While watching a documentary, I realized how early in VR's development we are.

I don't think it's fair to imply that the development of VR will be temporally analogous to the development of film or that we still have "a long ways to go". 

Remember that technological progress happens in S-curves. That means a new form of technology takes off slowly at first then advances rapidly once it reaches a critical mass of minds and resources dedicated to it and then finally peters off. The speed at which technology progresses along this S-curve is determined by a number of variables, such as the ecosystem of technologies it is based on, the economics surrounding it, the number of minds working on it, the resources available, and other things like the society it exists in, the politics and issues surrounding it, and so on, and so on. 

That said, the variables at play and the circumstances around the development of VR are completely different than that of film. If film were invented today in a silicon valley startup, for example (imagine an alternate universe where someone didn't have the idea of converting photographs into "motion pictures"), the technology of film would probably be go from black and white projector technology to that of digital, DVD quality by the end of this decade thanks to differences in circumstances surrounding it's development. There would be a hundred fold increase (give or take) in the speed at which the technology developed. 

The rate at which new technologies go from inception to perfection has been increasing since the steam engine and the creation of the first factories/assembly lines. Not only that but adoption rates have been increasing as well (there is an excellent graph that demonstrates this on Google). Compare how quickly smartphones came into existence, reached a critical mass of minds/resources dedicated to it, were widely adopted by the public and then peaked (I would argue that we're at the top of the S-curve for smartphones) compared to the S-curve of past technologies like microwaves, walkmans, cell phones, TVs and so on. The S-curve of VR will be more analogous to smartphones than film as, generally speaking, we humans have been becoming increasingly more efficient at maximizing the potential technologies to the point where we're on an entirely different level than we were when film was at its inception.

That said, there were two barriers to film that persisted for the entire 20th century: the technology and the artistry behind it. That first barrier will exist for VR but not nearly as long as it did for film. VR is much larger undertaking than film but the state of the art coupled with the economics behind it (minds + resources) means that its S-curve will be more like that of smartphones. The second barrier, the artistry, isn't really something that we can accelerate however, and like film, there will be a lot of trial and error and the Oculus Share demos today will probably seem like the VR equivalent of silent films in the (near) future.

Another variable at play that makes the development of VR different than film, however, is the democratization of technologies today versus this time last century. In the past you would need to be born into a wealthy family and attend the right universities in order to get your grubby little hands on whatever the technological trends de jour were, however today, just about any dingus in the developed world can do something amazing with this technology in their parents basement with a meagre amount of money and resources. 

/r/oculus Thread