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Adapting Genres to Virtual Reality


New Frontier Gateway
136 Heber Ave.
Friday, January 29, noon–1:30 p.m.

Close-ups, fast cuts, and pacing were all initially accidents that became staples in conveying mood, tone, and story in film. In virtual reality, much of those tools are gone, and with that, our tools to shape genres are also changing. What have we learned so far in approaching story in virtual reality? Join us in an open discussion with virtual reality pioneers Saschka Unseld (creative director, Oculus Story Studio), Jessica Brillhart (principal filmmaker, VR at Google), Eric Darnell (CCO, Baobab; director, Madagascar), and Emilie Joly (CEO, Apelab). Moderated by Yelena Rachitsky (creative producer and head of education, Oculus Story Studio).

Jessica Brillhart (principal filmmaker, Google Jump)
Eric Darnell (CCO, Baobab; director, Madagascar)
Emilie Joly (CEO, Apelab)
Saschka Unseld (creative director, Oculus Story Studio)

Moderated by Yelena Rachitsky (creative producer and head of education, Oculus Story Studio)

SECTION New Frontier Panels

COUNTRY Friday, January 29, noon - 1:30 p.m.

New Frontier Gateway

RUN TIME 90 min

Artist Bio

Yelena Rachitsky

Yelena Rachitsky is the creative producer and head of education at Oculus Story Studio. She is also a consultant for Sundance Institute’s New Frontier and was the creative producer of the Future of StoryTelling (FoST) summit. Rachitsky produced the feature Let's Ruin it with Babies and spent four years in the documentary division at Participant Media (Food, Inc., An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman).

Jessica Brillhart

Jessica Brillhart is the principal filmmaker for VR at Google. In 2009 she joined Google's Creative Lab, where she spearheaded numerous award-winning shorts and documentaries before joining the Cardboard team in 2015. Since directing WORLD TOUR—the first VR film made with the Jump ecosystem—Brillhart has continued traveling the world, filming, and experimenting, all in an effort to better understand and help inform others about this emergent medium.

Eric Darnell

Eric Darnell’s career spans 25 years in the computer-animated film industry. He was a director and writer on all four Madagascar features as well as executive producer on The Penguins of Madagascar. Previously, Eric directed DreamWorks Animation's very first feature film, Antz. Emilie Joly Emilie Joly grew up as a child of the digital world, only to take it a step further towards virtual reality. Inspired by nonlinear storytelling, she focuses on interactive narrative experiences that push boundaries between the physical and virtual worlds. Her startup, Apelab, is currently working on the first VR interactive animated series, Sequenced. Saschka Unseld Saschka Unseld is a German-born writer and director. After directing multiple-award-winning short films including the 2013 Pixar short The Blue Umbrella, he co-founded Oculus Story Studio, where he now works as creative director, helping to explore the future of VR storytelling.