StoryFutures Academy, the National Centre for Immersive Storytelling jointly run by the National Film and Television School (NFTS) and Royal Holloway University of London, announces a collaboration with the world-leading ILMxLAB; Lucasfilm immersive entertainment studio to run a creative mentoring scheme to UK immersive productions. Five projects from across the country have been selected to participate.

This is a unique research and development and training initiative as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) Creative Industries Clusters Programme, to help position the UK as a world-leader in immersive storytelling.

ILMxLAB is the reator of some of the world’s most successful immersive entertainment experiences, including the award-winning Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire,Vader Immortal ndAvengers: Damage Control. The five selected UK projects will benefit from a dedicated group of creative experts from the ILMxLAB leadership team to help develop best practices in immersive storytelling, promote knowledge sharing and provide access to an exclusive series of Masterclasses.

Professor James Bennett, Co-Director of StoryFutures Academy at Royal Holloway University, said: “ILMxLAB is an extraordinary innovator in the world of immersive storytelling. Their creatives have pushed the boundaries of what is possible in virtual and mixed reality and this scheme will bring that experience and knowledge to the fingertips of the UK’s immersive storytellers. With the Government’s unprecedented investment in immersive through the Creative Clusters and Audiences of the Future programmes, this collaborative relationship offers an opportunity to really accelerate the UK’s growth and innovation in this exciting new landscape.”

L-R Becky Gregory Clarke, Head of Immersive at NFTS, Vicki Executive at ILM, and James Co-director of StoryFutures

“ILMxLAB was created to pioneer ground-breaking immersive entertainment and as such, we always seek best-in-class creative partners to further this foundational purpose,” said Vicki Dobbs Beck, Executive in Charge of ILMxLAB. “We are truly honoured to partner with StoryFutures Academy in advancing the state-of-the-art in immersive storytelling. With so much talent in the UK, we look forward to sharing what we’ve learned and, in so doing, further stimulate innovation and challenge the imagination as the industry grows.”

ILMxLAB’s Creative Director and Visual Effects Supervisor Mohen Leo will also present a Masterclass with StoryFutures Academy, to drive engagement for industry professionals in the UK. Taking place at the Royal Holloway University of London, the Masterclass will focus on their narrative development process and philosophy.

The five selected immersive projects for the StoryFutures Academy ILMxLAB Creative Mentoring Scheme are from the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) Creative Industries Clusters Programme; InGAME, StoryFutures, Clwstwr and Future Screens NI, from across the UK.

Figment Productions from the StoryFuture Creative Cluster, recently featured on the ‘Theme Park’ episode of BBC One’s The Apprentice, helping the candidates design rollercoaster concepts at their Guildford studio and then pitch to Thorpe Park Resort and Merlin Magic Making.

Past commissions from Biome Collective from the InGAME Creative Cluster, include a light and sound installation for the grand opening of V&A Dundee design museum, and an interactive installation exploring mental health at the London Design Biennale 2018.

StoryFutures Academy delivers creative training and research programmes in immersive storytelling to ensure the UK creative workforce is the most skilled in the world in the use of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR). The academy launched in September 2018 and is funded for three years by the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

For more information about StoryFutures Academy visit www.storyfutures.com/academy.