A 3D AUDIO NARRATIVE PODCASTImagine adding an immersive story world layer to your everyday life by simply putting on your earphones and clicking 'play'...



2021 NSW

Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS)
precipice binaural aftrs vivid sydney event



Neil Peplow

CEO of the Australian Film Television and Radio School

Neil Peplow joined the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in 2016 as CEO. Neil has been involved in the production of 17 feature films and a Showtime TV series. In 2007, he set up a boutique consultancy company and worked for clients that include: BBC Worldwide, Vue Cinemas, Intandem Films and Fallon Advertising. Whilst Director of Film at Skillset (2009-2011), Neil was responsible for the UK’s film skills strategy which focused on new technologies including 3D and new digital business models. Most recently, as COO for Met Film Group, Neil worked with YouTube on the establishment of a creator-space in Berlin. Neil is interested in new technologies for storytelling and the Precipice Project is an excellent example of innovation in this space. At the Vivid Ideas 2017 Precipice launch event, Neil will host a Q & A with project collaborators to talk about the outcomes of their research.

Penelope Thomas

Project Manager - Applied Industry Research for Innovation at the Australian Film Television and Radio School

Penelope Thomas joined the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) as a researcher before taking on the role of Project Manager of Applied Industry Research in 2016. She has managed a number of research projects for the school including the Bus Stop Films initiative and VR Noir, which premiered at VIVID Ideas 2016.

Current projects include an AFTRS/CSIRO Data61 Research Portal, and Precipice: a binaural narrative podcast project in collaboration with Sydney Philharmonia Choir, WNYC (New York Public Radio) and in consultation with BBC’s Audio Science Research Unit. Penelope’s interest is in bringing together inclusive collaborative teams drawn from national and international expressions of interest to explore technology for communication and art.

“By drawing on the connectedness between the arts, technology, innovation and business, not only do these projects engage audiences with a future-focused realm of entertainment and communication, they take ideas and make them commercial realities.”


Lisa Sweeney

AFTRS Program Leader - Radio

Lisa Sweeney has a long career history in journalism, radio production and management. She initially worked in newspapers and commercial radio, then moved to the ABC where she worked for almost two decades in programming, radio station and news management.

As head of radio at AFTRS since 2011, Lisa initiated the Precipice Project after attending the industry conference Radiodays Europe in Paris. The presentations about podcasting sparked the notion that a film school would be perfectly placed to move podcasting in a new creative direction using the deep filmic experience available in the staff and students at the school.

Lisa’s current role as program leader radio at AFTRS means she is not only overseeing current courses to produce today’s industry professionals, but also looking to the future to ensure innovation and industry trends inform future curriculum. This project fits firmly within that brief.


Stephen Murphy

President of the Australian Screen Sound Guild and Head of Sound at AFTRS

During his childhood Stephen Murphy developed a fascination with film, television and sound that has been with him ever since. On leaving high school he made this his life work, commencing with study at the Australian Film Television and Radio School. Entering the industry he first worked on commercials, corporates and short films, and within a few years moved on to telemovies, mini-series and feature films. He has worked on location and in post-production, and has also spent many years teaching and training others. For 16 years Stephen worked for Dolby Laboratories as a sound consultant, and he has taught at TAFE NSW, was head of teaching and post-production at International Film School Sydney, and head of film and animation at International Screen Academy. Stephen is currently the President of the Australian Screen Sound Guild, and Head of Sound at the Australian Film Television and Radio School.


Kerinne Jenkins


Kerinne Jenkins is an Australian/English writer/director based in Sydney, Australia. She is currently participating in the Masters in Directing at the Australian Film Television Radio School where she is working on a proof of concept science-fiction short 'Cattle' and the corresponding feature script for her own company, Birdland Films. Kerinne has directed a number of short films that have played around the world, with her last film '1919' (starring Benedict Hardie, Matilda Ridgway and John Howard) screening on ABC2 and iView. She began her career in the UK where she worked for directors, Paul Andrew Williams and Ken Marshall at Steel Mill Pictures before she returned home to Australia to focus on her own projects which span across online content, music videos, shorts, dance films and other mediums. Kerinne has a love of transposing her own authentic experiences into heightened worlds where she can play with genre and is always excited to take on the challenges that a new format or technology can bring to the mix.

Dean Cappello WNYC New York Public Radio

Dean Cappello WNYC New York Public Radio

WNYC New York Executive Vice President

WNYC is an AFTRS Applied Industry Research Partner for the Precipice Project

Dean Cappello is executive vice president and the chief content officer at WNYC/New York Public Radio. He is the chief executive responsible for the production and development of national, on-demand, broadcast, online, local, mobile, and live event content for the WNYC Studios, WNYC-FM, WNYC-AM, New Jersey Public Radio and wnyc.org. He has led WNYC’s content and programming division through a period of dramatic audience growth and creative success. Under Cappello’s leadership, WNYC’s monthly audience has grown to 20 million listeners.   

Cappello manages an integrated multiplatform editorial and management team and was also part of the team that launched The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at NYPR. His portfolio includes the highly acclaimed programs and podcasts Radiolab, Freakonomics Radio, The New Yorker Radio Hour, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin, On the Media, Death Sex + Money, 2 Dope Queens with Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson, and Note to Self. In addition, WNYC’s news division is a leader in enterprise reporting, investigative journalism, and narrative long-form podcast projects.

During his tenure, WNYC has been honored with countless awards, most notably nine George Foster Peabody Awards and two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards. Prior to joining WNYC in 1997 as senior director for news and information, Cappello was senior producer of Monitor Radio's Midday Edition. He worked for many years as a producer and correspondent in India, Africa and Europe, creating documentaries and reports for NPR, the BBC, CBC and Monitor Radio. In 1991, he won the New York Radio Festival Grand Award for “Passages to India,” a 10-hour radio documentary series he co-produced.   

