December 06, 2017

The Technicolor Experience Center Opens New Doors for Creatives in the Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Lab

By: Kamal Sinclair

Director of the Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Lab Programs

Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Lab initiative is partnering with the Technicolor Experience Center (TEC) to give creatives greater access to technologies and methods that elevate innovative forms of storytelling using virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and other immersive media applications.

The New Frontier Lab and residency programs are designed to identify and foster independent artists and creative technologists innovating the art and form of story and to build a community of collaborators across diverse disciplines to push the boundaries of story. The TEC is focused on developing high-concept content, platforms and technology for immersive media and creating a vibrant ecosystem that advances the state-of-the-art in this new form of storytelling.

Because of Technicolor’s long history of excellence and its legacy of supporting the media and storytelling industries by providing innovative, cutting-edge tools and resources, Sundance Institute and the TEC recognized a partnership could open doors for artists to access all these tools and resources to take storytelling to the next level, in emerging and experiential media.

To establish the relationship with Technicolor, we have been working closely with Marcie Jastrow, Senior Vice President of Immersive Media for Technicolor and Head of the TEC. and, already, the partnership has revealed the positive implications of developing symbiotic relationships between storytellers and the technologists.

Our joint mission is simple:

We want the storyteller’s vision to exceed the capacity of existing technology and provide opportunities to push boundaries. This will trigger a couple of consequences:

  • It will inspire technologists to engineer new mechanisms that enable experiences that may currently be considered impossible.
  • It will provide creative talent with new tools that can be used to advance the art of storytelling, to create work that has real meaning to audiences all around the world.

Working together, Sundance Institute’sNew Frontier Lab and the TEC have identified three new projects that will further enhance the relationship between storytelling and technology in immersive media:

  • A project by Laura Wexler and Charlotte Stoudt that uses VR, AR, immersive media and even artificial intelligence (AI) to tell the story of intriguing historical incidents that deal with the supernatural and the unexplained.
  • A project by Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill that explores the relationship between children and their parents and uses immersive media to illustrate the power of a child’s imagination when living amidst the tension of their parents’ marital strife.
  • A project by Lynette Walworth that uses VR, mixed reality (MR) and immersive media to transport people into the real experiences of indigenous communities around the world.

We are at an exciting point in the young history of immersive media. The creative and technology communities have an opportunity to define the next generation of entertainment experiences. The Artists-in-Residency initiative that has been created through the partnership between the Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Lab and the Technicolor Experience Center offers a unique environment to push the boundaries of what entertainment can be.