StoryFutures at the Festival of Digital Disruption on 19 November 2019

  • StoryFutures
  • October 8th 2019

With our last Summer briefing now a distant memory, StoryFutures are storming ahead with our next networking event, and we’ve decided to crash the Festival of Digital Disruption in Reading. Taking place at The Curious Lounge during the 18th-22nd November, it’s a week-long celebration of digital creativity and innovation, so what better place for us?

On the 19th November, we will be in attendance with our programme “The Future of Storytelling: A Mixed Reality”. We’ll be offering a series of fascinating talks with immersive creators, the latest in pioneering VR demos as well as a chance to network and discuss challenges with our panel of experts.

You can book for the morning session, afternoon session or the entire day to really get the most out of this event. Not only will it provide some valuable insight into the current immersive landscape, but it’s also a chance to see the opportunities StoryFutures has to help digital creatives innovate and move into the immersive sector. Most importantly, it's a fantastic time to network and connect with other innovators working in the region.

StoryFutures’ mission is to fuel innovation and growth in immersive through exciting collaborations, funding and support. We bring together leading organisations, academic experts and innovative businesses in the Gateway Cluster to the west of London to work on new ideas and prototypes.

Whether you’re starting your immersive journey or are an experienced practitioner, this event will offer new ideas, connections and opportunities.

We hope to see you there!

Check out the agenda below, and sign up for the event here below.

Register Here


Morning: 11:00am - 13:30, followed by lunch

Immersive Demos

Experience pioneering VR productions: Doctor Who: The Edge of Time by Maze Theory, Common Ground by award-winner Darren Emerson, and The National Gallery’s Virtual Veronese by Focal Point.

How to Make The Virtual, A Reality

Will Saunders, award-winning producer and Chief Creative Officer at the National Centre for Immersive Storytelling and StoryFutures

Will has worked at the forefront of creative innovation in the UK for over twenty years, producing and writing on shows such as Flight of the Conchords, So Graham Norton and Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day. He was an architect of the BBC’s Digital transformation, launching the BBC’s home for new forms of storytelling taster and running digital development and production for BBC Studios.

Will’s talk will consider what immersive technologies offer the Creative Sector, how best to get involved during the immersive pre-market economy phase we still inhabit, and why we need great stories and great storytellers now more than ever before.

The Journey to Doctor Who and Peaky Blinders in VR

Russ Harding, Executive Producer/Creative Director, Maze Theory

Claire Boissiere, games producer/writer, BAFTA Committee, VC The BGI/NVM.

Russ and Claire will discuss their journey in combining technology, games and storytelling to make engaging immersive experiences, including VR games for Doctor Who and Peaky Blinders. How did their previous experience translate into VR production? What are the challenges in building immersive stories - and how is this different from television, animation or games? They will cover how to balance the original story, characters, and gameplay, and how this impacts the writers and creative teams?

VR and the Power of Story

Victoria Mapplebeck, Bafta award-winning writer, artist and director.

Victoria has been experimenting with the frontiers of documentary and creative technology for the last two decades. This talk will reflect on her experience of using VR alongside traditional film and the creative possibilities this combination offers for storytelling. It focuses on The Waiting Room, the film and VR project that explores each step of her journey from diagnosis of breast cancer to recovery.

Immersive animation: from site-specific installation to VR

Birgitta Hosea, artist, curator, Reader in Moving Image, UCA

Drawing from over twenty years of making animated spatial experiences, this talk will explore a number of different strategies used by artists to immerse the viewer in both physical and VR spaces. Birgitta is an artist, curator and former theatre designer working internationally in site-specific and expanded animation. Prior to joining the UCA, she was Head of Animation at the Royal College of Art, Course Director of MA Character Animation and Research Leader in Performance at Central Saint Martins

Lunch and immersive demos at 13:30

Afternoon 14:00 - 16:30, followed by drinks and canapes

StoryFutures Can Help You Innovate

James Bennett, Director of StoryFutures and Professor of Television and Digital Culture at Royal Holloway, University of London

James will outline how StoryFutures - the R&D partnership bringing together creative SMEs, industry players like the BBC, the National Gallery and Heathrow Airport, and university researchers, can help you innovate. We offer access to collaborations, expertise, financial support and business advice to companies based in the Gateway Cluster area to the West of London.

R&D On Demand and How to Get Involved

Kristina Glushkova, Business Impact Lead at StoryFutures

Mark Lycett, Business Models Lead at StoryFutures and Professor of Information Management at Royal Holloway, University of London

Our R&D on Demand programme offers creative businesses based in the Gateway Cluster access to leading expertise and up to £3,000 in grant support to tackle storytelling innovation challenges. We help businesses develop their commercial strategies, experiment with story form, test prototypes with audiences and much more. Find out what’s on offer and how you can get involved!

The Experts: Audiences, Story Forms, Business Models and Technologies

Find out about the latest trends and expertise available at StoryFutures, in the areas of:

  1. Next-generation business models and funding opportunities
  2. Techniques, technologies and skills for immersive storytelling
  3. Emerging story forms and creative environments
  4. Understanding next-generation audiences

Challenges and Solutions: Ideas and Support Session

Bring an idea, question or challenge in relation and get advice and ideas from our experts and other creative and digital practitioners. This is a unique opportunity to get expert input and connect with other innovators working in the region.

Drinks and canapes

Immersive demos

Experience pioneering VR productions, including Maze Theory’s Doctor Who: The Edge of Time, Darren Emerson’s Common Ground and The National Gallery’s Virtual Veronese.

Register Here
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