Gary Hustwit, This is What the Future Looked Like

Gary Hustwit's new documentary pulls us into the world of Buckminster Fuller and our own imagination

Via Scenic

At a time of mass uncertainty and populist angst about the direction of western nations, a new VR documentary created by filmmakers Sam Green and Gary Hustwit offer a refreshing reminder of – and perhaps new call to cultivate – the power of imagination.  

This Is What the Future Looked Like is an eight-minute piece is a rumination on the work of architect and futurist R. Buckminster Fuller, using his geodesic domes as the visual environment. Its World Premiere will debut at the True/False Documentary Film Festival, March 2-5.

"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 features an archival voiceover by Fuller, and an original score by Yo La Tengo with additional music by Todd Griffin. Stay tuned for release details after the premiere. 

Photo Credit: Sam Green, Scenic