Where There’s Smoke – World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival
Where There’s Smoke a documentary/immersive theatre/escape room had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this past Spring. Staged in a 1400 sq ft storefront it became the first stand-alone installation in the history of the festival. Over 500 participants stepped off a bustling Canal Street and into a space that was transformed into the charred remains of a house. Next up for the project are a series of installations in the US and Europe. A narrative feature set within the storyworld is also currently being developed. Here’s what IndieWire had to say about the Tribeca run. Read More
The Poe Project
The Columbia DSL is excited to announce that we’ll be collaborating with the Actors Theater of NYC and the Film Society of Lincoln Center on an immersive storytelling experience that reimagines one of Poe’s seminal works – The Raven. Over the course of 2019, we invite storytellers, performers, game designers, creative technologists, experience designers, artists, and makers to join us as we prototype an experience that will be staged during the NYFF’s Convergence section in 2019. Set within a special secret location from the 1800s, The Raven will be an immersive experience that mixes storytelling, performance, and emergent technology.
Where There’s Smoke @ the Future of Storytelling
Where There’s Smoke staged a work-in-progress showing at the Future of Storytelling Summitt. It was nominated for the FoST prize for Bridging the Divide.
Where There’s Smoke @ Sheffield Doc Fest
Where There’s Smoke is one of 25 projects invited to attend the Alternate Realities Market at the Sheffield Doc Fest.
A Monster Unleashed at Sundance
Frankenstein AI: a monster made by many has its world premeire at Sundance. An official selection of the New Frontier section of the festival, Frankenstein AI mixes immersive theatre, collaborative storytelling and machine learning to unleash a monster. This marks the 3rd time that Lance has had a project at the festival.
Frankenstein AI – immersive storytelling & community
Over the next two years Lance and over 2,000 global collaborators will design, build and run an immersive adaption of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Lance is leading the experience design and serving as the program’s creative director/producer. The goal of Frankenstein AI: a monster made by many is to challenge the authorship and ownership of stories while also utilizing literature, story and code in an effort to better understand the challenges we face in the 21st Century. Together participants from around the globe will utilize AI, machine learning, robotics, bioengineering and the Internet of Things to create a monster made by many.
Mixed Reality – Columbia University
In collaboration with the Oculus’ Next Gen program Lance is designing and launching a Mixed Reality Lab within the Columbia University School of the Arts. An extension of the Digital Storytelling Lab our mission is to explore new forms and functions of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, the Internet of Things and AI. Read More
Where There’s Smoke – Feature Film & Immersive Experience
Lance is developing his most personal work to date. In 1983 his van burst into flames on a family vacation. Eleven months later the family home would burn to the ground. As he explores his past he finds mysterious connections to these blazes and comes face to face with a closet full of skeletons. Where There’s Smoke examines an emergent creative process that mixes story and code in attempt to uncover the truth. – Read More
Empathy Lab – Columbia University & Refinery29
In May 2016, Lance helped design and launch a new multi-year initiative entitled, the Empathy Lab. A collaboration between Refinery29 and the Columbia University Digital Storytelling Lab, the Empathy Lab’s goal in 2017 is to design, build, activate, place and detonate an Empathy Bomb that helps to spread understanding and compassion. Read More
How to Tell Better Mobile Stories
“Lance Weiler is a master storyteller but more than this he designs experiences. I first came across Weiler during my time at Myspace when he worked on ‘Beyond The Rave’ and created an alternate reality game for the project. Since then Weiler has been busy creating a massive connected crime scene consisting of smart storytelling objects [“Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things”], a “multi-platform immersive narrative ride” and immersive storytelling extension for “David Cronenberg: Evolution” and snagging a Sundance award for stopping a pandemic between 40,000 festival attendees [Pandemic 1.0] amongst other projects, speaking engagements and installations. This man knows how to get people to do things…feel things. – Read More
Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things – Immersive Storytelling & Community
Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things is an ongoing prototype developed and run by the Columbia University Digital Storytelling Lab that explores new forms and functions of storytelling. Designed to be an open R&D space (released under a creative commons license) that experiments with shifts in authorship and ownership of stories, the massive collaboration also uses a detective narrative to examine the policy and ethical issues surrounding the Internet of Things and emergent technologies. – Read More
Endomel & Starz – storyworld development
Over the course of 18 months, Lance was in development on an original feature/series project with Endomel and Starz. The elevated genre story was designed to be a digital initiative that would then later move to traditional broadcast in multiple territories, The collaboration marked a first for both Endomel and Starz. Lance and team completed a feature script as well as a number of treatments and scripts for the series.
