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About Riggs

Stephanie Riggs
Sunchaser Entertainment

Going on 20 years now, I have been constantly reading, evaluating, and dreaming immersive content. This blog is a collection of thoughts, experiments, and experiences contributing to this constantly evolving landscape. From virtual reality to augmented reality to immersive entertainment, this is an open conversation with other people who dream immersively.

More about me:
I began developing interactive virtual worlds in the 1990s under the visionary Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture), right around the time when the promise of virtual reality began to fizzle. So I continued working with storytellers – from emerging playwrights in San Francisco to massive media conglomerates in Los Angeles. After building an Intel Capital Company that was a bit too far ahead of the curve to survive, I founded the short-lived but robust Business Arts Marketing non-profit to connect artists with corporate executives that could help them make a living through their work.

I continued to direct and produce traditional narrative productions that I found compelling, while still pushing the boundaries of storytelling and technology.  My documentary feature “The Standbys” is a a New York Times Critic’s Pick and continues to play in theaters across the country. I also produced the award-winning feature thriller “Banshee Chapter” with Zachary Quinto, in which we pushed the boundaries of stereoscopic 3D filmmaking.

With the recent advent of consumer-viable VR technology,  these disparate loves of technology and entertainment are back in harmony. I produced “Banshee Chapter: Oculus Rift Edition”, the first feature film ever released on the Oculus Rift. In 2015, I was invited to film Barack Obama historic speech in Nairobi, Kenya in 360, making him the first US President recorded in virtual reality. My  VR documentary “Kanju” premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in 2016 and was released on JauntVR in 2017. Other projects include “Monet in Giverny” for InceptionVR, “Angst: the Panic Attack” for IndieFlixVR, and “Holojam in Wonderland” with Ken Perlin’s Future Realities Lab at NYU (Future of Storytelling 2017). And I continue to develop VR interfaces that support digital societies and build experiences strongly founded in HCI principles to tell great stories. Currently, I’m directing and producing immersive content through Sunchaser Entertainment, a company I founded to produce story-driven virtual and immersive experiences and software.

I love sharing information on immersive content, speaking in panels across the country at conferences such as SIGGRAPH, Tribeca Film Festival, Digital Media Summit, Stereopsia (Brussels), and the Hollywood Entertainment Technology Festival on narrative and the emerging language of virtual reality and augmented reality. Intent on increasing diversity in the immersive entertainment space, I am a mentor of Facebook/Oculus’ VR For Good initiative, and organizer of AR/VR Academy in NYC, co-organizer of New York Women in VR, and co-lead a research group in Blended Reality at Yale University. Along the way, I have collaborated with Disney Creative Entertainment, Walt Disney Imagineering, Walt Disney Productions, HBO, Carmike Cinemas, GoogleVR, Unity Labs, and Total Cinema 360.

I have a couple of degrees in Directing (Drama) and Human-Computer Interaction (Computer Science) from Carnegie Mellon University, and I was invited to be in the inaugural class of the CMU’s Masters of Entertainment Technology program. I’m a member of Phi Beta Kappa and an Andrew Carnegie Society Scholar.