For over twenty years, I have been researching, designing, building, and sharing immersive creations. From theatre to virtual reality and interactive narratives to artificial intelligence, I passionately explore the possibilities of the future of narrative with diverse, interdisciplinary teams. And I believe it’s important to share what we learn along the way with others who think and dream immersively, which is why I wrote “The End of Storytelling: The Future of Narrative in the Storyplex” and enjoy speaking and presenting ideas around the world.
More about me…
I began developing interactive virtual worlds in the 1990s under the visionary Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture), right around the time when the promise of virtual reality began to fizzle. So I continued working with storytellers – from emerging playwrights in San Francisco to massive media conglomerates in Los Angeles. After building an Intel Capital Company that was a bit too far ahead of the curve to survive, I went back to my storytelling roots, directing and producing traditional narrative productions that I found compelling, while still pushing the boundaries of storytelling and technology. As a Disney Imagineer, I was part of the production team that brought to life the theatrical shows in Hong Kong Disneyland such as “Lion King”, and “The Golden Mickeys”. My documentary feature “The Standbys” is a New York Times Critic’s Pick and continues to play in theaters and schools across the country. I also produced the award-winning feature thriller “Banshee Chapter” with Zachary Quinto (“Star Trek”), which pushed the boundaries of stereoscopic 3D filmmaking.
With the recent advent of consumer-viable VR technology, my disparate loves of technology and entertainment are back in harmony. I produced “Banshee Chapter: Oculus Rift Edition”, the first feature film ever released on the Oculus DK2. In 2015, I was invited to film President Barack Obama’s historic speech in Nairobi, Kenya in 360, making him the first US President recorded in virtual reality. My work has premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, Future of Storytelling, and Stereopsia. I have collaborated with companies such as GoogleVR, InceptionVR, IndieFlix, and JauntVR, developing, directing and producing immersive content through Sunchaser Entertainment, a company I founded to produce story-driven virtual and live immersive experiences and software. Currently, I am the Creative Director of Experiential at Refinery29, evolving our immersive funhouse of cause and creativity, 29Rooms, and working with world-class clients such as Facebook, Amazon, Reebok, Netflix, Intuit, and Bonobos to bring their brands and products to life in unique interactive, immersive experiences.
I love sharing knowledge and discoveries on immersive content, and have spoken around the world at conferences such as SIGGRAPH, Tribeca Film Festival, IEEE, Digital Media Summit, World Immersion Forum (Brussels), and the Hollywood Entertainment Technology Festival on everything from the future of narrative, immersive experiences, and human-computer interaction. Intent on increasing diversity in the immersive entertainment space, I have been a mentor of Facebook/Oculus’ VR For Good initiative, organizer of AR/VR Academy in NYC, and co-organizer of New York Women in VR.
I have a couple of degrees from Carnegie Mellon University in Directing (Drama) and Human-Computer Interaction (Computer Science), and was invited to be in the inaugural class of CMU’s Masters of Entertainment Technology program. I’m a member of Phi Beta Kappa, an Andrew Carnegie Society Scholar, and I co-led a very exciting group of graduate and undergraduate students in the Blended Reality research group at Yale University.