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January 18 - 28 — Park City, Utah

Creators redefine storytelling at Sundance Film Festival

Unity is proud to celebrate the bold creators who are redefining storytelling through VR/AR experiences, 360 video, real-time filmmaking, virtual production and more.

This year, 70% of the interactive selections in the Sundance New Frontier exhibit were made with Unity, including BattleScar, Chorus, Masters of the Sun, and SPHERES. At the Sundance New Frontier exhibit, we witnessed amazingly creative and technical breakthroughs in genres as diverse as VR experiences, AR applications, 360 videos, and interactive films.

In our Storytellers of Tomorrow series, we talked with storytellers of all kinds about what inspires and challenges them, and how they bring these visions to life. We also hosted an exciting evening exploring the power of real-time film production and how it’s already revolutionizing the way movies are created.

Storytellers of Tomorrow Creator Interview Series

Unity held a series of interviews with award-winning VR/AR creators and filmmakers who are revolutionizing digital storytelling.

Watch here

Real-Time Film Production Takes Center Stage

Unity invited the boldest storytellers, creators, and industry leaders to take part in an evening of discussions and networking centered around the power of real-time and how it’s already revolutionizing the way that movies are created, from pre-visualization to virtual production. Special guests included Academy Award-winner Ben Grossman of Magnopus and Pixar’s John Halstead, Technical Director for Coco, who discussed transferring film IP to VR. BAFTA winner Habib Zargapour and Wes Potter of Digital Monarch Media (Blade Runner 2049, Disney’s The Jungle Book, and the upcoming film, Ready Player One) revealed how they use Unity for virtual production. Chris Harvey also demonstrated how the power of real-time brought the short films ADAM: The Mirror and ADAM: Episode 3 to life in a fraction of the time of a traditional production pipeline.

Watch here

Imagining Work in an AI Integrated Future

Danny Lange, Unity’s VP of AI and Machine Learning, joined Alex McDowell (Minority Report, Fight Club, Founder of The World Building Institute), a Dell AI expert, Tony Patrick (Batman & The Signal, X’ed), Grace Lee (American Revolutionary), and Lauren McCarthy (UCLA Design Media Arts and the creator of p5.js) to discuss how emerging technologies may fundamentally change the nature of work by enhancing human capability with immersive media, artificial intelligence, and biological enhancements.

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Film, Code, and Craft: The Tech That’s Pushing Stories Forward

From virtual cameras to collaborative storyboards, creators are using new modes of filmmaking to push the boundaries of their storytelling — with the help of an ever-expanding toolkit. Vimeo, Unity, and a group of filmmakers joined together to explore emerging technologies, and how you can use them to make your next film. Panelists included Isabelle Riva, Head of Made with Unity, Adam Myhill, Head of Cinematics at Unity, Casey Pugh from Vimeo, and Vimeo/Unity creators.

Watch here
From left to right, top to bottom: Sarah Stumbo, Kevin Cornish, Julia Sourikoff, Gary Radburn

Combining AI and VR to Empower Conversational Cinema

Unity, along with Dell and Moth + Flame, hosted a discussion about technology that drives VR and conversational cinema. Fall in Love, created by Moth + Flame, uses a unique combination of powerful visuals and language processing to experiment with this question. Sarah Stumbo, Unity’s XR Producer, led the discussion with Kevin Cornish, Founder of Moth + Flame, and Gary Radburn, Director of VR at Dell.

Congratulations to the projects showcased in this year’s New Frontier exhibit

Learn more about all of the Made with Unity projects in the New Frontier exhibit

This year, 70% of the interactive experiences in the New Frontier exhibit were Made with Unity! We delight in celebrating these innovative creators and welcome you to learn more about them.

  • Awavena
  • BattleScar
  • Chorus
  • Dinner Party
  • Frankenstein AI: A Monster Made by Many
  • Masters of the Sun
  • SPHERES: Songs of Spacetime
  • The Summation of Force
  • TendAR
  • VR_I
  • Your Spiritual Temple Sucks
  • Zikr: A Sufi Revival
Awavena

Lead artist: Lynette Wallworth

Key collaborators: Nicole Newnham, Tashka Yawanawa, Laura Soriano de Yawanawa

The Yawanawa, an indigenous Amazonian people, see immersive technologies as tools they can co-opt to share their connected worldview. Inviting artist Lynette Wallworth to their community, the Yawanawa share the visions of Hushahu, their first woman Shaman, and our technology renders visible the luminous world they have always known. Cast: Hushahu Yawanawa, Tata Yawanawa, Mutum Community

BattleScar

Lead artists: Martin Allais, Nico Casavecchia

Key collaborators: Arnaud Colinart, Raphael Penasa, Andrew Geller, René Pinell

New York City, 1978: When Lupe, a Puerto Rican-American teen, meets fellow runaway Debbie, the Bowery’s punk scene and the Lower East Side are their playground. This coming-of-age narrative explores identity through animation and immersive environments as Lupe’s handwritten journals guide users through her year. Cast: Rosario Dawson

Chorus

Lead artists: Tyler Hurd

Key collaborators: Chris Milk, Megan Ellison, Justice

Crystals, lasers, monsters, heroines. Transform into fantastical female warriors in this social VR experience. Six people can band together to battle evil in an epic journey of empowerment, all orchestrated to the song “Chorus“ by Justice.

