I'm a director working in immersive technology, specifically live action 360 virtual reality experiences. I was most recently the Head of Virtual Reality at the LA based production company 1215creative where I oversaw creative, production, post production and distribution strategies. Through them, I got the opportunity to direct the recording artist Banks' 360 music experience, and that kind of solidified my passion for directing. Apart from all of that I'm also the co-founder of Women in VR and SH//FT.
What exactly does a Virtual Reality Director do?
The role of a director in virtual reality is actually still kind of vague since it's a new medium. A lot of things are being redefined. To me, it's driving the creative/vision for a piece and fully executing on that. I think the major difference is most VR native directors have to have a good understanding of the technology before they can really understand what it means to tell a story with it.
How did you decide you wanted to be a VR Director?
I actually discovered my passion for directing in high school with theatre. During the hot second that was my college experience, that passion for directing theatre evolved into a desire to direct films. Then I stumbled upon VR and fell in love with the medium. Before really jumping head first into directing VR stuff, I wanted to understand the technology and what it all meant. I'm still figuring it out and learning, but when I got the opportunity to direct the piece for one of my favorite artists that sort of solidified everything.
What kind of person would be good at this job?
Someone who isn't afraid to take risks, explore, experiment, learn, and be wrong. VR is a lot of experimenting right now.
How does someone become a VR Director?
Some colleges are just starting to adapt a VR curriculum, but realistically this wave of VR is so new that it's completely possible to be self-taught. It's about going out there and just doing it. There really is no right way of getting into this industry right now-- the best way is to just by start doing.
What is the pay like?
Haha it definitely depends on the project.
What are the best parts of the job?
You really get to think about why we do the things we do. VR is really rooted in our humanity by the nature of the medium. When we think about storytelling in it, its now thinking about the little details--For example, if you place the camera in a small room with no windows: how does experiencing this environment make someone feel? Why does it make them feel that way? How does this contribute to the story we are trying to tell and how the audience feels about their role in the story?
What are the biggest challenges in being VR Director?
The technology is moving so fast. There is so much to learn and it's a constant learning curve.
What is the best advice you've ever received?
Life isn't all work.
Any helpful resources or links on this topic?
Honestly, the online VR community is a great place to start. Facebook has a lot of VR groups. Women in VR/AR is a great resource -- people are constantly posting about new technology, asking questions, collaborating, etc. A lot of job postings and event postings as well. Yes, men are accepted into the group. We keep about a 80% women to 20% men ratio.