EXCLUSIVE: RYOT, Kaleidoscope and Oculus have revealed the 11 teams selected for DevLab 2018, which brings together emerging VR/AR artists to cultivate new work, explore novel ideas and “create the future of immersive experiences.”
Chosen from more than 200 application received, this year class includes Lucas Rizzotto and Aidan Wolf; Hal Kirkland and Julia Sourikoff; Bob Stein and Joshua Portway; Mercedes Arturo and Alethea Avramis; Tupac Martir and Sergio Ochoa; Rosie Haber, Silas Howard and Pussykrew; Raqi Syed and Areito Echevarria; Matthew Niederhauser and Elie Zananiri; Alexandre Perez and Katayoun Dibamehr; Harold Hayes and Kevin Shah; and Gayatri Parameswaran and Felix Gaedtke.
“We were blown away by the caliber of applications we received for DevLab 2018,” said René Pinnell, CEO and Founder of Kaleidoscope. “It’s inspiring to witness the passion that the applicants have for creating truly innovative XR content. We look forward to seeing these creators’ ideas become reality, and how their projects shape the future of the medium.”
Over the course of the intensive two-day program this Saturday and Sunday, participants will have the opportunity to be fully immersed in their projects — exploring novel ideas and creating the future of XR experiences through a variety of hands-on workshops, live performances and round table discussions with top industry advisers, the companies said.
The teams will work alongside some of the leading innovators in the industry to hone their craft and advance their work. Then, leveraging their learnings, the participants will present working versions of their projects to more than 200 industry leaders for the chance to potentially secure hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding at a “First Look” event next year.
Here are this year’s advisers and their selected topics of focus:
Nigel Tierney (Director of Development and Production, RYOT), speaking on the use of 5G technology to power XR experiences: An award-winning producer and director whose credits include Shrek Forever After, The Croods, Kung Fu Panda 3 and Captain Underpants, Nigel currently spearheads RYOT’s new 5G Innovation Studio, as well as the advancement of Mixed Reality experiences with the integration of storytelling, brands and celebrity.
Kamal Sinclair (Director, New Frontier Lab Programs at the Sundance Institute), speaking on the diversity of thought and voices in XR: Recently profiled by NY Magazine as one of the women leaders of the VR industry, Kamal is a producer, theatrical director, community arts leader and multi-disciplinary artist who currently leads the Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Labs Program, which supports artists working at the convergence of film, art media and technology.
Justin Willman (Magician), speaking on the use of magic in XR: A regular guest on The Tonight Show, Ellen and Conan, Justin is a world-recognized magician whose online videos have logged more than 300 million views. Justin — who has performed at the White House — is also the star and executive producer of the Netflix original series Magic for Humans, as well as a consultant and writer for film/television productions like America’s Got Talent, The Goldbergs, and Disney’s upcoming feature film, Magic Camp
Brad Weiers (AR/VR Technical Product Manager, Unity), speaking on creator tools and immersive experience authoring: Harnessing broad experience with game development, technical art, and immersive UX design, Brad oversees the product vision for all of Unity’s AR & VR offerings in R&D at Unity. Before joining R&D, Brad was a tech lead in Unity’s Labs group, working on experimental projects like EditorXR and Carte Blanche. He is also a published neuroscience researcher using 3D visualization to learn more about our brains’ biases to light and color.
Kent Bye (Producer and Host, Voices of VR), speaking on the philosophy of embodiment: An experienced VR developer who’s interviewed more than 750 pioneers in the space, Kent launched the popular Voices of VR podcast in 2014, which documents the evolution of consumer VR as a communications medium. Kent has presented his proprietary “Experiential Design Framework” to many audiences, which examines experiences through the lens of quality, context, content and character.
Zach Morris (Artistic Director, Third Rail Projects), speaking on kinesthetic and physiological embodiment in XR experiences: Zach is one of the lead directors and world-building visionaries behind Third Rail Projects, where he’s co-created the immersive theater hits Then She Fell, The Grand Paradise, Sweet & Lucky and Ghost Light. Zach’s work — which critics have described as “visually stunning” and “wickedly clever” — has been presented nationally and internationally, and includes site-specific, multimedia installation art and environments, and immersive and experiential performance.
Jean-Pascal Beaudoin (Head of Sound, Headspace Studio) and Viktor Phoenix (Partner and Head of Audio, Headspace Studio), both speaking on audio’s role in XR experiences: An established pioneer in the emerging field of 3D audio for cinematic VR, Jean-Pascal co-founded Headspace Studio in 2015, the first sound studio entirely focused on VR content. His past work for Headspace includes Cirque du Soleil’s Emmy® Award-winning Inside the Box of Kurios, as well as the White House’s first VR experience and Miyubi, the first long-form scripted comedy for VR. Jean-Pascal’s colleague Viktor recently joined Headspace Studios to head of its new L.A. branch. Armed with nearly two decades interactive audio experience, Viktor was previously Sound Supervisor with the Sound Lab at Technicolor, and has also held senior positions at AAA game developers Electronic Arts-owned developer, Pandemic Studios, and Turtle Rock Studios.
Kerenza Harris (Lead Architect, Morphosis), speaking on how architecture can have narratives embedded in the XR space: Karenza is an award-winning architect who currently works at the renowned firm Morphosis, where she has developed automation systems and parametric tools that can be integrated from the earliest concept design stages through fabrication for the past decade. She also teaches an AR/VR workshop and a seminar on 3D experience at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc).
Syncopated Ladies (Female Dance Group), speaking on movement and choreography: Created by the Emmy Award-nominated tap dancer and choreographer, Chloe Arnold, Syncopated Ladies was the winner of FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance last year, and has since worked with celebrities like Beyonce, in addition to performing on Good Morning America and at the US Open.