Visiting UCSB to talk about Virtual Reality

May 10th, 2016

My friend and computational geometry genius Pablo Colapinto invited me to give a talk on VR at the Media Arts and Technology Graduate Program in his alma mater UCSB. I met Pablo a while ago when visiting Colombia for a similar reason, where we quickly bonded over symmetry groups, OpenGL and cinema.

Instead of talking about what’s usually understood as Virtual Reality, I decided to talk about what Virtual Reality means to a person like me, currently working in the field within the constraints and requirements of an overly supportive yet confused and almost pathologically optimistic entertainment industry. In that context, there were three points that I wanted to make as clear as possible:

There are ways to talk to the Web that go beyond the page/scroll metaphor —imagine pulling data from the web like you pull thoughts, impressions and memories from the corners of your mind.
Immersive video matters and it requires a language of its own —memories and other sampled content are at least as important as simulations.
The web browser is today the most powerful storytelling machine —the web browser is the only platform we have today that can fully touch across all aspects of digital media.

The content of my talk will eventually be available online here.

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After my presentation and the discussion that followed, I was invited by Director JoAnn Kuchera-Morin to play with their AlloSphere, and I spent the next few hours immersed inside the most spectacular stereoscopic scientific visualizations you could ever imagine. There is something about the AlloSphere that makes it incredibly effective at rendering virtual objects in space when wearing 3D glasses. You can almost touch the damn things floating around you. I took some pictures but none of them make it justice. Just like with Virtual Reality, you have to experience it yourself before you can fully understand what it is.

Studio 360

April 19th, 2016

I just made a casual appearance in The New Yorker magazine, courtesy of Andrew Marantz’s article about Wevr.

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Photo Credit D. Vegezzi.

March was a busy 360 camera month

April 1st, 2016

Last month I produced and directed three completely different 360 videos for Wevr. This is great, since in the past my job description has been to help other directors conceive, shoot and finish their projects, and it is only recently that I have found the opportunity to not just help others, but do my own thing as well. And there is no better way to do this than working with hula hoop dancers, vintage race car drivers and Chinese smartphone manufacturers, all in the same month.

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Run the Jewels Crown is out

March 10th, 2016

A few months ago I produced a VR music video with my friends at Wevr for the hip-hop duo Run the Jewels. I’m proud to announce that The New York Times just dropped it in their nytvr mobile app.

Here is an insightful article written by @djabatt on the importance of matching hip-hop with virtual reality.

360° Premiere: Run The Jewels's "Crown"

Run The Jewels keeps pushing boundaries with their 360° video for "Crown," premiering on The New York Times's virtual-reality app.Check out the full video from Killer Mike GTO and EL-P: http://nyti.ms/1QOIbed

Posted by The New York Times on Thursday, March 10, 2016

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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in VR

February 15th, 2016

I have to admit it caught my by surprise. I’ve never found my work on top of my twitter feed before. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 2016 in Virtual Reality is out and available for download today. As Adi Robertson from The Verge pointed out, this might be first time where VR video has been made available to the public for a price. Will people buy it? Time will tell.

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And of course hanging out with the Models and my pals from Wevr in the Dominican Republic for a week was a difficult endurance test that challenged every professional skill we’ve developed as virtual reality filmmakers over the last couple of years 😀

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Sundance 2016

January 29th, 2016

Waves was a complete success at the New Frontier Exhibit of the Sundance Film Festival this year. I got my Sundance member card and participated in a series of discussions, panels and interviews with many interesting creative people that have a lot to say about virtual reality and storytelling. Here are some of them: @brillhart Principal VR filmmaker at Google, @Saschkaunseld Creative Director at Oculus Story Studio, my creative partners on Waves @BrainDickinson & @ReggieWatts, @PatrickTOsborne Director of Disney’s Feast, @ImmersiveJourno godmother of virtual reality, and @djabatt of course.

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Synchrony 2016

January 9th, 2016

I am attending a demo party called Synchrony NYC. It is hosted at a place near Union Square in Manhattan called Babycastles and organized by my old friend @nickmofo, who invited me to give a talk about virtual reality.

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Synchrony promotional image by Raquel Meyers.