Most film-lovers would be familiar with Weta Workshop, New Zealand’s world-leading design and effects facility behind the ground-breaking other-world settings and characters in films including Avatar, King Kong and Lord of the Rings.
Weta have also been deeply involved in developing content for the Magic Leap One, the upcoming Mixed Reality headset from one of the most well-funded start-ups in history, a technology that until now has been veiled in secrecy – and that most people know from the social media video of a whale breaching inside a basketball court.
As part of its embrace of all the expanding possibilities of cinematic and visual technology, from virtual and augmented reality, gaming to special effects, Byron Bay Film Festival has invited Weta Workshop’s Head of Interactive Patrick Wagner to share his experience as their Key Note Speaker for the Co_Lab_Create XR Symposium over two days at the festival.
Other international and Australian XR industry leaders will come together in Byron Bay, including Dr. Barbara Lippe, Head of Content at HolodeckVR, a development company specialising in ground-breaking location-based multi-user VR system, and Adam Rogers from Gentle Manhands VR – the Executive Producer behind Tyler Hurd and Within’s socialVR experience, Chorus, a favourite at 2018’s SXSW and Sundance Festivals.
The symposium, now in its third year, provides a networking, collaborative think-tank for professionals seeking to unleash their creativity, grow their technical knowledge and forge the future of Australasia’s XR industry.
The festival invites creatives working in the XR realm to enhance their connections, skills and confidence alongside these dynamic company representatives. The festival will also open limited tickets to the event on Sunday, October 14 to people who are looking to work in or meet those involved in the industry.
Another initiative at this year’s Byron Bay Film Festival is the Make Diversity Reality Incubator, which offers a mentorship to women and people of diverse backgrounds who are XR practitioners and based in NSW.
Such people are massively under-represented in key areas of XR production in Australia and this lab will provide a pathway towards greater gender parity and diversity in the industry.
Co_Lab_Create speakers Patrick Wagner, Barbara Lippe and Adam Rogers will stay on to mentor the Incubator, along with key Australian speakers Charles Hendon and Craig Bowler from Visitor Vision, filmmaker Dominic Allen, whose work Carriberrie has been screened as Dome Content as well as 360 at festivals across the world, and BBFF’s Osvaldo C. Alfaro (GreenhouseFX 3DVR) and J’aimee Skippon-Volke (Collective Reality).