Media and Emerging Technology Lab launches Immersive Storytelling Residency

The Media and Emerging Technology Lab (METL) in the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is accepting applications for a new Immersive Storytelling Residency that will focus on collaborative creation of virtual reality, augmented reality or mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) content.

Three residents – a software engineer, a technical artist and a storyteller – will work together for six months to create immersive content that furthers the artistic medium of storytelling. The team will collaborate to generate, develop, iterate and refine one concept for VR/AR/MR content. The residency will culminate in a product ready to be launched into the world of immersive art and technology via submission to film festivals and online platforms. The residency is intended for, but not limited to, professionals and students from undergraduate or graduate programs.

Applications are being accepted for METL's Immersive Storytelling Lab

“UNCSA’s new Immersive Storytelling Residency is perfect for filmmakers and creative technologists who have a bold spirit of innovation and want to work in a collaborative environment to explore the boundaries of storytelling through advanced technologies,” said Ryan Schmaltz, director of METL and a former technology executive, speaker, adviser and entrepreneur who was executive vice president at Blippar, one of the world's leading companies for augmented reality and computer vision. 

“With our top-notch facilities and equipment and the expertise of our faculty, UNCSA is  able to offer a rare opportunity for collaboration,” said Henry Grillo, interim Dean of the School of Filmmaking. “We are powering new expressions of creativity, training the next generation of innovators who will tell their stories using advanced technologies. METL’s Immersive Storytelling Residents will pool their complimentary skills and talents to blaze a new trail in the immersive entertainment industry. That is the hallmark of a 21st century arts conservatory.” 

We are powering new expressions of creativity, training the next generation of innovators who will tell their stories using advanced technologies. METL’s Immersive Storytelling Residents will pool their complimentary skills and talents to blaze a new trail in the immersive entertainment industry. That is the hallmark of a 21st century arts conservatory.

Henry Grillo, interim dean of the School of Filmmaking

METL’s team of residents will be mentored by award-winning industry leaders and talented UNCSA School of Filmmaking faculty including Bob Keen, who is the chair of visual effects and immersive media at UNCSA. Keen brings more than 40 years of experience as a special and visual effects designer and supervisor with credits that include “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi,” “The Dark Crystal ”and “Hellraiser.” As a teacher and mentor, he encourages filmmakers to explore unorthodox ways to tell a story.

“James Cameron and Christopher Nolan are incredible filmmakers who are on the pulse of the latest technology. But what they have in common is they know how to tell a good story,” Keen said. “The narrative is crucial to the content, but how we tell the story is evolving and how consumers experience the story is evolving. At UNCSA the story always comes first, but we are nurturing the innovators who will explore and create endless methods for telling it.”

Established by the top-ranked UNCSA School of Filmmaking in 2017, METL is dedicated to defining and shaping the evolution of how immersive story content will be created, consumed and told. METL’s primary production space is a 3,600-square-foot facility equipped with advanced technologies including motion capture, real-time visualization pipeline and green screen. Residents will also have access to the full-scale backlot of the School of Filmmaking with more than 100,000 square feet of production space, editing suites, sound/score recording, Foley stage, and makerspaces for prop and set design and special effects.

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.

General and role-specific requirements and application details are available online.

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November 04, 2019

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