StoryCode's Chapters hold monthly events feature immersive media project presentations coupled WITH discussion.

Los Angeles

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Jongsma + O’Neill, the duo behind PBS’s Emmy-nominated immersive documentary Empire will present their latest project

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StoryCode LA #10

September 10, 2015 - 7:30pm
Impact Hub LA830 Traction Ave #3A, Los Angeles, CA Map


“When you work with technology as closely as we do, it’s constantly sending you back to square one and making you question your basic assumptions about how to tell a story. There are inherent limitations within technology but we believe these can lead to results. There is no way for us to predict what storytelling will be in ten years and that’s terrifying, but also exciting.”  -Kel O'Neill, in the British Journal of Photography

Storycode LA #10 will be a bittersweet gathering as our Founder Kel O’Neill says farewell as a host in order to dedicate his time to continuing his breakthrough research and immersive storytelling practice. And what better way to say goodbye than to chat with us about his exciting new project The Ark, which he is currently directing with longtime partner Eline Jongsma.

The Ark is a virtual reality documentary about the most endangered species on the planet: the northern white rhinoceros. Only four of these animals are left alive today, andThe Ark immerses viewers in parallel stories occurring in their final remaining habitats: Kenya's Ol Pejeta Nature Conservancy and the San Diego Zoo. The Ark juxtaposes the experiences of armed Kenyan park rangers with those of American stem cell researchers: it explores how contemporary conservation tactics reflect American attitudes toward Africa, and surfaces tensions and connections between two seemingly unrelated places. We are incredibly excited to witness Jongsma + O’Neill’s pioneering efforts in the field of live-action VR documentary. Their work represents a new kind of conservation that will “capture” and “keep” the remaining animals in a virtual world where future generations will be able to experience their majestic three dimensionality. The Ark offers a way to know these animals—to be in their presence—even in the event of their extinction.Tonight’s event marks the beginning of a fund raising campaign to benefit The Ark. During this evening, Jongsma + O’Neill will chat about their last project Empire—which is nominated for an Emmy in the category New Approaches: Documentary—and will give us an exclusive first look at their work on The Ark. Having shot the first part in San Diego at the beginning of August, they are ready to embark to Kenya to continue the adventure, and need your help to get there. 

Do not miss the opportunity to bid adieu to Kel, and to hear first-hand how the new and emerging field of virtual reality is changing documentary. Register Here