1st Edition

Storytelling for Virtual Reality Methods and Principles for Crafting Immersive Narratives

By John Bucher Copyright 2018
    346 Pages
    by Routledge

    346 Pages
    by Routledge

    Storytelling for Virtual Reality serves as a bridge between students of new media and professionals working between the emerging world of VR technology and the art form of classical storytelling. Rather than examining purely the technical, the text focuses on the narrative and how stories can best be structured, created, and then told in virtual immersive spaces. Author John Bucher examines the timeless principles of storytelling and how they are being applied, transformed, and transcended in Virtual Reality. Interviews, conversations, and case studies with both pioneers and innovators in VR storytelling are featured, including  industry leaders at LucasFilm, 20th Century Fox, Oculus, Insomniac Games, and Google.

    For more information about story, Virtual Reality, this book, and its author, please visit StorytellingforVR.com




    CHAPTER 1: A New Reality and How We Got Here

    SPOTLIGHT ON DIRECTING: Storytelling in VR through Cinematic Directing

    A Conversation with Jessica Brillhart, Principal Filmmaker for VR at Google

    SPOTLIGHT ON CAMERAS: Storytelling in VR through the Lens

    A Conversation with Paul Meyhoefer, VP JK Imaging/Kodak


    CHAPTER 2: A Stone Bridge Covered in Microchips

    SPOTLIGHT ON GAMING: Storytelling in VR through Video Games

    A Conversation with Brian Allgeier, VR Game Designer, Insomniac Games


    CHAPTER 3: Science and Technology behind Storytelling 

    SPOTLIGHT ON VR SCIENCE AND STORYTELLING: Storytelling Through Data and Neurology

    A Conversation with Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira, Director of the Emerging Analytics Center, the University of Arkansas, Little Rock

    SPOTLIGHT ON STORY: VR Storytelling at the Oculus Story Studio

    A Conversation with Jessica Shamash, Producer, and Pete Billington, Immersive Storyteller


    CHAPTER 4: Storytelling Principles for Immersive Space

    SPOTLIGHT ON IMMERSIVE THEATER: Storytelling through Immersion

    A Conversation with Noah Nelson, Creator and Host of No Proscenium Podcast


    CHAPTER 5: Designing an Immersive Narrative

    SPOTLIGHT ON NEW FRONTIERS: A Master Storyteller

    A Conversation with Chris Milk, Founder and CEO, Within

    SPOTLIGHT ON ETHICS: Considerations for VR Storytelling

    A Conversation with Steve Peters, Experience Designer, Host of StoryForward Podcast, and CCO of Mo Mimes Media



    CHAPTER 6: Characters in VR

    SPOTLIGHT ON ACTING: Storytelling Through Drama in Immersive Experiences

    A Conversation with Keight Leighn, Actress



    CHAPTER 7: Creating Narrative Structures

    SPOTLIGHT ON VISUALIZATION: Cinematic Storytelling in VR

    A Conversation with Chris Edwards, Founder, Chief Production Officer, and CEO, The Third Floor

    SPOTLIGHT ON NARRATIVE: Fiction Versus Nonfiction Storytelling

    A Conversation with Steve Peters, Experience Designer, Host of StoryForward Podcast, and CCO of Mo Mimes Media



    CHAPTER 8: Theory in Practice: Interviews and Case Studies


    INTERVIEW: Rob Bredow, Chief Technology Officer, LucasFilm

    INTERVIEW: Tye Sheridan and Nikola Todorovic, Creators of Aether Inc.

    CASE STUDY: Baobab VR Studios

    INTERVIEW: Sarah Hill, CEO and Chief Storyteller, StoryUp



    INTERVIEW: Jonathan Krusell, Google Daydream Producer

    INTERVIEW: Robyn Tong Gray and Andrew Goldstein, Founders, Otherworld Interactive

    CASE STUDY: Light Sail VR

    INTERVIEW: Tai Crosby, Founder and CEO, SilVR Thread

    INTERVIEW: Adam Orth, Creative Director, Three One Zero



    INTERVIEW: Angela Haddad, VR Artist and Producer

    INTERVIEW: Annie Lesser, Immersive Theater Director

    CASE STUDY: Jaunt Studios and the Invisible VR series

    INTERVIEW: Mark Cordell Holmes, Art Director, Pixar



    INTERVIEW: Larry Rosenthal, VR Pioneer and Producer

    INTERVIEW: Paul Debevec, Senior Staff Engineer, Google VR

    CASE STUDY: Lucy VR series

    INTERVIEW: Brian Rose, Google VR Team, Community and Outreach

    INTERVIEW: Ted Schilowitz, Futurist, 20th Century Fox Studios






    John Bucher is an award-winning writer and narrative consultant based out of Los Angeles, California. He is a regular contributor to VirtualRealityPop.com, LA-Screenwriter.com, HBO.com, and MovieMaker Magazine. He co-hosts The Inside Out Story Podcast, The Westworld Watch Podcast, and currently teaches at the LA Film Studies Center, where he leads courses in Virtual Reality storytelling and filmmaking. A popular speaker, John has given talks on five continents regarding story, technology, and art. He is completing a PhD in mythology and depth psychology and is the author of several books including Master of the Cinematic Universe: The Secret Code For Writing in the New World of Media, Storytelling By the Numbers, and The Inside Out Story. He can be found on-line at his site, tellingabetterstory.com, and on social media @johnkbucher.

    "Bucher has positioned his work as a mid-level survey of topics with the potential to revolutionize fiction and non-fiction storytelling. He surveys the complexities of POV where camera placement is ubiquitous, and where audiences are fully immersed and are, in effect, the directors of their own narrative journeys."

    Kim Walker, Ph.D., Full Professor of Digital Film and Media Arts, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

    "A remarkable synthesis of cutting-edge VR practice and storytelling interwoven with ancient myth and philosophy for context and clarity, interviews crucial and illuminating, and finally, a pivotal, needed framework for future VR storytelling. Master teacher John Bucher gently guides the writer into unpacking her own rich and seamless VR script."

    Rebecca Ver Straten-McSparran, Director, LA Film Studies Center

    "It’s the kind of book that will inspire you to consider what might be possible in VR storytelling and the kind of mental unpacking and re-thinking that’s required to transport our storytelling impulses into an entirely different realm of world building. (...) [The book] delivers a great combination of accessibly written academic-style theory and conversational insights which help to make the book more of a page turner than it might otherwise be. (...) this is an excellent and inspiring read for anyone looking to learn more about the emerging present and tantalising future of this new art form."

    - Jonny Elwyn