The leading names in social, games, search, and consumer technologies are all driving the renaissance of virtual reality (VR).  The medium is unique...

Storytelling in a Virtual World


Museum of Contemporary Art
2000 NSW

Storytelling in a Virtual World


Mariana Acuna

Mariana Acuna

Media & Production Creative Manager, The Foundry

Mariana is the Media & Production Creative Manager with The Foundry in the Americas and Development Manager for Australia-New Zealand.

Her focus for the last two years has been specializing in Virtual Reality Postproduction workflows and how they relate to the features needed in the software. She leads the Creative Team in the creation and deployment of training, software testing and demo materials, driven by client feedback.  She travels globally working with studios to find solutions to streamline their post production workflows.

Prior to joining The Foundry she founded her VFX Studio in Mexico, serving as VFX Producer and on set supervisor on several major block busters such as: The Day After Tomorrow, Troy, & Desperado. She was part of Olin VFX; Mexico's VFX facility, beforehand.  

Mariana Acuña has over 10 years of professional experience in the motion picture industry, where she has worked as a senior compositor for Sony Imageworks, ICO FX, CIS Hollywood and LOOK FX, amongst others.

Mariana graduated from UDLA-Mexico with honors in New Media. She also gained a Master's degree in Digital Post production & New Technologies in Spain and then finalized her studies at Gnomon School for VFX, specializing in Compositing and on set supervision.

Norman Wang

Norman Wang

Executive Director, Opaque Media

Norman is an award-winning 3D artist and Executive Director at Opaque Media Group, where he leads a number of projects in the area of real-time production and virtual reality.

Norman’s journey in VR storytelling began with the Virtual Dementia Experience, an award-winning virtual reality simulation that allows people to experience the world from the perspective of someone living with dementia.

Norman now leads Earthlight – a VR game being developed in collaboration with space agencies around the world, that allows players to immersively experience the journey of becoming an astronaut as well as the wonders and perils of space.

Outside of Opaque Media Group, Norman is a PhD researcher in cognitive psychology with a focus on understanding how immersive experience can affect human perception and cognition.

Dr. John McGhee

Dr. John McGhee

Director, 3D Visualisation Aesthetics Lab at UNSW

Dr John McGhee is a practicing 3D CGI artist, researcher and senior lecturer based at UNSW Art & Design. He has a background in design and 3D computer arts research.  His visual practice explores arts-led modes of visualising complex scientific and biomedical data, using the 3D CGI techniques used in the visual effects and animation industries. 

John's academic research builds on this theme, was the basis for his doctoral thesis and has since resulted in a variety of collaborative projects across the visual arts and sciences. His research investigates new modes of visualising complex data - such as MRI, CT and microscopy data - using 3D computer animation techniques.

The work investigates through practice, the emergent ways of working across art & science. This research provides methods of engaging the public with complex scientific data such as MRI during their interactions with healthcare professionals.  This research has resulted in the creation of 3D computer visualisation strategies that facilitate visual dialogue between patients and healthcare professionals. 

Event Details

The leading names in social, games, search, and consumer technologies are all driving the renaissance of virtual reality (VR).  The medium is unique, being innately interactive and immersive, challenging traditional linear storytelling conventions.

There are VR story evangelists like Oculus Story Studio born from the Pixar traditions of story, but ironically, whose own founder Ed Catmull is, at best, sceptical of the medium's ability to tell stories (today at least).

Can we get VR’s second coming right this time? It’s a medium that still holds decades of problems for storytellers, so what have we learnt and what can we work on to define interactive storytelling in this new medium?

Industry veterans and new pioneers will be presenting a series of short talk on their solutions and insights into the challenges of VR.

Content creators - storytellers, developers, designers, and animators interested in making the jump to this new medium stand to gain the most.

This event is presented by S1T2.


*Booking and transaction fees may apply

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