The Idea

A movement is sweeping across the entertainment and advertising industries: a generational shift away from conventional media. One word is uttered by every creator and marketer looking to make a big impact: immersive.

This is far more than the latest fad. Immersive is a discipline: an approach to creating work that connects with audiences at a visceral level. A transformative approach to storytelling and design that puts experience front and center.

This coming January 6th, the most innovative creators and thinkers in the emerging experiential and immersive fields will come together in San Francisco for the first Immersive Design Summit. Producers of both physical and digital immersive projects of every scale will be in attendance to talk about the state of the immersive art, and the future of this rapidly growing industry. From the vanguard of immersive theatre to the torchbearers of virtual reality: every aspect of immersive design will be represented.

The Speakers Tickets

Click here for Photo Credits for the Splash

Third Rail Project's 'Then She Fell'. Tom Pearson as the White Rabbit and Rebekah Morin as the Red Queen. Photo by Chad Heird

Delusion, by Jon Braver.

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The Speakers

The Immersive Design Summit celebrates the best of immersive experience design and features headliners from the top immersive companies in the world, led by Colin Nightingale, a Creative Producer for Punchdrunk International and part of the team that brought the global hit Sleep No More to New York and Shanghai. Our speakers also include Tom Pearson, Co-Artistic Director of Third Rail Projects, the creators of the immersive masterpiece Then She Fell and Yelena Rachitsky, an Executive Producer for Oculus and former Creative Producer for the Future of Storytelling Festival who is pushing the boundaries of Virtual Reality. Plus, Brent Bushnell, the CEO of Two Bit Circus, which is currently building a micro-amusement park in the midst of downtown Los Angeles, and Jon Braver, the director of Los Angeles' famed immersive horror experience Delusion. New speakers are being added each day this week, so make sure to sign up for our Alert List to be first in line for announcements!

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Colin Nightingale

Creative Producer, Punchdrunk International

Creators of the Global Phenomenon 'Sleep No More'

Colin has worked across a number of roles at Punchdrunk. As Senior Producer, he managed the creation of their first international production Sleep No More (2009) in Boston and its transfer to New York City (2011). He has been a co-creator on various projects including Tunnel 228 (2009) in conjunction with Kevin Spacey and the Old Vic Theatre and a one-off commission at the Vescovo medical centre with musician Jack White (2014). He has also worked on Sleep No More in Shanghai and most recently Kabeiroi, a 6 hour experience that takes place across London for two audience members at a time.

About Colin Nightingale About Punchdrunk Official Website

Tom Pearson

Co-Artistic Director, Third Rail Projects

The Team Behind the Masterpiece 'Then She Fell'

Tom Pearson, recently named among the 100 most influential people in Brooklyn culture by Brooklyn Magazine, is best known for his movement-based theater works, including the long-running immersive theater hits Then She Fell and The Grand Paradise. He is the co-founder/co-artistic director of Third Rail Projects and the director of the Global Performance Studio. Tom has received two New York Dance and Performance (BESSIE) awards, a Ford Foundation and National Museum of the American Indian IllumiNation award for his work in native theater, The Kingsbury and Cody Harris Allen writing awards, as well as commissions from Lincoln Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, La Mama E.T.C., and Danspace Project.

About Tom Pearson About Third Rail Projects Official Website

Yelena Rachitsky

Executive Producer, Oculus

Storytelling in Virtual Reality

Yelena Rachitsky is an Executive Producer at Oculus, pushing forward the efforts on creative outreach initiatives as well as sourcing and producing for the Experiences category on the Oculus platform. Prior to Oculus, she was the Creative Producer of the annual Future of StoryTelling (FoST) summit which brings together top executives, marketers, creatives, and technologists with the vision and influence to change how people communicate and tell stories in the digital age. Rachitsky is a consultant for the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier program, and helped to curate the exhibition and conversations around the future of the moving image at the festival. She also spent four years in the documentary division at Participant Media, working on films like Food Inc and Waiting for Superman.

About Yelena Rachitsky Official Website

Jon Braver

Director, Delusion

The Original Interactive Horror Theatre Experience

From fighting Iron Man, chasing Indiana Jones, and eluding The Dark Knight to creating one of the world's premiere interactive theatre productions, Jon's work with top film directors in the business has helped shape his keen ability to deliver a unique vision, culminating in his wildly successful and ground-breaking interactive theatre production Delusion. For five years and running, Delusion has captivated sold out audiences worldwide, transforming them into characters inside a living breathing dark world of epic immersive storytelling. And now, with his new partners at Skybound Entertainment, Jon works to evolve the Delusion Universe into other mediums; their first collaboration being a VR adaptation of his 2014 play Delusion: Lies Within (due out early 2018).

About Jon Braver Official Website

Brent Bushnell

Founder & CEO, Two Bit Circus

Building a Micro-Amusement Park in Los Angeles

Brent Bushnell is an entrepreneur, engineer, and CEO/co-founder of Two Bit Circus, a Los Angeles-based experiential entertainment company. The interdisciplinary team strives to create immersive, social fun and is currently building a network of micro-amusement parks featuring free-roaming VR, robot bartenders, an interactive supper club and more. Previously, he was the on-camera inventor for the ABC TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. He was a founding member of Syyn Labs, a creative collective combining art and engineering to create high engagement for large brands and bands including Google, Disney and responsible for the viral hit Rube Goldberg music video for OK Go that garnered 50+ million views on YouTube.

