Peabody Award-winning creator of Queerskins, Illya Szilak teaches VR storytelling: POV, attention, agency, interactivity, empathy.
In this class, whatever your background - filmmaker, writer, visual artist, animator, game designer, or interactive designer - you will learn to think about story differently.
Drawing from her own Peabody Futures of Media Award-winning VR experience Queerskins: a love story & other works, instructor Illya Szliak will take you through the critical elements of storytelling in VR, such as:
and the use of different types of media.
Each class begins at 6pm with an optional 30 minutes of viewing works in headset, followed by a discussion & then a provocative deep dive into storytelling in VR from 6:30 - 8:30pm. In addition to lecture & discussion, participants will storyboard an idea for a VR scene, followed by class discussion & critique.
Confirmed works, plus more TBD: Dear Angelica, Notes on Blindness, & Wolves in the Walls.
No tech or game engine experience is necessary.
This class expands on the success of Illya's sold-out shorter format class, Virtual Reality Storytelling Primer. Of that experience, filmmaker Chithra Jeyaram said:
I have been exploring VR for a specific story for a year now. Illya's class expanded my world view on VR & provided a paradigm shift on how to think about VR storytelling. So very cool & awesome. She is lovely at bridging core principles of storytelling with how human beings interact & perceive the world around them. Virtual Reality is a nascent medium that draws from so many disciplines & her class helps us appreciate that & think of our VR projects differently.
What You Will Learn
VR as a spatial medium; Presence, the evolving language of VR; What organizes reality for the visitor in VR?
Inspiration for VR storytelling from other art forms
Character development & point of view; Emotional & narrative arcs; Aesthetic considerations & conventions; Story as a way to organize information
Empathy; Ethical storytelling
Writer, Director, & Interactive Storyteller
Illya Szilak is a writer, director, & interactive storyteller. Shaped by her experiences as a physician, her artistic practice explores embodiment, identity, & belief in a media-inundated & increasingly virtual world. Cyril Tsiboulski is her longtime artistic partner. Their online works are taught frequently on a university level as notable examples of innovative storytelling & digital literature. Their first VR experience Queerskins: a love story premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival in 2018 & was exhibited widely including commissioned installations at the L.A. Film Festival, the Houston Cinematic Arts Festival & a month-long solo show at The Toronto International Film Festival's TIFF Light Box Gallery. Their second VR experience Queerskins Ark incorporates 360 video, 3D volumetric video, & interactive dance, & has been chosen for the Venice Biennale College VR Cinema Lab 2019. They are recipients of grants from The Sundance Institute, The Tribeca Film Institute, & The Peter Reed Foundation.