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The StoryFutures Academy Podcast

An 8-part series about how VR & AR stories actually get made.

This 8-part series, hosted by immersive director Shehani Fernando, gives listeners a practical look at how VR and AR productions actually get made. If you want to begin creating your own immersive stories or learn more a
11/26/2020

Episode 1 - Making Immersive Stories: What is the future of storytelling?

Season 1, Ep. 1
In our first episode, we delve into what the opportunities are for immersive storytelling. We speak to Becky Gregory-Clarke, Head of Immersive at StoryFutures Academy about the potential of this relatively new industry, and hear from Professor James Bennett, Director, StoryFutures and Co-Director, StoryFutures Academy about their mission and where he thinks the future is going. In addition, we’re joined by Darren Emerson from East City Films who talks about his recent VR experience, Common Ground, set in the Aylesbury Estate in South London.Credits:Presenter: Shehani FernandoProducers: Chris Hogg & Shehani FernandoAssistant Producer: Max BowerExecutive Producer: Will SaundersEditing and sound design: John Wakefield & Matt McGuinnessThe title track is ‘A Thousand Years’ by David A MolinaAdditional music by Neil CullenClips from 1943 Berlin Blitz courtesy of the BBCClips from Common Ground, courtesy of East City FilmsOther clips from our introductory montage courtesy of The Guardian, NASA, Common GroundRESOURCESFor more information on things discussed in the episode, see the links below:Story Futures Academy - The National Centre for Immersive StorytellingStoryFutures - funded by the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge FundYou can see 1943 Berlin Blitz, courtesy of the BBCFind out more about Darren Emerson’s experience, Common Ground by East City Films
11/27/2020

Episode 2 - Making Immersive Stories: Getting Started

Season 1, Ep. 2
This week, we look at how to take your first tentative steps into making immersive content and thinking spatially. But where do you begin? Do you jump into a game engine, or go up into the loft to find your old lego? To help us decide, we’ve enlisted the help of Kim-Leigh Pontin, Creative Director at Nexus Studios and Verity McIntosh, Senior Lecturer in Virtual and Extended Realities at the University of the West of England.Presenter: Shehani Fernando, Producers: Chris Hogg & Shehani Fernando, Assistant Producer: Max Bower,Executive Producer: Will Saunders, Editing and sound design: John Wakefield & Matt McGuinness, The title track is: ‘A Thousand Years’ by  David A Molina, Additional music: Neil CullenOther clips from our introductory montage courtesy of The Guardian, NASA, Common GroundWith thanks to Sky for permission to use a clip from 'Discovery of Witches - Hiding in Plain Sight VR' and Ellie Richold for the 'Virtual Love Islands' clipRESOURCESVirtual Love Islands VR Piece: https://www.ellierichold.co.uk/arvrNexus Studios: https://nexusstudios.com/Discovery of Witches VR Piece: https://www.oculus.com/experiences/rift/942242895886564/?locale=en_GBBritannia VR Piece: https://www.oculus.com/experiences/rift/2084154688334944/?locale=en_GBTilt Brush: https://www.tiltbrush.com/Quill: https://quill.fb.com/Unity: https://unity.com/Unreal: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/Medium (sculpting tool in VR) - https://www.oculus.com/medium/?locale=en_GB
12/6/2020

Episode 3 - Making Immersive Stories: Augmented Reality

Season 1, Ep. 3
With the worldwide value of the Augmented Reality market set to exceed $50 billion by 2024, our guests this week help us to understand what forces are driving this dramatic growth, and what opportunities there are for immersive storytellers like yourself. We begin with Alex Fleetwood, Head of Niantic's London Studios, the company behind Harry Potter’s Wizard’s Unite and the worldwide phenomenon that is Pokémon Go. We’re also joined by Susan Cummings and Taavi Kelle who are going to take us on an AR adventure with Wallace and Gromit.With Alex Fleetwood from Niantic, and Susan Cummings and Taavi Kelle, from Fictioneers.Alex Fleetwood, Head of Niantic's London studio - https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexfleetwood/Susan Cummings, Fictioneers - https://www.linkedin.com/in/susanicummings/Taavi Kelle, Fictioneers - https://www.linkedin.com/in/taavikelle/Presenter: Shehani FernandoProducers: Chris Hogg & Shehani Fernando Assistant Producer: Max BowerExecutive Producer: Will Saunders Editing and sound design: John Wakefield & Matt McGuinness The title track is: ‘A Thousand Years’ by David A Molina Additional music: Neil Cullen & 'Time to Leave' by Ketsa, courtesy of the Free Music ArchiveResources:Niantic: https://nianticlabs.com/en/ @nianticLabsPokémon Go: https://pokemongolive.com/en/ @pokemongoappPokéman Go Fest https://pokemongolive.com/en/events/fest/2020/Tiny Rebel Games: https://www.tinyrebelgames.com/ @tinyrebelgamesFictioneers www.fictioneers.co.uk @fictioneersLtdThe Big Fix Up: https://www.thebigfixup.co.uk/ @thebigfixupBeasts of Balance: https://beastsofbalance.com/ @beastsofbalanceSpark AR - https://sparkar.facebook.com/ar-studio/Snapchat Lens Studio - https://lensstudio.snapchat.com/Niantic's Real World Platform - https://nianticlabs.com/en/blog/nrwp-update-110619/Niantic's Creator Platform - https://niantic.dev/ Thanks:Special thanks to Fictioneers, Aardman Animations and Niantic for the use of audio clips in this episode.
12/14/2020

