On June 4, 2018, Phi and New York's Future of StoryTelling presented The New Storytellers 4, in parallel with Phi Centre's Particles of Existence exhibition. For the fourth consecutive year, this one-day conference offered the public the chance to hear from creative professionals in the communications, media, entertainment, and arts and culture industries. Here are some of the amazing panels and speeches from that day, which all explore the ways in which storytelling is evolving in the digital age.
Resh Sidhu, the creative director at AKQA, opened up the conference with a discussion on how we can create unique experiences that transport people to completely different worlds. When she received her first Oculus Rift headset back in 2013, it completely changed everything that she thought she knew about storytelling. With a focus on how storytelling has now transformed into storyliving, Resh Sidhu's passion for VR is captivating.
In the first panel of the day, Getting Social: The Next Frontier, a few VR, AR and digital development trailblazers were brought together: Jonny Ahdout from WITHIN, Grace Boyle from The Feelies, Sara Ellis from the Royal Shakespeare Company and Jess Engel from Crimes of Curiosity. Moderated by Charles Melcher from Future of StoryTelling, the conversation revolved around whether virtual reality is a social or a lonely medium, and whether some experiences necessitate a social aspect more than others.
In the next panel, Meet the Artists, Charles Melcher moderated a special discussion between some of the artists of Phi Centre's Particles of Existence exhibition: Maxime Durand from Ubisoft Montréal, writer and director Eliza McNitt, Paul Raphaël from Felix & Paul Studios and Céline Tricart from Lucid Dreams Productions. Sharing where their inspiration came from, the challenges that they had to overcome and more, this panel gave a behind-the-scene look at what it takes to create outstanding immersive experiences.
In the last panel of the day, The Peril and Promise of Immersive Experiences, our trusty moderator Charles Melcher was joined onstage by some very interesting personalities: Toby Coffey from the National Theatre of London, Janet H. Murray from Georgia Tech and Jamie Pallot from Emblematic Group. Though they applauded the positive aspects of VR, their conversation also touched on the ethics of this new medium and the issues that it could potentially cause.
Kevin Slavin, the chief science and technology officer at The Shed in New York, closed up the day with an engaging talk on how sensing beyond species is now possible thanks to technology. Intrigued by stories that are told by anyone other than humans, Kevin Slavin is also interested in what vanishing frameworks inspire, unlock, demand, and suggest for contemporary makers of culture. His idea of what it means to make culture is a refreshing point of view.
To view all The New Storytellers videos, check out our YouTube channel.
Photo (cover): Martine Lavoie