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UNCSA School of Filmmaking Attracts VR Industry Support for its Curriculum

As virtual reality (VR) develops and grows the industry is attracting more and more creatives into the fold. But to sustain this interest needs to start as early as possible, which is why the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) is pioneering a curriculum for its students.

It’s this development that’s attracted the attention from some of the biggest names in the industry such as Oculus, AMD, Radiant Images, and Technicolor, as well as top filmmakers who want to collaborate with students and the faculty.

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Recently, Oculus chose UNCSA as one of 11 schools across the US to receive cutting-edge equipment, guest lectures from experts from the VR field, whilst enabling more opportunities for students to engage with industry leaders.

Ola Björling, Global Director of Virtual Reality Marketing for MediaMonks, went to UNCSA as a guest artist. “MediaMonks is the biggest creative digital production company on the planet,” said School of Filmmaking Dean Susan Ruskin in a statement. “It was a phenomenal experience for our students because Ola has not only technical expertise surrounding virtual reality, but he also has a philosophical understanding of virtual reality’s potential impact on digital storytelling.”

“When I first started looking into virtual reality it seemed apparent that this was the way the world was going,” Ruskin added. “It felt to me the best way for our students to really learn was to get up on their feet, do a production and do it with people who have the experience.”

Radiant Images, which recently announced a collaboration with Uncorporeal Systems, has also provided equipment. “We are extremely fortunate to partner with Radiant Images, which provides equipment and training that we would not be able to afford,” Ruskin said. That equipment was used in the DecipHER project which feature fifty students across every discipline in the film school devoting time to a question-and-answer session with guest artists.

UNCSA is America’s first state-supported arts school, and it plans to add new courses to the VR curriculum in Fall 2017, emphasizing the various qualities of VR.

VRFocus will continue its coverage of every aspect of the VR industr, reporting back with the latest announcements.