Civic Innovation Lab Los Angeles – Lab/Accelerator
Lance is a founding partner, experience designer and facilitator for the Civic Innovation Lab in Los Angeles. He helped to design and build the lab which exists to engage the ingenuity of citizens to develop urban solutions through the use of open data, local government support, and a facilitated design process. In a recent innovation session called #DroughtHack, more than 600 designers, data scientists, technologists and others came together to work on issues of water conservation, transportation and community. A partnership of 15 government, nonprofit and community organizations hosted, judged and awarded prizes. – Read More
Forward Slash Story – residential lab
Forward Slash Story attempts to tackle some of the most impossible problems surrounding storytelling in the 21st Century. A gathering of thinkers & doers working across a diversity of creative fields come together for 4 days focused on sharing, making, experimentation and innovation. Founded by Lance and Christy Dena, world-renowned writer-designer-director… – Read More
Body/Mind/Change – immersive storytelling
Lance collaborates with David Cronenberg, CFC and TIF to create an immersive storytelling experience where participants train an AI named KAY. Body/Mind/Change is the digital experience extension of the film exhibition David Cronenberg: Evolution. Body/Mind/Change takes audiences through a Cronenbergian storyworld inspired by the film Videodrome but reimagined for the 21st century and brought to life across three platforms – online, mobile, and the real world. – Read More
GOOD 100 – press coverage
GOOD magazine names Lance
“One of the people who are pushing the world forward in 2013.”
IndieWire – press coverage
IndieWire names Lance
“One of the 40 Who Are Changing Independent Film”
Bear71 – immersive documentary
Bear 71 is an interactive documentary that observes and records the intersection of humans, nature and technology. Questioning how we see the world through the lens of technology, this multi-user, interactive story blurs the line between the wild world, and the wired one. Lance co-created the immersive installation and was an architect for the social narrative that surrounded the project. – Read More
Lyka’s Adventure – immersive storytelling
Lance created Lyka’s Adventure inspired by his son, the project mixes storytelling, design, play and learning. Powered around the world by the imaginations of children, to date Lyka has logged over 30,000 miles visiting schools and museums around the globe, including Australia, where she stars in a new series of chapter books from Penguin Random House. – Read More
Wish for the Future – Immersive Storytelling & Design Fiction Community
Wish for the Future mixes participatory storytelling and design science to envision a better world. Participants make a wish for the future. Wishes are granted through a creative act such as writing a story, making a piece of art, sharing a song, or creating a video. Then granted wishes are prototyped using 3D printers and software hacks in an effort to create a tangible artifact. Afterward, wishes, creative expressions and prototypes will be placed in multiple time capsules and buried for 100 years. – Read More
My Sky is Falling – Immersive Storytelling
My Sky Is Falling is an immersive storyworld that aims to raise awareness about the challenges American foster children face before they age out of the foster care system. Elements of the storyline for My Sky is Falling were drawn from the life of Lydia Joyner. Lydia sits down with Thinkr to tell her amazing and heartbreaking story. – Read More
Tribeca New Media Fund Grants Lyka’s Adventure
Lyka’s Adventure received a grant from the prestigious Tribeca New Media Fund. The TFI funds and supports non-fiction, social issue media projects which go beyond traditional screens—integrating film with content across media platforms, from video games, apps, social networks and Web. – Read More
@Summerbreak – series dev & packaging
How can you make a series social and real-time? In 2012, Chernin Entertainment approached Lance to help them develop a slate of next-generation entertainment. The result was a series entitled, @summerbreak that followed a group of high school students over their final summer before heading off to college. Lance helped concept and package the series which was sold and underwritten by AT&T. The series is about to head into its 5th season later this year. To date @summerbreak has nabbed over 2 billion impressions across YouTube, Snap, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. See More
Pandemic 1.0 – Immersive Storytelling
Pandemic 1.0 is part of a larger storytelling experience involving film, mobile, online, social gaming, print, and real world interactions. Created, co-written, and experienced designed by Weiler the project was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival. Pandemic 1.0 is an immersive storytelling experience that played out for 40,000 festival attendees and over 250,000 global players over the course of 120 hours. Read More
Sundance Screenwriters Lab
In 2010, Lance and his writing partner Chuck Wendig (NY Times Best Selling author) were 1 of 12 projects selected out of thousands to attended the prestigious Sundance Screenwriters Lab. Weiler and Wendig attended the lab with Pandemic/HiM an immersive storytelling project which marked a first for the lab. The response to the project and its process were catalysts to helping Sundance to design and launch their first new lab in 30 years which Lance helped advise. The result is the New Frontier Story Lab which is now in its 6th year and is a champion of for storytellers making work for the 21st Century.
