Future of Storytelling Summit 2018 (FoST)

location_onBattery Park, New York, New York

All aboard the FoST boat to Snug Harbor!

Future of Storytelling Summit 2018 in New York From FoST.org: "The Future of StoryTelling Summit is an intimate, invitation-only event that gathers a stimulating mix of thinkers and practitioners from diverse fields, who are shaping the art, science, and business of storytelling in the 21st century. In the spirit of participation and inspiration, the FoST Summit aims to break the fourth wall and make attendees a vital part of the event."
Fahrenheit 451 is a secret theme of the event, complete with "firemen". Attendees were sent a slightly burned copy of Ray Bradbury's book and encouraged to bring their own fave tome for a secret purpose. At one point while waiting for the ferry, the guards "arrested" an attendee holding a book and dragged her off. And so begins two days of unique interactive experiences.

Home Depot Story Lab and Communications Team on the ferry to FoST

Planes, trains, and automobiles. Boarded buses after the ferry and now arriving at Snug Harbor Cultural Center.

Those who to the stories rule the world.

Aa the auditorium dims, FoST begins; starting with a string performance by Tim Fain and

Baba Brinkman delivering a rap based on the book Fahrenheit 451.

Mark Sagar demoing BabyX, an autonomous character who learns and evolves in real time and reacts to real world prompts. She has a full virtual nervous system, if she gets stressed her heart starts beating faster. You can look deep into her brain and organs, seeing live brain models and input feeds. You can literally watch her create memories.

HAMMERSTEP combines storytelling with dance in a performance.

Appalachian storyteller Bil Lepp lays down tall tales.

Live motion capture and virtual scene creation using cameras, models, performers, musicians.... DV Groups' piece "Play!"

The "Social Space" tent has an info booth, barista, snacks and drinks, and areas of seating.

Free sunglasses :)

The "Library" is full of books, naturally.

Found a secret interaction! Through the library tent sits a storyteller. Visit her if possible.

Building C is accessible through Building G (Tech Space) and will host the Bulletin lunch :)

The campus and building complex is expansive. You are encouraged to roam and see what you discover. Pro tip: If you see someone in a costume, talk to them!

Vestige by Aaron Bradbury is a room-scale VR documentary about a woman who lost her husband.

FoST for Good lunch with Bulletin from Google

Molly from Planned Parenthood and Bryna and Emma from Equality Now

John Hanke from Niantic kicks off his roundtable discussion.

Roundtable discussions

Save the stories

A banana pudding pop up? Looks to be cash only.

The "Story Arcade" has a variety of companies and experiences

Unique 1:1 moments abound with actors who recite passages of books on deeply immersive settings.

Take a quick stroll through the garden as this actress recites passages in the sunlight.

VR Cinema

"lollipop people" with session speaker signs congregate before each session change so you can follow them to the talk.

Jake Barton asks, where is the magic? How do we create engaging physical spaces?

We are trying to make experiences that are "technology-driven, but not tech" says Jake Barton

Some of these VR experiences are one person at a time, room-scale immersives. This tent is for "Annabelle as above so below" and runs about 20 minutes. "Annabellee is a multidimensional experience powered by AltSpaceVR that guides the user through different worlds in which they are the lead character. As their journey continues through the 22 paths of the Tree of Life, they discover the Major Arcana Cards. Starting out as The Fool, becoming The Magician is only a matter of time. During their journey, the user experiences the tale across immersive theater, virtual reality, 360, scripted series, and ultimately AI, harnessing the latest technologies available."

Bjarke Pedersen explains his interactive (and technology free!) Experience "To the Bitter End."

Handwritten messages from visitors to the Annabellee exhibit. Which to be honest would have been way better without AR element. I love these creative in-person moments.

Cocktail hour at "The Glass House"

All the red shirts can recite a passage from the book on their shirt! Attendee James Morehead is capturing a series of these via Bulletin.

Dinner under the stars

Final performances for the night!

Of course there are giant flower people #littlecinema

Baked apple desserts for the road!

Day 2 starts with a bus ride out to Staten Island. Foregoing the ferry ride today made for a faster but less scenic trip. Attendees are straggling in a bit more bleary eyed then yesterday after late night performances. There is coffee in the Social Space!

And Day 2 opens with the Resistance Revival Chorus and Abeena Koomson-Davis

Demoing dynamic storytelling (Story file) with Stephen and Heather Smith. They interviewed Charlie Melcher, about 500 questions, and you can ask his avatar questions.
Yoni Bloch performs the "Human Piano". They recorded tones from attendees yesterday, assigned them to keys, and then created music.

"The Horrifically Real Virtuality" wins the Innovation in Storytelling Award

"I Am A Man" wins the Bridging the Divide award.

Flau'jae is a 14 year old rapper from Georgia. She was on America's Got Talent and continues her father's legacy through rap. He died before she was born due to gun violence.

Those who tell the stories rule the world.

Those who tell the stories rule the world.

Moving projections on still objects. Check out the Tech Space for all kinds of gear and demos, like this one from Lightform.
"Make Noise" from BBC VR Hub and Anagram requires you to use your voice as you learn about the suffragette movement.
Experiencing 360 video projection in the VR Cinema "dome." This is The Journey by Charlotte Mikkelborg. It does give you a sense of the barrenness and wide open space of the land, though interior scale is a bit warped.
"A Mile in My Shoes" from Empathy Museum and Clare Patey invite attendees to literally walk around campus in someone else's shoes while you listen to audio of the owners story.

There are lots of places at Snug Harbor to take a break and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

"Positron Voyager" from Jeffrey Travis employs a chair that moves and guides you through the VR experience (vs moving your head and body around to follow the story).
"Inside Tumucumaque" offers a passive and calming 360 video experience of the rainforest in addition to a more active discovery CGI immersive experience from the views of dlsevwral rainforest animals (the bat was my favorite.)
Attendees wear sensors while watching an ad to see Dr Paul's immersion measurements in real time. Immersion (attention and emotion) has a high correlation to a viewer taking action.
Fascinating stuff from Dr Paul Zak. Takeaway: Reenforces the old adage that people may not remember what you say but they remember how you made them feel. Emotion is a great way to hold attention and drive action.

Brittany recites from Beloved

There are special moments throughout FoST. You just have to be open to them. Julian Hornik, FoST fellow, breaks out into song.

Ronnie goes hard on Beowulf.

Lefty Out There

Ice cream!

The rain won't stop FoST! Branded umbrellas for all.

Follow the lighted path to cocktail hour in the Tuscan Garden

An idyllic setting for the final cocktail hour before dinner.

Huge thanks to the whole FoST team for putting on this event. Charlie Melcher brings up the whole team and thanks everyone by name.

Loving the picnic dinner!

Great conversations and cozy quarters on the picnic blankets under the tent.