METL Immersive Storytelling Residency program – Application deadline January 31, 2021

In Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality News

January 18, 2021 – The Media + Emerging Technology Lab (METL) at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) has recently announced that the application deadline for its Immersive Storytelling Residency program is soon approaching, with applications closing January 31, 2021.

METL was founded in 2017 by the School of Filmmaking (ranked no. 10 in the US by The Hollywood Reporter) at UNCSA. METL states that as one of the few immersive labs in the country to be part of a nationally ranked arts conservatory, it is uniquely situated to train and serve as a resource for the next generation of creative innovators, and to lead creative innovation across all industries including medicine, business, education, arts and culture, and gaming entertainment. Last year METL also received a USD $25,000 Epic MegaGrant award from Epic Games in support of the Immersive Storytelling Residency.

The METL Immersive Storytelling Residency brings together a game developer, technical artist and screenwriter/producer for six months to brainstorm, research, ideate and create an immersive project of their choosing. Residents meet with award-winning faculty and industry advisors and receive a monthly stipend of USD $3,500. The final residency project is then submitted to the immersive categories in international film festivals such as Sundance, Tribeca, and SXSW, as well as launched through online platforms.

Through the course of the program, residents have access to the Center for Design Innovation (CDI) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where METL’s primary space is a 3,600-square-foot cube with a 30’ x 30’ industry-grade Vicon motion capture environment.  

Inspired by Pixar’s innovative team creativity template, the first METL Immersive Storytelling Residency launched in spring of 2020 as the brainchild of METL Director Ryan Schmaltz. Schmaltz is a technology executive, speaker, advisor and entrepreneur. He is also a former Executive Vice President from Blippar, a provider of augmented reality (AR) products and services for brands.

Despite the disruption of COVID-19 throughout 2020, the cohort from the first residency pivoted to working remotely and completed the residency project on schedule. Residents created an experience called BonsAI, built using the Unreal game engine. METL added that after its submission to various film festivals, the residents plan to share the experience with audiences online at a later date. 

For applicants interested in the residency program, the application deadline is January 31, 2021. METL noted that residents are expected to live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (US) during the six-month residency.* For more information and to apply, please click here

Image credit: METL

*METL is unable to sponsor visas for international applicants. Any international applicants will need to prove that they have the right to work legally in the USA.

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.