Immersive Storytelling Residency Program

Immersive Storytelling Residency Program

The​ Media + Emerging Technology Lab​ (METL) Immersive Storytelling Residency Program establishes a new paradigm for art and storytelling in the 21st century. The scope of the immersive experience is wide-ranging and global projects include large-scale works of artistry and beauty; powerful social impact projects creating insight and empathy; advancements in the fields of medicine, education, and business; and next-level gaming entertainment.

As one of the few immersive labs in the country to be housed in a professional arts conservatory, METL is uniquely situated to train and serve as a resource for the next generation of creative innovators. For each METL residency there will be three participants selected with complementary skill sets: a game developer, a technical artist and a screenwriter/producer. Please see role specific requirements below.

Program at a glance

  • The next residency program will run from May 1 to Oct. 31, 2021 - applications are closed
  • Residency takes place at UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, N.C.
  • Three participants are selected: a game developer, a technical artist and a screenwriter/producer
  • Participants receive a monthly stipend of $3,500

Residency Mentors

An integral part of the Immersive Storytelling program is learning from world-class advisors, all leaders in the immersive arts and tech field:

  • Jacquie Barnbrook, Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Producer
  • Kent Bye, host of nationally-acclaimed Voices of VR podcast
  • Navid Khonsari, Founder of iNK Stories, a NYC-based digital storytelling studio
  • Bob Keen, Chair of UNCSA Filmmaking's Visual Effects and Immersive Media
  • Zahra Rasool, Head & Editorial Lead of Al Jazeera Contrast

Program details


The METL Immersive Storytelling Residency Program brings together a cross-functional team of artists and creative technologists for six months, providing them access to advanced technologies and mentoring from award-winning faculty and industry leaders for the purpose of creating immersive content that furthers the artistic medium of storytelling.  


The three applicants selected for the residency have different but complementary skill sets and will include a game developer, technical artist and screenwriter/producer.

The team will generate one immersive content concept (VR/AR/MR), then collaboratively develop, iterate and refine the concept with assistance from industry advisors and UNCSA School of Filmmaking faculty, culminating in a product ready to be launched into the world of immersive art and technology via submission to film festivals and online platforms. 

Application Timeline  

Applications are no longer being accepted.

Residency FAQ 

Residency 2021 runs from May 1 - October 31, 2021

Unlike most programs that charge a fee for training and professional development opportunities, METL will provide each selected participant with a monthly stipend for the six-month residency. The stipend amount will be $3,500 per month.

Housing & Expenses
This stipend will help cover housing and expenses during the residency. Participants are responsible for finding their own housing in Winston-Salem, N.C. 

Who should apply? 

Game developers, technical artists and screenwriter/producers with a bold spirit of innovation and interest in a collaborative environment in which to explore the boundaries of storytelling through the advanced technologies of augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality. We think the residency will work best for young professionals and recent students from undergraduate or graduate programs, but these are not requirements.   

Applicant Requirements

Applications are open to the general public. Refer to specific requirements for each role within the residency.

General Requirements: 

  • A demonstrated talent and proficiency in the residency role for which you are applying
  • Ability to collaborate with team members
  • A passion for immersive technologies (VR, AR, game engines, motion capture)
  • An interest in creating content or storytelling in immersive technologies
  • Commitment to be at UNCSA in Winston-Salem on a full-time basis or close to full-time basis for the six-month residency 
  • Ability to commit at least 30 hours per week to the residency
  • Must be a legal citizen or resident of the United States

Role Specific Requirements:

Game Developer:

  • Degree in Computer Science or similar field OR at least three years of relevant industry experience
  • Proficiency with Unreal and/or Unity Game Engines
  • Familiarity with full-stack development including mobile, front-end, and back-end
  • Strongly prefer experience in working with 3D models, textures, and gaming or digital cinematic environments

Technical Artist:

  • Degree in Design / 3D modeling or similar major OR at least three years of relevant industry experience
  • Demonstrated experience in 3D character creation and 3D modeling using 3DSMax, Blender, or similar products
  • Familiarity with game engines (Unreal and Unity), design formats (ex. FBX), textures/lighting/shading techniques
  • Animation experience preferred


  • Degree or coursework in screenwriting, creative writing or copywriting
  • Demonstrated ability via work samples to craft narratives, narrative mechanics, character creation
  • Ability to showcase creative writing through portfolio, examples, or published or produced works 
  • Project management experience
  • Excellent written & verbal communication skills, problem-solver, consensus builder
  • Producing film/tv/theatre/XR is a plus