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Before we are theory or vocabulary, we’re story.
—Jasmine Mans
Jasmine Mans
Celebrated poet Jasmine Mans discusses her new collection, her artistic process, and the realities of being a poet in the age of the internet.
Scott Trowbridge
Scott Trowbridge of Disney Imagineering discusses his work on the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land at Disneyland and Disney World, what it means to be a Disney Imagineer, and what it takes to design immersive experiences that will be visited by tens of millions of fans.
China Opens World’s Largest Immersive Theater Complex // Blooloop
Zhengzhou, the capital of China’s Henan province, has opened the largest immersive theatre complex in the world, known as Unique Henan – Land of Drama. Unique Henan is designed as a self-guided maze and comprises 56 courtyards, 21 theatres, 800 actors, 700 show minutes, a hotel, and themed food and beverages. The attraction, which took four years to complete, covers an area of 41 hectares and received an investment of 6 billion yuan ($926 million).
Netflix Plans Push Into Video Games Market
// The Guardian

Many companies attempting to launch video game subscription services have vied for the title of “the Netflix of games.” But soon, these services may face some stiff competition from none other than Netflix itself. Reports indicate that the streaming giant, having seen success with interactive titles such as Bandersnatch and Kimmy vs the Reverend, is now seriously considering the launch of a full-fledged gaming service.
Sotheby’s Auctions Virtual Being as NFT
// VentureBeat

Since the NFT marketplace started booming in early 2021, the field of NFT collectibles has heavily diversified. What started largely as a means of buying and selling digital art has expanded into offerings such as shoes, real estate, and even historic events. Now, Sotheby’s is auctioning the first “intelligent NFT” – an artwork imbued with cutting-edge AI that can converse with humans and evolve over time.
As the virtual economy grows with the advent of technological developments such as NFTs, cryptocurrency, and the metaverse, brands are experimenting with different methods of building their presence on virtual platforms. In this article, AB InBev’s Global Head of Technology and Innovation Lindsay McInerney offers insights into the company’s learnings from its virtual branding experiments. In McInerney’s words, “Some 2.5bn people already participate in the virtual economy. This is where the world is moving to, and there is no question that brands will need to find places to be in the virtual world in parallel to where they are in the real world.”
One of the biggest hurdles for the mainstream acceptance of new forms and ideas is often the recognition of existing leaders and gatekeepers – so it’s very exciting that this week, the Peabody Awards announced the formation of a new board created to honor exemplary storytelling in interactive, immersive, and new media categories. The Peabody Interactive Board will identify projects across formats including gaming, interactive journalism, virtual reality, augmented reality, social video, interactive documentary, transmedia storytelling, and more. Winners will be announced later this year in a separate celebration from the traditional Peabody spring awards ceremony. Formal details on the submission calendar, eligibility, and award categories are forthcoming.
Throughout 2021, we’re releasing a series of short films in which we introduce you to master storytellers from around the globe and take a look inside their creative worlds. The latest entry in the series, below, features teamLab Global Brand Director Takashi Kudo and Social Branding Manager Michaela Kane. Takashi and Michaela take us through teamLab‘s pioneering Borderless exhibit in Tokyo and discuss how their use of digital technologies pushes the boundaries of art. 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!

Learn About NYC History on a Tribeca-Winning Soundwalk
Interdisciplinary artist Annie Saunders invites you to experience CURRENT, a soundwalk through Lower Manhattan. The piece uses binaural sound, original composition, and site-specific recordings to draw together a narrative showcasing both the history and the present-day tales of an often-overlooked part of the city, with themes of water, time, construction, destruction, synchronicity, and resilience. CURRENT won both the Tribeca X Immersive Award and the Best Creative Nonfiction competition in the Immersive category at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

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, Isklander: 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.

Discover a New Take on “Live” Theater
If you're in New York City, don't miss Blindness at the Daryl Roth Theater in Union Square. This socially distanced production includes no live actors, but instead uses inventive lighting and audio narration to stage Tony-winning playwright Simon Stephens’s adaptation of Nobel-winning author Jose Saramago’s acclaimed dystopian novel. The show runs until July 25th.

Immerse Yourself in the Strange World of Darkfield Radio
Darkfield Radio is an innovative form of audio entertainment, immersing audiences in strange and curious worlds via their headphones and bringing new meaning to the familiar spaces we inhabit. Their new show, KNOT, is a three-part trilogy that takes place on a park bench, in a car, and in a room in your own home. This is a remote ticketed experience that runs at specific times through July, so book your showing now!
Copyright © 2021 Future of StoryTelling, All rights reserved.

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