AFI Fest 2015: VR Tech Showcase Takes Place This Weekend

Editor, Festivals; Los Angeles, California (@RylandAldrich)
AFI Fest 2015: VR Tech Showcase Takes Place This Weekend

There's no doubt that "Virtual Reality" and "Immersive Storytelling" are buzzworthy terms in media these days. With consumer-ready VR setups just around the corner and first-person narratives (like Hardcore) already arriving, it feels like we are right on the precipice of a whole new form of media consumption... and it's super exciting.

AFI Fest is embracing the medium this weekend with an entire two-day symposium packed with speakers and tech demonstrations revolving around Immersive Storytelling and VR. Best of all, it's totally free (you need to grab your tix for the different events here). Come on down to Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel on Saturday Nov 7 and Sunday Nov 8 from 11am to 4pm to find out what's next in this exciting new field.

The full lineup of events follows:



Immersive Storytelling Case Studies - Saturday, November 7
Led by the creative talent behind some of Google's latest Jump projects and Spotlight Stories, this is an in-depth conversation about the development and production of 360-degree and VR films. Panelists include Jessica Brillhart (Principal Filmmaker, Google Jump and Director of WORLD TOUR), Karen Dufilho-Rosen (Executive Producer, Google Spotlight Stories) and Todd Makurath (President and CEO, Bullitt and Executive Producer of HELP).

Filmmakers Virtual Reality & Immersive Storytelling Toolkit - Saturday, November 7
This is a creative and technical guide to immersive storytelling for independent filmmakers, with panelists including filmmaker Janicza Bravo (HARD WORLD FOR LITTLE THINGS), Daniel Burwen (Director of Experience, Jaunt VR), Shannon Gans (New Deal Studios) and director Matthew Gratzner (THE MISSION).

Capturing VR Picture & Sound - Sunday, November 8
A conversation about the cameras, microphone systems and rigs that filmmakers use to shoot and edit VR content will feature panelists Joe Chen (, Patrick Meegan (Jaunt VR), Scot Stafford (Creative Director, Sound & Music for Google Spotlight Stories) and Doug Riggs (Baron VR). The panel will be moderated by Glenn Kiser (Dolby Atmos).

The New Virtual Reality Studios - Sunday, November 8
A conversation with the VR studios developing cinematic projects and films with Hollywood and independent filmmakers will include panelists Tamsin Glasson ( and David Rosenbaum (Jaunt Studios).


AFI FEST invites attendees to sample this emerging technology. Guests can experience and interact with these immersive and virtual reality films on display at The Hollywood Roosevelt on November 7, 12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., and November 8, 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.


EVOLUTION OF VERSE (pictured) - A photorealistic, CG-rendered 3D Virtual Reality film takes the viewer on a journey from one beginning to another. DIR Chris Milk. USA

THE MISSION - With immersive 360-degree shots, THE MISSION follows the adventure of a WWII Special Operations team that is dropped into a raging battle on the Eastern Front. DIR Matthew Gratzner. USA

WALKING NEW YORK - and The New York Times come together to capture the birth of a new, large-scale street art installation in New York from renowned French artist JR. DIRS Chris Milk and Zack Richter. USA

WORLD TOUR - A journey through the vast experiences of our world. DIR Jessica Brillhart. USA


HELP - The first live action project from Google Spotlight Stories, HELP uses immersive 360-degree technology to drop the viewer into downtown Los Angeles during an alien attack. DIR Justin Lin. USA

THE FORBIDDEN ROOM - A LIVING POSTER - Initially designed to promote Evan Johnson and Guy Maddin's new film, THE FORBIDDEN ROOM, this looping collection of moving, morphing posters suggests an anachronistic collision between digitally corrupted video files and a damaged silent-era film print. DIR Galen Johnson. Canada. This project can be found at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres from Nov. 7-12.

POSSIBILIA - In this astonishing interactive narrative film by acclaimed directing duo, The Daniels, the tumultuous lives of two quarreling lovers unravel and participants choose how any given scene will play out from 16 parallel universes. DIRS The Daniels. USA. This will be on display at The Hollywood Roosevelt from Nov. 7-12.

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