Dinner Party

Lead artists: Charlotte Stoudt, Laura Wexler, Angel Manuel Soto

Key collaborators:A short VR thriller that dramatizes the incredible story of Betty and Barney Hill, who in the 1960s reported the first nationally known UFO abduction case in America. Cast: Malcolm Barrett, Sarah Sokolovic.

A short VR thriller that dramatizes the incredible story of Betty and Barney Hill, who in the 1960s reported the first nationally known UFO abduction case in America. Cast: Malcolm Barrett, Sarah Sokolovic.

Frankenstein AI: A Monster Made by Many

Lead artists: Lance Weiler, Nick Fortugno, Rachel Ginsberg

Key collaborators: Nick Childs, Hunter Owens, Brandon Powers

By challenging dystopian perspectives around artificial intelligence (AI), this immersive experience reimagines Mary Shelley’s seminal work to examine the cultural ramifications of pervasive, ubiquitous technology. Participants interact with AI, creating a shared narrative around the implications of unleashing this naive yet intelligent “monster” into the world.

Masters of the Sun

Lead artists: will.i.am, apl de ap, Taboo

Key collaborators: Pasha Shapiro, Ernst Weber, Sara Ramaker, Eddie Axley

In 1983, Los Angeles was spared from utter destruction by an ancient evil. The ghetto became ground zero for a drug epidemic that transformed citizens into soul-sucking zombies through Z-Drops, until a ragtag crew used one weapon to take their city back: hip-hop. Cast: Rakim, Queen Latifah, Jason Isaacs, Stan Lee, KRS-One, Slick Rick

SPHERES: Songs of Spacetime

Lead artists: Eliza McNitt

Key collaborators: Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel, Jess Engel, Arnaud Colinart

Dive into the heart of a black hole and uncover the hidden songs of the cosmos. In this interactive VR experience, the breakthrough discovery of gravitational waves transforms how we see the universe. Fall into the darkness and you will find the light.

The Summation of Force

Lead artists: Narelle Autio, Trent Parke, Matthew Bate

Key collaborators: Anton Andreacchio

In a moonlit suburban yard, two brothers battle one another in a mythic game of cricket. This is both a study of the motion, physics and psychology of elite sport, and a cosmic, dreamlike and darkly beautiful metaphor for life. Cast: Jem Autio Parke, Dash Autio Parke

TendAR

Lead artists: Samantha Gorman, Danny Cannizzaro

Key collaborators: Piehole, Matt Savitsky

Experience this humorous and provocative installation that combines interactive storytelling, AR and emotion/face recognition technology to promote discussion about current topics in biometric data and artificial intelligence. Your guide: A fish-like creature that amusingly analyzes the partners collaborating in the experience, their emotions and the world around them.

VR_I

Lead artists: Gilles Jobin, Caecilia Charbonnier, Sylvain Chagué

Key collaborators: Jean-Paul Lespagnard, Carla Scaletti, Camilo De Martino

Blending art with technology, VR_I resulted from the encounter between Swiss choreographer Gilles Jobin and the founders of Artanim, Caecilia Charbonnier and Sylvain Chagué. In this contemplative virtual dance piece, five spectators, immersed together and in real-time, use avatars to investigate a performance among surprising effects of scale. Cast: Susana Panadés Diaz, Victoria Chiu, Diya Naidu, Gilles Jobin, Tidiani N’Diaye

Your Spiritual Temple Sucks

Lead artist: John Hsu

Mr. Chang arrives at his “Spiritual Temple,” a place that represents one’s destiny. To solve his marital crisis and financial problems, he summons his guardian, The Thunder God. They attempt to tidy his life, which turns out to be a big mistake … with hilarious consequences. Cast: Ctwo, Sun Ke-Fang, Han Chang, Andy Tsai, Wei Hao Tseng, Liu Kuan-Ting

Zikr: A Sufi Revival

Lead artists: Gabo Arora, John Fitzgerald, Matthew Niederhauser

Key collaborators: Selim Bensedrine, Igal Nassima, Jennifer Tiexiera, Wilson Brown

This interactive social VR experience uses song and dance to transport four participants into ecstatic Sufi rituals, while also exploring the motivations behind followers of this mystical Islamic tradition, observed by millions around the world.

The future of storytelling is real-time

From the Sundance Film Festival New Frontier exhibit to Neill Blomkamp’s ADAM shorts, the real-time revolution in film and VR/AR is well underway. Check out the deluxe publication we put together to celebrate the pioneers of storytelling and bold new films revolutionizing the industry. It also includes interviews, behind-the-scenes reveals, Virtual Room immersive brand experiences, forthcoming Made with Unity titles and much more.

Learn more about Unity at the Sundance Film Festival

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