Eyebeam, the leading U.S. Art + Technology Center today announced that it will hold a large-scale, team-based digital storytelling event at its Chelsea, NY exhibition space from December 13th-Dec 16th. The project is being organized in collaboration with Creators Project with material and resource assistance from U.K.- based visual effects company Framestore.

The “New Cinema” event at Eyebeam will be the first event concentrating on team-based brainstorming, design, and systematic development of new hybrid digital storytelling methods which can shape the ways in which we think about possible futures of cinema. All projects will be realized by unorthodox methods and take on fresh creative coding approaches, commercial and open source software and hardware hacks, and “creative misuse” of the latest camera, sensor and computer technologies. 

Team members consist of creative coders, conceptual artists, 3D/CGI/Special FX and cinema technology professionals as well as directors, cinematographers, editors, scriptwriters, musicians/sound designers, composers and actors.

At the December event, teams will spend four days in Eyebeam’s Chelsea exhibition and fabrication space developing their initial prototypes, working with cutting edge tools, and exchanging ideas with other teams. A public exhibition of the completed projects will be exhibited at Eyebeam from January 29th-February 3rd.

Since the birth of cinema, aesthetic and technical developments in the field have always been pushed by multidisciplinary innovation and creative whimsy, via trial and error, by people who are passionate about their domains. Eyebeam recognizes that bridges between production and expression in this field are not crossed easily: consequently, cinema has only scratched the surface in the development of resonant and immersive experiences. 
Production methods still follow standards set by Hollywood and the animation and software industries, rather than following the unique requirements and needs of the story and story-telling methods themselves.

We believe that it is time for this model to change. For the past 15 years Eyebeam has supported numerous award winning interactive artists and enabled the development of cutting edge installations, prototypes, and creative coding environments. As our visual culture has become increasingly complex, and the literacy required to understand it poses ever fresh challenges, Eyebeam recognizes this as an area in which it is uniquely positioned to lead.

Expected outcomes from this initiative are: short stories, immersive experiences, telematic environments, misuses of game engines for interactive cinema, and much more. They will be realized collaboratively and be built from a combination of existing tools, techniques and commercial projects used in new ways as well as totally new approaches to technologies. The teams have freedom to develop the resulting versions of the projects to be:
utilized by independent and commercial filmmakers and companies
developed further, into open source and even into commercial systems.

Future iterations of this project will build on this first effort, expand the participant base, include a wider array of tools, and encourage greater participation by industry professionals at all levels.