• Immersive Worlds, The Matrix and Future Filmmaking

  • Immersive Worlds, The Matrix and Future Filmmaking

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  • Synopsis

    Future of Film Podcast · Immersive Worlds, The Matrix and Future Filmmaking w/ John Gaeta

    "Filmmaking is essentially going to happen in immersive worlds." John Gaeta

    A relentless innovator in film, John Gaeta is best known for his defining work on The Matrix trilogy, including the invention of bullet time, for which he won the Academy Award for Visual Effects. More recently, John co-founded Industrial Light and Magic’s Virtual Reality division ILMX lab and has held the role of SVP Creative Strategy at Magic Leap. 

    Drawing on all of his deep knowledge and understanding about new storytelling technologies, this conversation takes us from the Matrix to the future of filmmaking via XR and Artificial Intelligence. In what is one of the most fascinating conversations I’ve had on the show, John explains his vision for where media is heading, why he believes that there will also be a space for linear storytelling (or 'sculptural form' as John calls it) in this world and why the future of our civilisation rests on a knife edge between creativity and control.

    About John Gaeta

    John Gaeta is an inventor, innovator and an Academy Award-winning designer. He is best known for his work on the original Matrix trilogy where he explored first of kind media formats such as Bullet Time, Virtual Cinematography and Volumetric Capture. These approaches foreshadowed today’s “XR” (Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, Holo Cinema) platforms. 

    John Christopher Gaeta was born in New York and as a child lived in eastern Long Island. 

    He graduated from New York University (Tisch) and for a time lived in NYC. where he worked for the Saturday Night Live film unit. It was during this time that he was first introduced to multi media arts, animation, holography and culture. 

    From 1994-1998 he worked as a camera assistant for The Trumbull Company whose founder designed the visual approach to 2001, Blade Runner as well as invented new formats including Showscan and Immersive Simulation Rides.    


    From 1998-2008, he was a principal creative collaborator with the Wachowski siblings on multiple cross platform projects including the Matrix Trilogy, Speed Racer and others. 

    From 2009-2012, he formed a stealth development company, Float Hybrid, that exclusively worked with Microsoft (“Analog”) which incubated the Kinect and the Hololens initiatives. This period of time involved extensive creative research into the boundaries of human interface (sensory) as well as pioneered “interactive holograms”.

    In 2012 he joined Lucasfilm at the onset of Disney's acquisition. His charter was to work on “disruption” and was directly linked to the new Star Wars conceptual “visualist” group, the story group, the advanced real time graphics development group, ilm research and Disney Imagineering. 

    In 2015 John co-founded Lucasfilm’s Immersive Entertainment division: ILMxLAB and established its mission to “Develop, Produce and Release premium, story based Immersive Entertainment Experiences for Star Wars and other imaginative universes”. During his tenure there he served as its overall Executive Creative Director, focusing on original and experiential content across multi platforms. xLAb collaborated with groups and external companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook/Oculus, Epic Games, Disney Imagineering and Research, others. 

    In October 2017, he joined Magic Leap as SVP Creative Strategy to develop roadmaps and northstar initiatives (future platform, future form of content). Of primary note was his origination and establishment of the Magicverse. As well, he established an “imagineering for immersive” research group that created advanced proof and prototypes covering areas such as spatial computing for smart cities, xr co presence/telepresence, mixed reality cinema realism.

    Today, 2020, he provides strategic advisory for some of the most progressive XR platform companies in the world.

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