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No matter how fine and how pale the thread that you hold in your needle, if you don’t weave it into the tapestry with care, thoughtfulness and craftsmanship, in some way the tapestry will be threadbare.
—Richard Taylor
Richard Taylor
Weta Workshop co-founder and creative director Richard Taylor discusses the art of handcrafted movie magic and why craft is so important, even in an industry increasingly dominated by CGI.
Victoria Labalme
Hall of fame speaker and performance coach Victoria Labalme shares lessons learned over a wide-ranging career in the performing arts and discusses her new book, Risk Forward.
The Future of ‘Live’ is Hybrid, Real-Time, and Interactive // FreeThink
With vaccinations becoming increasingly accessible, it won’t be too long before the live events industry gets back underway. However, a return to live doesn’t mean an end to the explosion in virtual events that we’ve seen over the past year. In a recent study, 7 out of 10 consumers reported that they planned on continuing to attend virtual events after the pandemic, and the recent $1.25bn valuation of VR social space Rec Room—VR’s first unicorn—suggests that investors feel similarly enthusiastic about the future of virtual events. Rather than a return to live events as we once knew them, what we may see instead is a new hybrid of live and virtual events inspired by the learnings of a year spent in virtual space.
CREAL Shows Off New Light-Field Display For VR Headsets
// Road to VR

CREAL’s light-field display technology may be the next step in VR immersion. Unlike normal displays that operate at a fixed focal depth, light-field displays allow viewers to focus their eyes on elements at any depth, more accurately representing how we see in the real world. While this may sound like a subtle change, the visual realism it adds could significantly augment the immersive potential of VR experiences. CREAL has no plans to start selling its own headsets, but hopes that other manufacturers will license its tech for their own devices.
Neuralink Video Shows Monkey Playing Pong With Its Mind
// TechCrunch

Of all the futuristic technological advances of the past few years, perhaps the most awe-inspiring has been the development of brain-controlled interfaces, or BCIs. Elon Musk’s Neuralink, a major competitor in this space, recently revealed a video in which their technology allows a monkey to wirelessly play Pong using only its mind. Neuralink’s immediate goal is to use the tech for medical applications, but it’s easy to imagine a future in which it could be used for storytelling as well (a possibility that Valve CEO Gabe Newell is already exploring).
If you have even a single toenail touching this mortal coil, you’ve undoubtedly heard about NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and their potential to upend the art world as we know it. But trying to determine whether they will, let alone in what ways, demands doing what few buyers plunging into this emerging market want to do: dance with the devil in the details, starting from the foundation. This article lays out the current state of NFTs and their potential to revolutionize the art world, and then proposes 4 major factors that may determine their long-term success or failure in doing so.
Over the next six months, we’ll be releasing a series of short films in which we introduce you to master storytellers from around the world and take a look inside their creative worlds. The first in the series, below, features Meow Wolf Cofounder Vince Kadlubek and Senior Creative Producer Marsi Gray. Vince and Marsi guide us through Meow Wolf’s new Vegas experience, Omega Mart, and discuss the potential for artists and creatives to transform both individuals and society. Subscribe to FoST on YouTube to catch future installments!

Slowly but surely, the world is opening back up. Below, find a list of some of our favorite virtual storytelling experiences to check out, plus two socially distanced in-person experiences we’re excited about in NYC. Shoot us an email if you come across any that should be included next month!

Immerse Yourself in the History of Black Music in NYC
From May through July, On Site Opera will present The Road We Came, a program of immersive self-guided walking tours of three neighborhoods in New York with rich histories of Black music. Celebrating a collection of never-recorded and seemingly lost classical compositions by Black composers, The Road We Came will use filmed musical performances and spoken narration to connect audiences to the musical timeline of Harlem, Midtown/Hell’s Kitchen, and lower Manhattan.

Make Your Grand Return to Live Theater
Ready to venture back out into the world? If you’re in New York City, check out Blindness at the Daryl Roth Theater in Union Square. This socially distanced production uses inventive lighting and sound design to stage Tony-winning playwright Simon Stephens’s adaptation of Nobel-winning author Jose Saramago’s acclaimed dystopian novel.

Light Some Candles for an Interactive Ghost Story
The Geffen Playhouse has produced some of our favorite Zoom-based theater of the past year with their “Geffen Stayhouse” series. Their new show, Someone Else’s House, is the frightening tale of a real family’s experience moving into a seemingly haunted house. Ahead of the show, you’ll be mailed a box containing objects to help set the scene in your own home and bring the narrative to life. 

Create Your Own 3D Animations Using AI
It’s never been easier to create your own 3D animations. A new tool called Monster Mash, created by a team of researchers from Google and Czech Technical University in Prague, uses AI to instantly create movable 3D models based on your 2D drawings—all inside your web browser. You can then create anchor points on the models and drag them around to create animations. It’s a fun demonstration of how AI might help streamline computer animation in the future, allowing smaller teams to more easily compete with big-budget studios.

Experience One of the Internet's Best Escape Rooms
Founded by two award-winning veterans of the immersive theater scene, the production company Swamp Motel has distinguished itself over the past year as a leader in the field of online escape rooms. Their new experience, The Kindling Hour, will have you and your teammates zipping from Wikipedia to Google Maps to YouTube to Instagram to solve ciphers, unlock passwords, and stay one step ahead of a shady organization that’s watching your every move.
Copyright © 2021 Future of StoryTelling, All rights reserved.

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