Immersive storytelling: empowering the next generation of XR entrepreneurs

The potential of immersive content can be so limitless that once you’ve discovered it for yourself, all you want to do is empower others. This is the case for Alton Glass, who complements a career in feature films and television with cutting-edge creative technologies. He intends to share this knowledge and possibilities with a new generation of creators.

Recently, Glass’s creative technology studio, GRX Immersive, began offering a series of courses in virtual production (VP) that combines the fundamentals of Unreal Engine and VR technology with basic VP workflows.

The result is a program that enables students to start creating interactive experiences that feel tied to their creative instincts. As the weeks go on they acquire the knowledge to build a level, create landscapes, use Blueprints, animate, and sequence their stories. When it comes time for the final project, students can apply this newfound knowledge to a range of opportunities.

The power of VR education

It might sound like a drastic U-turn, but it’s no wonder Glass was so willing to embrace immersive storytelling. The technology behind these experiences gives creators a plethora of ways to express themselves, while accessing intensely personal and collective experiences. Something that is highly appealing to someone who tells stories for a living.

“Working on The March with Digital Domain really turned on the lightbulb for me,” explains Glass. Launched by TIME and Executive Producer Viola Davis in 2020, The March recreates one of the most iconic moments in American history, the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. For Glass, seeing Dr. King come to life courtesy of Unreal Engine was akin to strapping on a headset and traveling back in time.

“The best part was seeing people in the VR experience walking through history, chanting, and marching and coming out crying as if they were really there in 1963 with the other 200,000 marchers,” he reflects.

Inspired, Glass embarked upon The Unreal Fellowship, a 30-day blended learning experience designed to help animation, film, and VFX professionals learn Unreal Engine. The class cemented Glass’ ambition to not only create in this exciting new medium, but to enable the next generation of creators to tell their stories with immersive technology.

“This course we’re running came from our desire to serve and inspire,” he says. “We’re passionate about creating opportunities for others and we felt this was a great tool to empower creators to become world builders and creative entrepreneurs.”

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