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Friday, July 06, 2018




TRU is holding another of its periodically scheduled WRITER-PRODUCER SPEED-DATE events next Sunday, July 15.  Although the original deadline for applications has expired, they have a small number of open slots, and will continue to accept applications.

The speed date is an opportunity for anyone with a script or a show to present a short pitch to each of approximately 12 different producers -- and see what they are looking for, and how your project is perceived by this diverse group of professionals. It is also a chance to get personal coaching to design your pitch and to practice it.  The fee is not a likely chance to get your show funded; it is an opportunity to advance and sharpen your project.


TRU has over the years become an increasingly capable and useful resource for people with musical and dramatic theater projects.

In addition to this series of events, anyone interested in theater should check out the monthly panel discussions at TRU, and their other offerings.

The producers, directors and others involved in the "speed-date" and panel discussions and other events have significant experience and knowledge. I've personally attended a number of these events over several years and found them valuable and enjoyable!






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Monday, June 11, 2018






Neverworld Wake is a great read! It is also a model for the kind of novel that is perfect material for adaptation as a feature-length VR (3D 360) video!!!

-- update: 6/16/2018 --


Marisha Pessl is on a book tour. ( .  On Thursday (6/14) she spoke at BUILD.  (Build is a new TV studio, apparently run by AOL, that broadcasts on the web, live and on demand ( They have fine interviewers, interesting guests, new programs in development, and tickets to watch live in the studio are free.) Marisha was fresh, even tho' just back from a whirlwind trip to Florida and Texas. She was friendly, eloquent and interesting.  Here's a video of her interview. (Note: that's me, asking the second question about her characters.  I just started reading her first novel "Special Topics in Calamity Physics"; I've finished Part I. The book's about 600 pages long, funny, interesting, and a tour-de-force of style, craft, and content!)

I enjoyed prize-winning novelist Marisha Pessl’s  two most recent novels, NIGHT FILM and NEVERWORLD WAKE. She seems to be a writer who excels – through meticulous planning, preparation, and skillful plotting -- at creating a supernatural mood, while providing the possibility of a rational and natural logic.  She shows great style in using words and creating sentences, and employs a plethora of similes and metaphors. Marisha also displays a keen sense of humor, with sharp observations that made me laugh.

NEVERWORLD WAKE is her new, fine novel about five friends, one year after High School, who try to understand each other, while probing the mystery of a sixth friend's death and competing to stay alive.

Marisha has a penchant for “meta-fiction,” and using famous tropes: for example, the characters comment on features of the story’s architecture that recall other works. (Of a repetitive experience, one character calls for tweets from the public with the hashtag “Groundhog Day is real”. Another character muses on Peter Pan’s “Neverland,” implicitly suggesting a relation to the “Neverworld” of the title. And a dark and stormy night plays an important role.

* * *

I try to say very little about the plot in this article,
but the remainder may contain spoilers, nevertheless.

I suggest that you read the book first before continuing to read the rest of this article.

Note: Marisha Pessl will be at B&N in New York
signing books on Wed 6/14
 if you’d like a personal copy!

Here’s a schedule for the whole book tour:

* * *

NIGHT FILM, Marisha's second novel, is for adults, and has transmedia elements: (Note: Transmedia is the extension of a story from a single media type to many. It is as old as humans: Religion is the earliest example, telling stories, myths, using music, art, costuming … And live ceremonies -- services, rites of passage like marriages and burials, and more -- all to tell a collection of related stories.) Marisha seems to have investigated the lives and world of her characters so thoroughly she could (and sometimes does) create all types of ancillary media around their stories.

NEVERWORLD WAKE, her latest novel, also evokes the feeling of being fully imagined, but has a different audience than NIGHT FILM. NEVERWORLD directly targets teens, basically females. The main character is female. The primary secondary characters are female. Males mostly play smaller roles. All these characters are a year out of being the “cool” “beautiful” kids at a rich-people’s boarding high school. The story opens with an invitation to a reunion at the seaside estate where they used to gather. And evolves into a mystery about Jim who, though central to the story, is a mystery we get to know almost entirely through the other characters.

It seems to me that the environment and story of NEVERWORLD WAKE, and more generally, Marisha Pessl’s writing technique, lend themselves especially well to the requirements of VR video. (Beyond VR, her use of real-world locations also allows for AR and MR extensions of the story, with the possibility of viewers interacting with aspects of the story at the locations where they happen.) 

I am particularly interested in the narrative structure of Virtual Reality (VR) dramatic fiction (as well as all eXtended Reality video).  Recall that eXtended Reality (XR) is the collection of all the new technologies being enabled by the continuing exponential explosion of digital processing power. 

XR includes the visual technologies of Virtual Reality, where a headset (often called a Head Mounted Display, or HMD) immerses the viewer in a completely enveloping world of sight and sound that excludes whatever is happening outside. VR videos are both 3D and panoramic – they include the full 360x180 sphere around the camera position.  To the viewer, the position of the camera becomes their own position in the scene. 

