Immersive Storytelling, Video Journalism and Fake News: Highlight Speakers of MCB17

VFX legend and VR expert John Gaeta (“Matrix”), New York Times video strategist Adam Ellick and media scientist Rasmus Kleis Nielsen of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford – these speakers for MEDIA CONVENTION Berlin (MCB) are promising top-notch keynote speeches, discussions and fireside chats on the most important current topics of digital media society.

Who would be better to speak about The Future of Immersive Storytelling than John Gaeta? Gaeta is the co-founder and Executive Creative Director of ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s Immersive Entertainment division. He created the legendary, Academy Award-winning visual effects for the Matrix trilogy. Innovations such as "Bullet Time", "Virtual Cinematography" and "Volumetric Capture” are changing our usual perception and have shaped the science fiction aesthetic of an entire decade. Today, he is working closely with the Lucasfilm Star Wars Story Group as well as Disney’s research and planning groups. Amongst the premier Star Wars original experiences currently developed under his is aegis is the highly anticipated new virtual reality series based on Darth Vader. At MCB17, he will provide us with some insight on how he continuously manages to succeed in harnessing the latest technologies for creative storytelling.

Adam Ellick, video reporter for the New York Times, will introduce the panel “Going Social First? Videos on Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat – from spin-off to digital only”. Ellick had a decisive role in the New York Times’ innovation report: Two years ago, a team set out to investigate in which direction the media landscape was evolving. The key question – representative for print media in general – was: What keeps us from being as successful digitally as we are in print form? The innovation report resulting therefrom was a milestone for the New York Times’ digital agenda, which is now breaking record after record in terms of digital subscriptions. The target envisioned is ten million digital subscribers. At MCB17, “star video journalist” (Horizont) Ellick will present his successful social web and moving image strategy.

Media scientist and head of research for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, is an expert for digital transformation in journalism. In our video interview, Nielsen briefly presented the main themes of his keynote. In the face of “fake news”, which is increasingly perceived as a serious threat to democracy, he is posing the question whether the problem might actually lie with “real news”, meaning that “real” news has a harder and harder time getting through to people. How will news media and journalists have to adjust to the new situation? And what can we – be it as journalists, media experts, technologists, scientists or citizens – do to improve news? How do we keep plurality of opinion in public political debate? Journalism caught between credibility dilemma and big data is the topic moving the industry right now – and a focal point for us at MCB17.