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Introducing the FoST Explorers Club

The FoST Explorers Club is your ticket to tour the world’s best immersive experiences, network with a curated community, and learn directly from master storytellers at the forefront of the experience economy.

Pack your bags and join FoST for a year full of incredible story adventures in New York, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, San Francisco, and more. Membership is limited, so we encourage you to apply now. Discover more about the program here.

Apply Now
The Neuroscience of
Good Storytelling

Paul J. Zak shares science-based insights about effective, immersive storytelling from his book Immersion: The Science of the Extraordinary and the Source of Happiness.
Reinventing Retail

Ben Kaufman's company CAMP transforms in-person shopping into a memorable, immersive experience. The CEO discusses how CAMP combines play, product, and programming to give young families a one-of-a-kind retail experience.
The Hunt for Hidden Fandom
// The Optionist
There is a community of 170 million people who are writing, reading, and incubating new stories—and they exist on the twin self-publishing platforms Wattpad and WEBTOON. On Wattpad, the world’s largest social network for readers and writers, storytellers create serialized web novels in collaboration with their fans. On WEBTOON, storytellers release serialized web comics. This interview with Wattpad WEBTOON Studios President Aron Levitz dives into the fan-fueled, data-driven ecosystem that has developed more than 100 Wattpad and WEBTOON projects into successful entertainment IP. Repost h/t The Ankler.
How retailers like Claire's and Walmart are going all in on Roblox
// Modern Retail
Gap, American Eagle, Forever 21, Claire’s, Walmart, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Givenchy, Tommy Hilfiger, and Gucci—what do these brands have in common? Each company has launched its own experience in Roblox, which is frequented by some 52 million daily active users. This piece explores what distinguishes Roblox from its metaverse competitors, and how brands are unlocking genuine value from building worlds on the platform.
Amazon to Invest $1B in Box Office Releases as More Streamers Embrace Theatrical
// Yahoo Finance
The future of cinema is starting to look a lot like its past. Amazon has committed $1 billion to produce 12–15 movies exclusively for theaters each year—a comparable figure to movie studios like Paramount Pictures. This article explores why “the pendulum is certainly swinging back” to the theatrical experience. Coming out of COVID-19, the theatrical window has proven more essential than ever to build on the streaming revenue.
Exploring Design Patterns for Building Mixed Reality Stories
// NYT R&D

Many of the world’s most prominent tech companies are working on wearable mixed reality devices—and the New York Times is committed to harnessing these emerging technologies for storytelling. The Research & Development team has been studying the unique affordances of mixed reality and experimenting with stories that are best told in this new format. This article summarizes their recent efforts to design standards for nonlinear, spatial, and information-dense immersive storytelling.

 Darren Aronofsky and National Geographic released a new series, Limitless with Chris Hemsworth, on Disney+. The show explores the question: What if you could combat aging and discover the full potential of the human body? 

 Tender Claws teased their collaboration with Netflix on a Stranger Things VR experience—coming in late 2023.

Aria Finger was profiled in Forbes this month for her work scaling tech nonprofits.
 In addition to their venue in Los Angeles, Cosm announced the development of another immersive entertainment venue in the Dallas–Fort Worth area.

 Rainn Wilson unofficially changed his name to “Rainnfall Heat Wave Rising Sea Levels Wilson” to raise awareness about climate change.

 Giant Spoon, led by cofounder Marc Simons, won three Clio awards, including a Grand Clio for their Stranger Things global takeover—which included activating the façade of the Empire State Building.

Below, find a list of some of the storytelling experiences and events we recommend in December. Shoot us an email if you come across anything that should be included next month!

Witness the War on Ukraine's Culture in 360° Film
What happens when museums can no longer show their collections and instead need to hide them? What does it mean to be a street artist when your city is being bombed? What does it take to be a musician when your country is under attack? You Destroy. We Create takes you on a 23-minute immersive journey through the war-torn country, where artists and professionals from the cultural sphere are busy protecting, rebuilding, and creating art. The project was created by NowHere Media founders Gayatri Parameswaran and Felix Gaedtke, and premiered on Meta Quest TV on November 30.

Attend Helder Guimarães’s Secret Experience in LA
An immersive experience combining storytelling, strange curiosities, and impossible feats, Back to Wonder is a brand new invention from the mind of award-winning magician and storyteller Helder Guimarães. Limited to 15 people per performance, this exhibition will happen at an undisclosed location in South Pasadena. Infused with stories of Helder’s life, Back to Wonder takes a peek into his process and the world in which he lives. The show runs from December 8 to December 31.

Experience a Stage Adaptation of My Neighbor Totoro in London
Hailed as “utterly beguiling” (The Stage) and “theatre at its most magical” (LondonTheatre), this five-star “jaw-dropping” (Metro) staging of the celebrated 1988 animated feature film by Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) is brought to you by its original composer, Joe Hisaishi, in a landmark new adaptation by the Royal Shakespeare Company (Matilda The Musical), written by playwright Tom Morton-Smith (Oppenheimer).

Visit the Department of Wonder in Sugar Land, Texas
Department of Wonder is an immersive, mixed-reality fantasy filled with intrigue and surprise. Wielding a light-gathering lantern, guests are charged with bringing light to darkness by unraveling stories and solving puzzles amid a fantastical universe of remarkable interactive experiences and curiously colorful characters. Adults and kids alike will be captivated by this enchanting and whimsical journey where curiosity is constantly rewarded inside a realm where the boundaries between physical and digital reality dissolve.
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