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Sandbox #3: VR Development & Workflow

24 Nov 2018
10am to 1pm Saturday 24 November 2018
The Story Edge Sandboxes offer participants an insight into innovative and interactive storytelling in this digital age, in the form of talks and hands-on workshops.
Event type: 
Multidisciplinary, Seminar/Public Lecture, Workshop/Seminar
Regular: $15+GST, Student: $10+GST
AUT Tower
Corner of Wakefield and Queen Street, 8th Floor WT802


Virtual Reality (VR) is disrupting the boundaries of traditional moving image storytelling. VR also provides a new platform for storytellers to create immersive experiences for a diverse range of audiences. VR is quickly gaining momentum, with two VR films recently selling at Sundance Film Festival for seven-figure sums.

However, for those unfamiliar with this new medium, or who are beginning their filmmaking career, VR can seem daunting and out of reach.

At Sandbox #3, local industry leaders will break down those barriers, introduce you to the technical specifications used in VR and show you how to shift your creative storytelling from to 2D to 3D, from 180 to 360.

Topics for discussion will include:

  • What's the purpose behind producing VR?
  • What types of projects/narratives does VR lend itself to?
  • What's the audience for VR?
  • How to create community engagement/empathy?
  • What's the future of VR, will it ever overtake traditional cinema/TV viewing experiences?
  • What are the key differences between a VR shoot and a standard film shoot?
  • How can filmmakers prepare themselves for VR?
  • How to turn an idea into a VR project? 
  • How to collaborate/designate on a VR project?
  • How do you design the user experience and journey?
  • How do you wireframe a VR project?
  • What is a typical VR production process and timeline?
  • How to film VR, what software, camera and tech equipment?
  • A checklist for VR production? Tips and what to avoid.
  • Is AR production different? How?


Alejandro Davila (Conical)
Alejandro is a VR and AR producer and he is the founder of Auckland-based Conical Interactive Studios. In 2016, he was a ‘Young New Zealand Innovator of the Year’ nominated finalist after making New Zealand’s first VR movie, leading to a ripple effect across the country as a pioneer in VR/AR Storytelling. Alejandro’s universal techniques apply to both VR and AR and are used in The Green Fairy AR episode series and the upcoming interactive VR film of the same name.

Aliesha Staples (Staples VR)
Aliesha is a high profile New Zealand producer and pioneer of VR, AR and new technologies. She was the winner of the High Tech Award in 2017 and 2018 and was a finalist in 2018 Women in Film and TV awards for her work in the field. Aliesha is the founder of Staples VR, a company that caters for an international clientele and has been awarded multiple accolades. Aliesha is highly sought after as a producer of VR/AR content and has produced projects for studios and television networks including Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, TVNZ and ABC. Aliesha has been supplying equipment, training and solutions to the industry since 2013 including the first OZO in ANZ and the first Jaunt camera available outside of the USA. Aliesha’s enthusiasm for VR has led her to become a key figure in the VR community, and she is now leading projects in the fields of entertainment, enterprise and medicine.

Q&A's to follow.


Regular: $15 + GST | Students: $10 + GST

Story Edge is kindly supported by:

NZ On Air
NZ Film Commission
AUT – Master of English and New Media Studies (MENMS)

Written by

Doc Edge

16 Nov 2018

The Documentary New Zealand Trust (Doc Edge) is a not-for-profit charitable organisation based in Auckland which was founded in 2004. Doc Edge's mission is to lead and inspire the creative, business and wider communities to develop and celebrate documentary stories.