About Brent Bushnell Official Website

Melinda Lauw

Co-Creator, Whisperlodge

Designing Sensory Journeys

Melinda Lauw is the co-creator of Whisperlodge, an immersive sensory journey of live ASMR. Created in New York City in 2016 with Andrew Hoepfner, the show has been featured in Buzzfeed, The Atlantic, TimeOut and New York Magazine, and has since expanded to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Originally from Singapore, Lauw received her BA in Fine Art and History of Art from Goldsmiths, University of London, and her MA in Art Business from Sotheby's Institute of Art in New York.

Official Website

Lauren Ludwig

Director, Capital W

Ultra-Intimate Immersion

Lauren Ludwig is an award-winning writer and director working in theater and film. She is the director and co-founder of the Los Angeles immersive theater company Capital W. Her work with the company has received rave reviews and was named "Best Overall Immersive Work" at Hollywood Fringe 2017 (Immersive Critic's Circle Award) and won "Game Design" at IndieCade 2016. Her adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet staged in a cargo van, Hamlet-Mobile, was published in the anthology Best Plays from American Theater Festivals 2015. Lauren is the Director of the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women and is a founder and creative guide at Wayward, a Canadian retreat for female-identifying artists.

Official Website

Justin Fix

Creator, JFI Productions & Creep LA

Re-Inventing Haunts with Elaborate Storytelling

Justin Fix is the founder of Just Fix It Productions, creators of both Creep LA and the popular horror hit The Willows. Creep LA began with a mission to reinvent traditional haunt experiences by intertwining elaborate and in-depth story telling with interactive aspects and emotional interactions. In three seasons, Creep LA has included included Anna Kendrick, Vanessa Hudgens, Taylor Lautner, James Franco, and more among its guests.This year, Creep LA is partnering with Amazon Prime Video to create an all new experience inspired by the upcoming series Lore.

Official Website

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The Producers

The Immersive Design Summit is a co-production of Adventure Design Group, Epic Immersive, and No Proscenium, three leading voices in California’s burgeoning immersive community.

The Adventure Design Group

Uniting the Bay's Experience Designers

The Adventure Design Group is the San Francisco Bay Area’s foremost knowledge-sharing community for immersive designers. For over six years, ADG has brought together the leading creators of immersive theater, VR/AR, locative media, and mixed-reality experiences to share their knowledge, stories and lessons learned. ADG is dedicated to advancing the quality, quantity and success of works in all these genres through community-building and knowledge-sharing.

Summit Tickets Official Website

Epic Immersive

Large-Scale Experience Designers

Epic Immersive designs large-scale immersive theatrical and mixed reality experiences where story, spectacle, and interaction deliver transcendent, awe-inspiring journeys.

Epic's live experiences have featured over a hundred actors across a fourteen-acre fictional city, journeys through secret underground wonderlands accessed via slide, quests across breathtaking vistas of the San Francisco Bay, a recreated internment camp swing dance event developed in collaboration with actual musicians from the Japanese-American internment camps, and commissions by Google and Apple. Epic’s current production, The Infernal Motel, sold out its entire summer and fall runs in a matter of hours.

Epic's work is fueled by multidisciplinary and multicultural collaborations and has featured immersive theatre integrated with hip-hop artists, taiko drummers, circus performers, ballet folklorico dancers, Chinese fortune tellers, classical Indian musicians, room-scale virtual reality, and interactive 360 films.

Summit Tickets Official Website

No Proscenium

The Home of Everything Immersive

Starting as a newsletter in 2014, No Proscenium has grown into the most trusted resource amongst immersive theatre connoisseurs and creators in the United States. Headed up by Noah Nelson, a public media producer with two decades of reporting experience, No Proscenium has become the guide to everything immersive: from pop-up theatrical performances to cinematic virtual reality.

Summit Tickets Official Website

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Get Tickets

The moment has come: it's time to get tickets for The Immersive Design Summit! The Summit features high-profile speakers from Punchdrunk International, Third Rail Projects, Oculus, Two Bit Circus, Delusion, and more, all gathering at the gorgeous Palace Theatre, the home of San Francisco's hit immersive experience The Speakeasy. Breakfast and lunch will be included.

Due to space constraints, only 100 paid tickets will be available, at $275 each. Thanks to the generosity of our partners, we are also able to offer a small handful of partial scholarships.

The Summit aims to further the art, design and business of immersive experience design by supporting the creators in the genre. In order to maximize the shared context of those in the room, we will be inviting attendees based on a brief application process. The application is now live and found here! The deadline to apply is Sunday, November 12th, at noon Pacific Standard Time. (This is to ensure invitees have time to plan affordable travel.)

The questions are short: What immersive companies are you affiliated with, and in what capacity? In what city are you living and working? Tell us about the 1-3 projects you've recently contributed to that are most exciting and representative of your work? What are you excited about making in the next five years? Share with us some links to your portfolio, photos, news clippings, etc.

And that's it. In selecting invitees, we are seeking a diverse cross-section of guests actively working to advance the immersive field, from varied backgrounds, focus areas, and level of experience. Invitations won’t be affected by need for the scholarship price.

We're also planning events for the wider community all weekend, beyond just the Saturday summit. Stay tuned for more information about parties, receptions, workshops, and shows to fill out the weekend, and to give folks who don't get the chance to attend the Summit an opportunity to be a part of the Summit community.

Please don’t feel intimidated by the presence of an application. If you want to come, apply! We are looking for a wide variety of immersive community members, and if you have any background in this kind of thing, you have a shot. We're excited to hear about who you are and what you're excited about. In fact, we can't wait to meet you!

Until then,

Steve M. Boyle, The Adventure Design Group & Epic Immersive

Gabe Smedresman, The Adventure Design Group

Noah Nelson, No Proscenium

Punchdrunk's Sleep No More, New York. Photo by Robin Roemer.

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