Expanded Cinema: Experiments in Virtual Reality

2018 Course Information

Course Description

In this exploratory workshop, students will use the VR tools of 360 video and binaural sound design to tell immersive “stories". Students will use the conceptual framework of experimental cinema and documentary film to inform their work, while also pushing toward a new artistic language in this still-emerging form of VR storytelling. Over the course of two weeks, students will work in teams to create a series of short immersive pieces, culminating in a 2-3 minute VR video, with a keen emphasis on experimentation. The course is time intensive: requiring some nights and both weekends dedicated to production and editing, including several production field trips off-campus. 

Meet the Instructor(s)

Lauren Knapp

Lauren Knapp is a nonfiction storyteller working in documentary film, radio, television and 360. Her stories have been featured on the PBS NewsHour, NPR, PRI’s The WorldThe AtlanticThe New York TimesTime among others. She has produced a feature length documentary in Mongolia and taken a class of 360 journalism graduate students to Iceland. She’s focused her lens on social issues ranging from capital punishment to domestic terrorism to fair chance employment. When she’s not in the field or edit room, she’s in the classroom, having taught at Georgetown University, Northwestern University and George Mason University.

Jamie Meltzer

Associate Professor of Art and Art History

Jamie Meltzer’s feature documentary films have been broadcast nationally on PBS and have screened at numerous film festivals worldwide. He teaches and is the Program Director of the M.F.A. Program in Documentary Film at Stanford University. His current documentary project, True Conviction, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was awarded a Special Jury Mention in the Best Documentary Category. True Conviction will broadcast nationally on PBS in 2018 as part of the Independent Lens series; the film is a co-production of ITVS and the recipient of a Sundance Institute grant and a MacArthur grant. Informant (2012), about a revolutionary activist turned FBI informant, was released in theaters in the US and Canada in Fall 2013 by Music Box Films and KinoSmith. Previous films include: Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story (Independent Lens, 2003), about the shadowy world of song-poems, Welcome to Nollywood (PBS Broadcast, 2007), an investigation into the wildly successful Nigerian movie industry, and La Caminata (2009), a short film about a small town in Mexico that runs a simulated border crossing as a tourist attraction.