Augmented and Mixed Reality (AR and MR) use a smart-phone or headset to show a view of the real world to the viewer, mixing it with computer generated images and information.

The essential new feature of VR dramatic videos that makes them so special is the fact that, in addition to effects that can be achieved with ordinary 2D film, VR can seem real.  It is as if you, the viewer, is there in the middle of the action.  It feels like you are in the presence of the characters, that you are immersed in their environment. 

There are several reasons why Marisha Pessl's work and her story NEVERWORLD WAKE are so well adaptable to VR:
As a vehicle for VR video narrative structure, I think NEVERWORLD WAKE is a perfect example. It has many attributes that make it an exceptional prospect for adaptation as a VR feature. 

It’s also (especially) a really good book! I hope many people read and enjoy it!

I hope it becomes a great VR feature length video!









Finally, here’s a Q & A with Marisha about 

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Sunday, March 04, 2018



NYXR – The New York eXtended Reality Meetup


The Future
(near term: next few years)


and what that means for you!

I would like to invite you to join us in celebrating Pi-Day, at the NYXR Meetup, for our CELEBRATION OF  π DAY, in recognition of this important day!

Pi-DAY, 3/14, March 14 is a day to celebrate Truth, Mathematics, Education, Science, Imagination, and Culture -- important things that help civilizations improve, in support of Life, Liberty, Equality, Truth, and the Pursuit of Happiness!

If you can't join us in NY
we invite you to join institutions around the world
or create your own celebration!


For Pi-Day we will present an overview of how eXtended Reality will develop and evolve over the next few years.

eXtended Reality is our perception of the world we live in, currently being transformed, explosively! by the exponentially increasing power of digital technology. Some features of XR are described below.

As we finalize our program at the NYXR Meetup I would greatly appreciate your help, support, advice, and suggestions, for speakers, volunteers, and venue sponsors.

This is a call for speakers for this and future NYXR events: Ideally, speakers will give an overview of some aspect of eXtended Reality, and how it is evolving, and include links to pointers for developers who wish to move into that arena. A talk can be 15 min to an hour. There may just one or up to 4 speakers, with a total presentation time of approximately 1 hour followed by a Q&A.

Pi-DAY is March 14. The event is free. The event will be recorded in Virtual Reality.

Here is the tentative topic agenda:

The Future
(near term: next few years)


and what that means for you!

We welcome all suggestions for speakers, topics, and venue sponsors for this and future NYXR events. (Possible topics include anything suggested by the discussion below, as well as any related topics not mentioned here that the speaker knows should have been mentioned!)

Here are some of the most relevant rapidly evolving XR technologies and issues:

Major companies: Apple, Alphabet & Google; Amazon & AWS; Facebook, Microsoft, and Samsung are developing a portfolio of these technologies; Disney, Sony, Vive, and several Chinese companies also have major efforts underway; innovative companies like Magic Leap, and international companies like Netflix are developing with a more narrow focus but are significant players.  Some portfolio examples:

We invite everyone to join NYXR and come to our CELEBRATION OF PI-DAY.

This is a call for speakers, volunteers, and venue sponsors
for this and future NYXR events.

We welcome all suggestions!
Please contact:

For the final program and exact location please see:

NYXR - The New York eXtended Reality Meetup


NYXR - The New York eXtended Reality Meetup


WIKIPEDIA: ON PI (π = 3.14159265358979323846264...)

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"Call Me by Your Name"
"Darkest Hour"
"Get Out"
"Lady Bird"
"Phantom Thread"
"The Post"
"The Shape of Water"
"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Animated Feature:

"The Boss Baby," Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
"The Breadwinner," Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
"Coco," Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
"Ferdinand," Carlos Saldanha
"Loving Vincent," Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman

Animated Short:

"Dear Basketball," Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant
"Garden Party," Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
"Lou," Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
"Negative Space," Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
"Revolting Rhymes," Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

Documentary Feature:

"Abacus: Small Enough to Jail," Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman
"Faces Places," JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda
"Icarus," Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan
"Last Men in Aleppo," Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen
"Strong Island," Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes

Documentary Short Subject:

"Edith+Eddie," Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
"Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405," Frank Stiefel
"Heroin(e)," Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon
"Knife Skills," Thomas Lennon
"Traffic Stop," Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

Live Action Short Film:

"DeKalb Elementary," Reed Van Dyk
"The Eleven O’Clock," Derin Seale, Josh Lawson
"My Nephew Emmett," Kevin Wilson, Jr.
"The Silent Child," Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton
"Watu Wote/All of Us," Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen

Foreign Language Film:

"A Fantastic Woman" (Chile)
"The Insult" (Lebanon)
"Loveless" (Russia)
"On Body and Soul (Hungary)
"The Square" (Sweden)



"Dunkirk," Christopher Nolan
"Get Out," Jordan Peele
"Lady Bird," Greta Gerwig
"Phantom Thread," Paul Thomas Anderson
"The Shape of Water," Guillermo del Toro