Episode 4 - Making Immersive Stories: The Producer’s Role

Season 1, Ep. 4
An immersive producer is a key role in any XR project - so what does it take to become one yourself?  What are the nuts and bolts of delivering a project to budget, and what technical knowledge do you need to be able to translate what clients want to developers? This week we have two guests that have worked on some ground-breaking immersive projects, Katie Grayson from Passion Experience, and executive producer Zillah Watson. Both of them share their top tips on the different phases of production and discuss the making of the BBC’s Emmy-nominated ‘Dr Who: The Runaway’.Zillah Watson, Executive Producerhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/zillahwatson/Katie Grayson, Passion Pictureshttps://www.linkedin.com/in/katie-grayson-42b8447/Credits:Presenter: Shehani Fernando Producers: Chris Hogg & Shehani Fernando Assistant Producer: Max BowerExecutive Producer: Will SaundersEditing and sound design: John Wakefield & Matt McGuinness The title track is: ‘A Thousand Years’ by David A MolinaAdditional music: Neil CullenThanks:Clips from Congo VR and Dr Who: The Runaway, courtesy of the BBCClip from Critical Distance courtesy of Vision 3Thanks to Satore Studios for use of the Swan AR clipResources:Passion Pictures - http://www.passion-pictures.com/experience/  @passionpicturesBBC’s Congo VR Piece: https://canvas-story.bbcrewind.co.uk/congo-vr/ Dr Who: The Runaway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RPe6aNiotAHololens 2: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/hololens/buyCritical Distance: https://www.vision3.tv/VR-3D-projects/post.php?permalink=critical-distanceSatore Studios: https://satorestudio.com/ @satorestudioGuide to virtual production: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/virtual-production
1/11/2021

Episode 5 - Making Immersive Stories: Writing for characters in VR

Season 1, Ep. 5
This week, we're talking about the role of writers in immersive storytelling. Some of the biggest IP on the planet is beginning to wake up to the possibilities that virtual reality can offer. In the last few years, Star Wars and Doctor Who have launched VR experiences for the Oculus Quest. Writers are going to have an increasingly important role in the creation of new character-led experiences. This episode brings together the sage voices of Adam Ganz, Head of the Writer's Room at the StoryFutures Academy, Kerry Kolbe a TV writer who is making the leap into writing for VR, and finally Russ Harding, the man entrusted by the producers of Peaky Blinders to bring the world of 1920's Birmingham onto a headset near you.Presenter: Shehani Fernando, Producers: Chris Hogg & Shehani Fernando, Assistant Producer: Max Bower,Executive Producer: Will Saunders, Editing and sound design: John Wakefield & Matt McGuinness, The title track is: ‘A Thousand Years’ by David A Molina, Additional music: Neil Cullen & ‘Algea Tender’ by Blue Dot Sessions courtesy of the Free Music ArchiveSpecial Thanks:Peaky Blinders Clip provided courtesy of Caryn Mandabach Productions www.peakyblinders.tvSFA Writer’s Room: https://www.storyfutures.com/academy/experiment/writers-roomPeaky Blinders: https://peakyblinders.tvMaze Theory: https://www.maze-theory.com/projectsSun Ladies VR Piece: https://www.luciddreamsprod.com/#video2Punchdrunk: https://www.punchdrunk.org.uk/Playstation VR Worlds: https://www.playstation.com/en-gb/games/playstation-vr-worlds/
1/17/2021

Episode 6 - Making Immersive Stories: Audience Insight

Season 1, Ep. 6
Whether the first immersive experience you are making is for people in their living rooms or launching at a museum, understanding how your story is going to be experienced and who you're going to target is a huge question that should be dealt with upfront rather than after you've built it. This week we enlist the help of Catherine Allen from Limina Immersive, Executive Producer, Zillah Watson and our own Dr Laryssa Whittaker from StoryFutures to find out exactly what questions you should be asking your audience and how to attract more people to your content.Dr. Laryssa Whittaker, Research Fellow, StoryFutures https://www.linkedin.com/in/laryssa-whittaker-09499034/Catherine Allen, CEO, Limina Immersivehttps://www.linkedin.com/in/catherinedjallen/Zillah Watson, Executive Producerhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/zillahwatson/Credits:Presenter: Shehani FernandoProducers: Chris Hogg & Shehani Fernando Assistant Producer: Max BowerExecutive Producer: Will SaundersEditing and sound design: John Wakefield & Matt McGuinnessThe title track is ‘A Thousand Years’ by David A MolinaAdditional music: Plate Synthesis by Blue Dot Sessions courtesy of Free Music ArchiveWe would like to thank the National Gallery for allowing us to use the Gregorian Chants from the Virtual Veronese Project: It was sung by Veneti Cantores Choir, whom we also wish to thank.The music is an extract from the liturgy for Ash Wednesday, from the manuscript: Mantua, Archivio Storico Diocesano, A2, 1561. Resources: Virtual Veronese: https://www.storyfutures.com/news/storyfutures-presents-virtual-veroneseBeyond the early adopter: widening the appeal for virtual reality by Catherine Allen (Dec 2020)https://pec.ac.uk/policy-briefings/beyond-the-early-adopter-widening-the-appeal-for-virtual-realityThe Immersive Audience Journey Report (July 2020)https://audienceofthefuture.live/reports/immersive-audience-journey/Audience testing resourcehttps://medium.com/pintsizedrobotninja/vr-a-different-world-a-different-way-of-testing-6c91010bcb8bStoryFutures Researchhttps://www.storyfutures.com/showcaseBBC’s distribution through libraries VR Project https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2019/vr-local-libraries