VR documentary - 2017 - 8 Minutes

360 video - click and drag to move around!

This Is What the Future Looked Like is a VR documentary about the work of architect and futurist Buckminster Fuller, using his geodesic domes as the visual environment. The eight-minute piece was created by filmmakers Sam Green and Gary Hustwit, and it had its World Premiere at the True/False Documentary Film Festival in March 2017. It has since been an official selection at HotDocs, the San Francisco International Film Festival, and others.  

"I had made a traditional film about Buckminster Fuller and been frustrated by the fact that it was impossible to capture the experience of being in one of his geodesic domes with a traditional camera," said Green. "When VR cameras first came out, I thought 'ah ha! Finally!' It's actually a perfect medium for this subject matter.".

"We wanted to play with a few ideas here that haven’t really been explored in nonfiction VR," said Hustwit, "Like including ourselves as filmmakers in the work, and trying different ways to use archival materials in this medium. There’s such a push now in VR towards animated CG pieces, but meanwhile there hasn’t been enough experimentation with the formal possibilities of 360 video. That was part of our intention with this piece."

This Is What the Future Looked Like is an exploration into Fuller's ideas about sustainability and architecture, and an ode to the lost promise of '60s futurism. It features an archival voiceover by Fuller, and an original score by Yo La Tengo with additional music by Todd Griffin.