In a cave on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, a swarm of wild pigs and dwarf buffalo are hunted by a tribe of human-like figures with elongated faces and animal-like muzzles. At least, that’s what the archaeologists believe is happening in the oldest story ever recorded.

At 43,900 years old, this cave painting makes us a participant in the very thing that makes us human — telling stories. Perhaps it was a depiction of life back then or more likely a description of a spiritual belief, the first signs of religion. …

There is something that has been lost. Maybe you feel it too.

We are living in a turbulent time. The changing climate with loss of species, loss of livelihood and the stress of a global pandemic. It can be overwhelming and frightening, and as we isolate we can feel even more disconnected from the world and each other.

But what if we could tap into some deeper ties that bind us? Humans have survived turbulent times before.

There is magic, hope, and comfort that can be found in ancient stories, passed from generation to generation, for whom global trouble…

The Tumbleweeds Film Festival, put on by the Utah Film Center, is a festival designed for kids and youth. Fellow XR filmmaker, Carol Dalrymple, and I were asked to pitch an engaging VR or AR experience for the participants. We created an AR scavenger hunt where kids used a smart device to scan clues throughout the festival spaces. The scavenger hunt delivered an educational experience about the innovations in storytelling from the history of film.

Loxa is a short 360 film I produced for Foundation Escalera. The film follows 14-year-old Loxa as she takes you on a tour of her daily life from making tortillas in the morning with her mother, hanging out with friends at school to taking care of her sheep in the fields.

Loxa’s family has lived for generations in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. They speak Tzotzil, a Mayan dialect. Loxa’s mother doesn’t speak any Spanish and Loxa only recently starting learning the language in school. The family has been subsistence farming for as long as they know. It’s…

An Immersive Art Installation

Sanctuary is an immersive art installation that weaves emerging immersive media (virtual reality, augmented reality, and depth sensing cameras) with physical space and traditional media (audio recordings and 2D film). It was created as a unique experimental experience that explores the relationship of physical and metaphorical space to personal truth. Sanctuary was created by Dane Christensen and Carol Dalrymple and premiered at the 2019 Damn These Heels LGBTQ Film Festival in Salt Lake City.

Dane Christensen is an immersive media documentary filmmaker who specializes in interactive storytelling with emerging mediums. Dane received his MFA in Documentary Film from Stanford University.

The workflow for editing 360 video has become drastically simpler within recent years. However, while large updates have reduced the complexities, there are still a few small details that have a large impact on the workflow — for example, working with ambisonics in FCPX.

I made a 360 video piece for a foundation that builds schools in rural villages in southern Mexico. I filmed it with the Insta360 Pro and recorded audio with the Zoom H3-VR (You can see the rig here). …

What do you do as a documentary filmmaker with two kids and an affinity for new tech?

You make interactive holograms of your kids, duh.

I yearn to be absorbed into a well-crafted story. I search for filmic experiences that transport me. I was getting by with a healthy mixture of 2D and VR experiences, until the day I put on the Magic Leap. And it ruined me. Well, ruined me in that way where you know you have to explore it despite the high cost (Sorry kids you don’t have a college fund because I spent it all on…

“When I first encountered avant-garde films in the early 1960s, the works I found most interesting were those that were discovering a language unique to film, a language that enabled the viewer to have the experience of film itself. And, at the same time, allowed film to be an evocation of something meaningfully human. I began to notice that moments of revelation or aliveness came to me from the way a filmmaker used film itself. Shifts of light from shot to shot, for instance, could be very visceral and affective. …

The impetus for this film comes from a personal reaction to Trump’s infamous campaign rhetoric about immigration and building the wall. As a first-generation American, I’ve felt Trump’s harsh words cut deep. What my immigrant mother showed me about America is what the new President claims is the root of our problems.

While in Tijuana, Mexico, I visited the border wall and was struck by the uncanny melancholy the stark divide emanates. I felt deterred by its ominous presence which seems to be the antithesis of American. …

What I learned from posting a 360 video everyday for a month

As VR journalists, filmmakers and enthusiasts, I think we all like the resonating analogy between the begining of cinema in the early 1900s with the develoment of VR and 360 video. We are forerunners and leaders of a new, exciting and undefined visual medium––hell yeah!

In a previous article, I described what I learned from posting a 360 video everyday for a month. I’d like to expand on that article and share some thoughts about specific videos from that month-long experiment about what worked and didn’t work shooting in 360 video.

Are Interviews Effective?

In several of my videos, I experimented with setting…


Immersive media storyteller. Stanford Doc Film MFA. Pursuing projects in VR, AR and emerging media.

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