Adapted Screenplay:

"Call Me by Your Name," James Ivory
"The Disaster Artist," Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
"Logan," Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
"Molly’s Game," Aaron Sorkin
"Mudbound," Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Original Screenplay:

"The Big Sick," Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
"Get Out," Jordan Peele
"Lady Bird," Greta Gerwig
"The Shape of Water," Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," Martin McDonagh


"Blade Runner 2049," Roger Deakins
"Darkest Hour," Bruno Delbonnel
"Dunkirk," Hoyte van Hoytema
"Mudbound," Rachel Morrison
"The Shape of Water," Dan Laustsen


Lead Actor:

Timothée Chalamet, "Call Me by Your Name"
Daniel Day-Lewis, "Phantom Thread"
Daniel Kaluuya, "Get Out"
Gary Oldman, "Darkest Hour"
Denzel Washington, "Roman J. Israel, Esq."

Lead Actress:

Sally Hawkins, "The Shape of Water"
Frances McDormand, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Margot Robbie, "I, Tonya"
Saoirse Ronan, "Lady Bird"
Meryl Streep, "The Post"

Supporting Actor:

Willem Dafoe, "The Florida Project"
Woody Harrelson, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Richard Jenkins, "The Shape of Water"
Christopher Plummer, "All the Money in the World"
>>Sam Rockwell, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Supporting Actress:

Mary J. Blige, "Mudbound"
Allison Janney, "I, Tonya"
Lesley Manville, "Phantom Thread"
Laurie Metcalf, "Lady Bird"
Octavia Spencer, "The Shape of Water"


Film Editing:

"Baby Driver," Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss
"Dunkirk," Lee Smith
"I, Tonya," Tatiana S. Riegel
"The Shape of Water," Sidney Wolinsky
"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," Jon Gregory

Sound Editing:

"Baby Driver," Julian Slater
"Blade Runner 2049," Mark Mangini, Theo Green
"Dunkirk," Alex Gibson, Richard King
"The Shape of Water," Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi," Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood

Sound Mixing:

"Baby Driver," Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin
"Blade Runner 2049," Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill
"Dunkirk," Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo
"The Shape of Water," Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi," Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick

Production Design:

"Beauty and the Beast," Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
"Blade Runner 2049," Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola
"Darkest Hour," Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
"Dunkirk," Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
"The Shape of Water," Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau

Original Score:

"Dunkirk," Hans Zimmer
"Phantom Thread," Jonny Greenwood
"The Shape of Water," Alexandre Desplat
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi," John Williams
"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," Carter Burwell

Original Song:

"Mighty River" from "Mudbound," Mary J. Blige
"Mystery of Love" from "Call Me by Your Name," Sufjan Stevens
"Remember Me" from "Coco," Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
"Stand Up for Something" from "Marshall," Diane Warren, Common
"This Is Me" from "The Greatest Showman," Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Makeup and Hair:

"Darkest Hour," Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick

"Victoria and Abdul," Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
"Wonder," Arjen Tuiten

Costume Design:

"Beauty and the Beast," Jacqueline Durran
"Darkest Hour," Jacqueline Durran
"Phantom Thread," Mark Bridges
"The Shape of Water," Luis Sequeira
"Victoria and Abdul," Consolata Boyle

Visual Effects:

"Blade Runner 2049," John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer
"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick
"Kong: Skull Island," Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi,"  Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan
"War for the Planet of the Apes," Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

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Monday, February 19, 2018


PITCH For Pi-DAY - We're making a Virtual Reality Video!

We will be shooting a fictional, narrative Virtual Reality Video, “PITCH For Pi-DAY”, this weekend (2018, Feb 23-25), in NYC, with a dress rehearsal on Wednesday (2/21).

This is a 5 min (no-pay, non-union) VR video, shot with the VUZE & LucidCam, and also shot for standard video.

Synopsis: “PITCH for PI-DAY” -- An aggressive, ambitious entrepreneur pitches a high-tech, comprehensive healthcare solution to a venture capital investor at a Pitch Fest: Successful pitches may get $$$ and will be invited to pitch to a large audience of potential $$$$$$ investors on Pi-Day (3/14). But it's not an easy pitch!

Beyond this video, I am building a team for making fictional, documentary, and commercial XR videos.   (XR = VR + AR + MR with AI and interactivity & …) 

In addition to XR video production, I am also interested in developing software to support live XR streaming, as well as archived XR video discovery and hosting.

I have a fine cast! I could use (and would greatly appreciate!) help in any of the following areas for this weekend’s video (and beyond, as we build a team):

              Line producer / assistant director / equipment monitor
              Someone to run any sudden errands that may be needed
              Set designer / set dresser
              Assistant Videographer (we’re wrangling multiple cameras!)
              VR video editor (PP After Effects & Mettle)
              Standard video editor

                            Sound engineer / editor
                            Assistant producer for post-completion promotions

If you are in NY and would like to join the team for this weekend’s shoot, please e-mail me at

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