Wired UK cover story – press coverage
“Entertainment Reimagined – Film and TV are moving to a new form of storytelling – taking in the mobile internet, alternate-reality games, even street corner stunts, WIRED meets the pioneers.” Lance is recognized for his innovative use of story and code. – Read More
Collapsus – Immersive Hybrid Doc
Collapsus is an immersive web experience set in a near-future world after peak oil, where conspiracy and treason are rife. Against a dramatic backdrop of global energy politics, Collapsus combines interactivity with animation, fiction and documentary, inviting the user to embark on a quest to collect information, find solutions, and make crucial decisions that will leave their mark on a national and a global scale. – Read More
Winner Arte Cinema Award at CineMart
“Arte’s Michel Reilhac said that the award acknowledged the visionary nature of Weiler’s work and noted that it speaks towards the type of new thinking about audience and platforms that will be necessary if our world of specialty cinema is to survive in the coming years.” – Filmmaker Magazine
Businessweek – press coverage
Businessweek names Lance
“One of the 18 People Who Changed Hollywood”
Radar – Digital Series & Immersive Experience
RADAR is an insiders view into the cutting edge of storytelling and creativity. Highlighting innovative projects and events across different creative disciplines. 42 episodes were produced over a two year period that pulled back the curtain on the creative process of storytellers, musicians and artists. Lance Co-created, Executively Produced and occasionally Directed – Read More
Darknet – TV series
In 2008, Lance and writing partner Chuck Wendig (NY Times Best Selling author) started development on a TV series for TNT. Together they co-created and executively produced the series with Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick. After two years in devleopment the series didn’t go to pilot and was dropped.
Indiegogo – Advisor
Since 2008, Lance has been an advisor to Indiegogo, one of the largest crowdfunding platforms in the world. Having been with the company since it was a fledging startup with four employees in a single office, Lance has served as a sounding board offering advice on creators, collaboration and new business opportunities. Today Indiegogo employs over 400 people and has offices in multiple cities.
From Here to Awesome – distribution festival
In 2008 Lance, Arin Crumley and M. Dot Strange founded the From Here to Awesome distribution festival. From Here to Awesome helped 22 films make their way to theaters, living rooms, computers and mobile devices and along the way enabled the filmmakers to build global audiences and revenue from their films. – See More
Learn Do Share – Events, Labs & Community
Learn Do Share (LDS) is a grassroots innovation engine; a combination of events, labs and peer production. We are a community for open collaboration, design fiction and social innovation. Our peer production cycles help groups stay together to co-create prototypes of their collective imaginations. The most prominent are Caine’s Arcade, My Sky Is Falling, and The BUKE. Our books, documentaries and projects are carried forth by our participants to inspire other people to do the same. – Read More
IFP board – helping to guide a 30+ year organization into the 21st Century
Lance has served on the board of the IFP since 2007. One of the largest filmmaking organizations in the world, the IFP and its numerous efforts (Gotham Awards, Independent Film Week, Filmmaker Magazine and the Made in NY Media Center)are at the forefront of helping storytellers develop their work and reach global audiences. Lance has been instrumental in guiding the 30+ year organization into the 21st Century. For instance, he’s served as an advisor to the Made in NY Media Center since its inception. The 20,000 square foot space sits at the center of the media, design and tech communities in Dumbo and has evolved into a beacon that is helping to shape the future of the organization.
Head Trauma – feature film, immersive experience
“Like the films of Polanski and Nicolas Roeg, Head Trauma is a slow burn movie, the kind which gradually pulls you deeper and deeper into its own twisted reality. The story is simple, but the execution is far from it. Weiler takes the basic narrative and runs a series of ambiguous circles around it, coiling tighter and tighter until the end. Like the giant hedge maze in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining…” – Read More
Workbook Project – global community of creators
Fund, Create, Distribute and Sustain was the mission of the Workbook Project (WBP). Founded in 2006 by Lance, the project focused on storytelling in emergent fields and had contributors from 30 countries. WBP and its lab documented the process of making work and getting it out into the world. In 2007, WBP started a roving conference series called DIY DAYS to complement its online efforts. WBP ran from 2006 to 2010 and is now archived.
Fandemonium! – TV series
Lance was a co-creator and executive producer for a Fox TV series entitled Fandmonium!. A reality show that turned the art of being a fan into a sport. The series was in development for a year and half and then in the fall of 2002 shot a pilot in Detroit. When the show didn’t get picked Lance remarked that he felt as if he went through the 5 stages of grief. A year later he would incorporate the experience into his feature film script for Head Trauma.
Nocturnal Films – Commercial Director
In 1999 Lance signs with Nocturnal, a sister company to Epoch Films. Over the course of 5 years Lance directs numerous commercials. Clients include Ubisoft, ZDNet and Blockbuster Video among others.
The Last Broadcast – Feature Film
In 1996 Lance and partner Stefan Avalos started production on what would become the first digital motion picture to be cut on desktop computers and digitally released via satellite. The Last Broadcast would go on to make cinematic history and in the process gross over 5 million dollars through self-distribution efforts. – Read More
Wired Magazine – cover story
Wired Magazine names Lance
“One of the 25 people helping to reinvent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood”
Camera Department – thousands of hours on set
From 1993 to 1999, Lance spent thousands of hours on set working as a camera assistant, camera operator and DP for some of the industry’s biggest names. Over the course of six years he traveled the world training under Darius Khondji, Fred Murphy, Harris Savides and Conrad Hall. Commercial clients included Amex, Microsoft, Volvo, Mercedes, Nike and Calvin Klein to name a few. He shot music videos for No Doubt, Garbage, Eric Clapton, Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow and others. In 1999 as the Last Broadcast was taking off he left the camera department behind and moved into directing full-time.