By Sonic Union in The Core

A discussion on Artistic Narrative featuring VR directors Lily Baldwin & Jessica Brillhart

March 6, 2018 — Sonic Union Bryant Park was delighted to team up with StoryCode, a global community for immersive storytellers, to host a special networking event and panel discussion featuring VR directors Lily Baldwin and Jessica Brillhart. VR consultant and founder of Friends with Holograms, Cortney Harding, moderated this informative and inspiring discussion.

Baldwin and Brillhart, both groundbreaking filmmakers; discussed their styles, techniques, and experiences in filmmaking. The directors’ spoke of their artistic processes and how VR can be used to elevate a story. They also explained what it’s like to be a director in the rapidly growing VR industry.  Brillhart said, “Each of us makes art differently and powerfully, but as long as we stay true to ourselves, there is no wrong way.”  We may have also asked a thing or two about sound.

Following the panel’s Q&A session, the directors’ films were showcased on VR headsets and in our new Dolby Atmos® mixing rooms.  (Oh, and if you still have not seen the space, come on up for a tour!) Each attendee was transported to a variety of VR experiences including; a globe-trekking world tour, a magical macaron trip in LA, a passionate burning fire of couple love, and what it sounds like to be in space while sitting first chair in London’s Philharmonia Orchestra.


Get to know the directors

Baldwin fuses her years of experience as a professional dancer into her filmmaking. She uses the body as an instrument of expression and communication. In a recent interview with Medium Magazine, Baldwin explained, “Spoken words can be complicated in 360 immersion, as they are on stage. I always felt bodies say more”.  Named by Independent Magazine as one of the “10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2017,” her latest VR film titled Through You (co-directed with Saschaka Unseld) premiered at 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Brillhart, former principle VR film director for Google, has gained recognition for her pioneering work in virtual reality. She has since founded Vrai Pictures an independent immersive content company and recently signed on as VR director with Mssng Peces. Her latest VR film, Beethoven’s Fifth, is in partnership with Google and NASA to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Voyager Golden Record. Beethoven’s Fifth won the 2017 Raindance Award for “Best Music VR Experience” and premiered at this year’s 2018 SXSW Film Festival.

Sonic was thrilled to host these talented directors, we can’t wait to see what new VR adventures they take us on next!

Picture 1: Check out a 360 video time lapse of the event at Sonic Union Bryant Park Studio!

Picture 2: Moderator Cortney Harding with Directors Jessica Brillhart and Lily Baldwin

Picture 3: Through You directed by Lily Baldwin and Saschaka Unseld

Picture 4: Beethoven’s Fifth directed by Jessica Brillhart