About the Author

For over 20 years, Stephanie Riggs has been constantly reading, evaluating, and dreaming traditional and immersive content. This book is a culmination of research, productions, development, and experiences contributing to this constantly evolving landscape. Former Disney Imagineer and Creative Director of Experiential at Refinery29, Stephanie is the founder of Sunchaser Entertainment and co-Founder of the World Experience Organization, 5th Wall Forum, and Odeon Theatrical.

Stephanie began creating interactive virtual worlds in the mid-90s and, with the implosion of the second-wave of VR, went back to traditional narrative, directing the New York Times Critic's Pick documentary feature “The Standbys" and producing the award-winning feature thriller “Banshee Chapter” with Zachary Quinto, which pushed the boundaries of stereoscopic 3D filmmaking.

With the recent advent of consumer-viable VR technology, her disparate loves of technology and entertainment were back in harmony. In 2015, she released Banshee Chapter: Oculus Rift Edition, the first feature film ever released on the Oculus Rift. The following year, she was invited to film Barack Obama's historic speech in Nairobi, Kenya in 360, making him the first US President recorded in virtual reality. Some of her immersive digital projects include the documentary Kanju (Tribeca Film Festival, 2016), Monet in Giverny (Stereopsia, 2017), Angst: the Panic Attack for IndieFlixVR (2017), and Holojam in Wonderland with Ken Perlin’s Future Realities Lab at NYU (Future of Storytelling, 2017). Stephanie went on to led research on embodied navigation at Yale University's Blended Reality Lab and live performance XR at Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center. Recognizing the need to bring audiences and immersion together, she joined Refinery29, leading the vision of experiential activations with clients such as Netflix, Amazon, CB2, Hulu, Facebook/Instagram, and their flagship international event, 29Rooms. 

She is passionate about sharing information on immersive content, and has been invited to keynote, train, and speak around the world at conferences such as SIGGRAPH, SXSW, SXSW Edu, Tribeca Film Festival, IEEE, Digital Media Summit, World Immersion Forum, and the Immersive Design Summit on the future of narrative, immersive experiences, and technology. Intent on increasing diversity in the immersive entertainment space, she has been mentor of Facebook/Oculus’ VR For Good initiative, organizer of AR/VR Academy in NYC, and co-organizer of New York Women in VR. You can reach out to Stephanie about speaking at your event here.

Stephanie has degrees in Directing (Drama) and Human-Computer Interaction (Computer Science) from Carnegie Mellon University, and was invited to be in the inaugural class of the CMU’s Masters of Entertainment Technology program. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and an Andrew Carnegie Society Scholar.

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