to improve your on location efficiency, adjust your script as needed. Now you have this great tool, this video of your wonderful acting (insert sarcasm here as needed) to show to your crew and actors to help them better understand what you are envisioning. This tool might not be needed for every scene you plan to shoot, but for some it will make all the difference when it comes to being able to focus on your vision and making the most of your on location days. Not only that, if you wanted you could use this tool to make a faux version of your entire movie and use it to pitch your idea to producers.

What makes this tool special is that it is easy and intuitive. Sure there will still be a bit of a learning curve but there aren’t millions of hot keys and short cuts you need to learn. If you want to pick up and move a camera in a certain way, you do it just as you would in real life, you grip the virtual camera and move it around. You don’t need to learn how to animate, you just move around and act as you would in real life and it will motion capture and record your audio. You want to change the lighting of the scene? Then walk over to your virtual lighting rig and move it as if you were a ripped grip. This makes creating these virtual renditions accessible to the indie film maker. For the cost of a few hundred dollars for an entry level VR headset and access to a computer with editing software, you now have all of this power to create and iterate your ideas in a virtual space. Now you have another great tool to help you execute on your vision and make your film become a reality.


  • If you already have locations in mind you can take some pictures of these locations, upload them into the set builder and recreate them in this virtual space. That way you can better plan out the location of each of your cameras, your lighting rigs, even where the boom operator should stand if you want to get that granular. If you are really fancy you could use some 3d cameras (think of the 3d demos you see on realty listings) to capture real areas and them bring them directly into your virtual set.
  • What if you are filming the next Godzilla? That’s awesome, you can also import your own custom avatars and scale them up as needed and you can play as Godzilla just as you would any of your other characters in the scene.
  • What about extras? You can either record each extra in the scene yourself or select some basic presets and avatars will be added into your scene, they can either sit in the background and slowly drink some tea while reading a paper, or be running down the street as a giant lizard invades the town.
  • Want a higher fidelity rendering of your scene? Export the scene, models and animations into your favorite 3D editing program and add better textures, lighting and adjust animations as needed.

Set Design and Pre-Production Planning

Director's Cut VR can help you plan out your scenes, set up your cameras, lighting, and even help you create a shot list. All before you even step foot on location. This will help you make the most of your time on location and help you get the shots you need to make your vision a reality. Pairing this with tools like the iPhone room scan you can import real locations into your virtual space.

Prototype Your Movie Ideas

Not sure how a scene will play out? Not sure if you want to use a wide angle lens or a telephoto lens? Not sure if you want to use a dolly or a crane? Play around with different ideas in a virtual space and see what works best for your vision. You can even record yourself as each character and play them back in real time as you act out the scene as another character. This will help you better understand how the scene will play out and help you make the most of your time on location.

Create Entire Animated Movies

You can even use Director's Cut VR to create entire animated movies. Act out and record all of your scenes, export them to your favorite editor for final touches and you have a movie.