Cappello graduated from Emerson College in Boston, MA where he served as the youngest general manager for the highly regarded WERS FM.

Catherine Robinson

Catherine Robinson

Catherine Robinson

BBC Audio Science Division is an AFTRS Industry Research Consultant for the Precipice Project

Catherine has worked in radio sound for the BBC since 2000. Her specialism is sound design for radio drama, binaural audio and 3D sound for 360 video and VR. Catherine created the sound design and binaural mix for Ring, a horror radio drama for Radio 4. Following the success of that, Catherine has set up the first operational 3D sound studio in the BBC outside Research and Development, using their tools.

Some of the binaural productions that have been created in the 3D studio are: The Russell T Davies adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was the first ever binaural feature film; six 360 films for Planet Earth 2 using dynamic binaural sound design; and a multi-location experience of a Super Furry Animals arena concert in 360 sound and video.

Catherine is currently developing an exciting new drama format for Radio 4 Online, as well as a radio series exploring spatial listening. 


Cast of Precipice


Available cast members from Precipice will talk with Director Kerinne Jenkins and Creative Collaborator/Actor Meredith Penman, about performance for binaural technology and a new medium of storytelling.

Precipice Cast

Emilie Cocquerel, Uli Latukefu, Victoria Harababidou and Kimie Tsukakoshi.

Uli Latukefu

Uli Latukefu will next be seen in Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated feature ALIEN: COVENANT. He recently starred in the second series of Netflix’s epic drama, Marco Polo and he has also featured in Chris Lilley’s Jonah From Tonga which screened on the ABC and HBO, and the critically acclaimed Foxtel series, Devil's Playground which was awarded the 2015 Silver Logie for Most Outstanding Telemovie and the 2015 AACTA Award for Best Miniseries. Uli made his Broadway debut in Peter Pan at New York’s New Victory Theatre. He graduated from Australia’s prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 2012 and was a 2016 Heath Ledger Scholarship finalist.

Sydney Philharmonia Choirs

Sydney Philharmonia Choirs

Brett Weymark, Music Director of Sydney Philharmonia Choirs

"We are thrilled to join this [AFTRS' Precipice] exciting project which will extend the bounds of choral music through the creative use of technology. We hope to change people’s expectations of the human voice and to deliver a new form of art. The process of using the technology to tell the story in a unique and different way is very exciting and one that our choristers are very much looking forward to." 

Sydney Philharmonia Choirs

Made up of 1500 people who volunteer their time and talents to rehearsals and events year-round, the SPC choirs are made up of four choirs each with an important role — Symphony Chorus, Chamber Singers, VOX, and Festival Chorus. The choirs regularly perform at the Sydney Opera House and City Recital Hall, and other prestigious venues around the city, alongside the world’s best conductors, soloists, and orchestras, including the Sydney Symphony and Sydney Youth Orchestra.

The Australian Film Television and Radio School binarually recorded Sydney Philharmonia Choir's young adult choir VOX for the Precipice Project. Created for singers aged 18 to 30, VOX brings together the talents of Sydney’s young choristers under the leadership of effervescent Music Director, Elizabeth Scott. Performing programs of classical, popular, and contemporary works, VOX’s repertoire is the most innovative, experimental, and modern of all SPC choirs.

Playing on the youthfulness of its members, VOX pushes the boundaries of what is expected of choral music, working with ARIA award-winning composer and pianist Sally Whitwell, appearing at the World Netball Championships and in the Video Games concerts at the Enmore Theatre. The choir has also partnered with Festival Chorus to perform at A Concert for Peace in 2015, and a performance of Amazing Grace in the Carols at the House Christmas concerts in 2016.

They also performed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in Danny Elfman Music from the Films of Tim Burton. VOX's 2017 program will see them undertake the music of Northern Europe as they perform Nordic Songs, with a program luminous repertoire that highlights the virtuosity of this young choir.

Founded in 1920, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs will celebrate its centenary in 2020, with a huge line-up of concerts and events. For more information visit www.sydneyphilharmonia.com.au

Event Details


Imagine adding an immersive story world layer to your everyday life by simply putting on your earphones and clicking 'play' — on the bus, in the coffee queue, at the airport...wherever you may be. Imagine sounds that move around your head: sounds that are at times so intimate you actually feel a physical presence as your ears warm, your neck tickles and your head turns to see who's there.

In partnership with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, VOX, WNYC Public Radio New York and in consultation with BBC's audio research division, the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) Applied Industry Research for Innovation team have explored the potential of a binaural narrative for serial podcasting and created Precipice, a binaural narrative podcast specifically for the earbud generation.

Audiences will be taken through the labyrinthine lucidity, menace and dreams of international student Amira and her unsettling experiences with psychiatrist Dr Ferenc. This pilot episode challenges existing podcast story formats by not using narration, experimenting with the potential texturing and intimacy achievable with binaural recording methods and a more fragmented narrative.

Attending Precipice at AFTRS

The Precipice experience is a studio installation at AFTRS.


A maximum of eight people can participate at one time. You can buy a maximum of 4 tickets.

Precipice is rated M: suitable for audiences 15 plus.

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your session time.

This event is presented by the Australian Film Television and Radio School.

Additional Precipice Launch Event

Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, VOX, performance and a Q&A with Precipice Collaborators and International Guest Speakers.

AFTRS will host a launch event on Thursday June 1st from 6pm, featuring a Q&A in the main theatre with Precipice Project creatives and guest speakers from WNYC and BBC Audio.

As part of this event, there will be a special performance by the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, VOX, led by Music Director, VOX, Elizabeth Scott.

This event will be open to all and FREE with registration.

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