On August 29th and 30th at AREA15 Las Vegas, Epic Immersive welcomed immersive industry luminaries from Secret Cinema, Marshmallow Laser Feast, David Byrne’s Theater of the Mind, Broadway, Swamp Motel, Meow Wolf, Delusion, Mycotoo, AREA15, Boomtown Fair, Les Enfants Terribles, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and more. As well as international guests from companies in China, India, Singapore, Russia, and Europe.
Epic Immersive is an immersive experience agency that has created 14-acre fictional cities and underground wonderlands. Companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook have commissioned Epic Immersive experiences.
The 2-day event included speakers Mycotoo’s Fri Forjindam, Fifth Wall Forum’s Stephanie Riggs, AREA15’s Michael Beneville, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Nataki Garrett, and the team behind VR theatre experience Welcome to Respite (Tribeca Film Festival 2021 Official Selection), with many more.
Alt Ethos caught up with Steve Boyle, co-founder of Epic Immersive (co-created with Kimberly Flynn) to discuss event curation, announcements, and exciting future plans.
The Alt Ethos team really enjoyed The Immersive Industry Homecoming Summit. What was your process for curating the speakers; how did you go about choosing them?
We (Steve Boyle and Kimberly Flynn) worked together to identify the most compelling movers-and-shakers from the global immersive scene across a number of genres and mediums. It was of supreme importance to us that we threw a truly global event, and that our speaker roster reflected the incredible diversity of our field, highlighting femme and BIPOC creators.
We noticed that there were some announcements made at the event from the speakers. Can you please share some of those?
Two big ones come to mind: Stephanie Riggs announced the creation of Odeon Theatrical, a new platform that delivers AR content for live theatre, and Kim Adams announced the return of Adventure Lab.
What was the moment that surprised you the most at the event? Or a “wow” moment that comes to mind?
Steve: The wow moment for me was really just being there — those first moments especially when the energy is so high and the anticipation is there and we’ve really, truly come together for the first time in 18 months, with tons of safety precautions in place, and we’ve made it together safely. That was an amazing moment I’ll never forget.
Kim: Wow moments for me were in all the excitement and enthusiasm throughout the entire process from the speakers to our attendees, the positivity, excitement, support and joy from everyone involved and from everyone that attended was really magical. It was wonderful to feel the community excited to be sharing an experience again after such a long break.
Any shout-outs you would like to share?
Huge, huge thanks to projectionist and technical director Jacob Vorperian, and our tech wiz Christie Casey.
What are the future plans for The Immersive Industry Homecoming Summit?
Stay tuned! We’ll definitely be back in Vegas, and you’re going to want to be a part of a whole circuit of events we are planning in 2022.
What’s next for Epic Immersive?
A return to large-scale immersive experiences in 2022. Once again, stay tuned for big announcements!
We thank Steve Boyle for taking the time to chat with us and appreciate all of the effort that the Epic Immersive team, speakers, and collaborators put forth to make this Summit such a special event. Bringing together a group of visionaries, technologists, and storytellers is no small feat. Alt Ethos enjoyed the projection mapping within the space, the deep conversation from the speakers, the diversity of the group, and the pace of the presentations. We learned deeply about different companies and artists doing cutting-edge immersive work. Also, let’s not forget about the unique container that the summit took place in. If you’re ever in Las Vegas make sure to visit Area15.
AREA15 is an immersive playground, all rolled into a vast and vibrant space. Throw an axe, wander through a bamboo volcano, race on a zip line, or explore other mesmerizing realms. From the futuristic to the thrill-seeking, there’s an experience for everyone here.
Epic Immersive creates story-driven immersive experiences with explorable, 360-degree worlds. From ticketed experiences to corporate events to marketing activations, they deliver epic, unforgettable journeys.
Last Holiday season, we enjoyed bringing two light show experiences to Cheyenne, Wyoming, through architectural mapping. Projected across the front of the historic Cheyenne Depot in downtown Cheyenne, we created a multimedia extravaganza for their traditional Downtown Lighting Celebration and dazzling the crowd.
A timer projected onto the Depot Museum tower ticked away the seconds as the evening event approached. With about 10 seconds to go, children that were gathered in the Depot Plaza began to yell out each number as it counted down, and as the timer hit zero, a loud boom sounded, and every light illuminated all at once. From all around the lights beamed – strung on trees, framing downtown buildings, and on tall evergreen trees.
The music started, and 3D shapes began to dance on the museum’s façade creating colorful projections of ornaments, wreaths, candy, fireworks, snow, and strings of lights that were all designed to the shape of the building. Since this was part of their 2020 Old West celebration, people laughed and cheered at the dancing cowboys on horseback herding bison, and at the end of each song, they whooped and cheered some more.
The event was such a success that a city council member was even seen wiping a tear from her eye. Alt Ethos was thrilled to help bring the holiday spirit and some much-needed sense of community safely to the folks in Cheyenne.
We are excited to be back in Cheyenne, Wyoming!
This 3D projection mapping holiday lights show was such a hit that we have been asked to make a more permanent attraction.
Our challenge is to address and impact the economic and cultural engagement throughout the city. As a permanent project our aim is to invite locals and tourists back into the city for celebration-themed holiday and event-specific content to keep visitors delighted and engaged and help drive economic development.
We look forward to the opportunity to exceed the creative expectations in the design and implementation of this visual experience. See you soon Cheyenne!
Interested in developing a projection mapping experience for your community or event?
eFlow is a fun and creative way for people to engage and connect while physically distancing. Whether at a drive-in event or virtual event this collaboratively creative platform can be easily branded or themed.
eFlow‘s platform is fully customizable – custom stamps, brushes, and backgrounds are all possible to create branded experiences for your event. The ongoing live collaboration can be displayed publicly by projecting the canvas large-scale at your physical event as well – creating a hybrid experience for both onsite and virtual attendees.
eFlow is an artistic collaborative WebGL fluid simulation that works in your browser. You and other online participants can collaborate with colors and shapes on an ever-changing canvas. See the networked artwork shift and grow in real time as others join in on the fun.
Outdoor Immersive Storytime
At the Anythink Brighton Drive-In Storytime event, as attendees got settled into their parking spots, they were able to play with eFlow on the screens across their personal devices and see their the projection screens in the lot.
Virtual Dia De Los Muertos Experience
Alt Ethos created a custom Dia De Los Muertos interactive experience for Thornton, Colorado’s 5th year of its annual celebration. While October 2020 restrictions transformed this hybrid event into online-only, visitors were able to connect and share the community memorial video online and play with others decorating the sugar skull on eFlow.
Let’s talk about ways that Flow can bring magic and play into your event! Interactive and immersive exhibits take your event to the next level.
“I don’t know about you, but I have caught the travel bug. COVID-19 has taken a toll on everyone’s mental health it seems, and more often I find myself longing to get away. The urge to travel is partially a longing to connect, not just with other people but with the natural world.”–anonymous
COVID-19 has affected the lives of every American in ways we are still grasping to understand. From financial stress to unprecedented changes in school and business, there is nothing our nation has faced quite like this. Now more than ever, people are longing for something to pull them out of the chaos. And now more than ever we need to make wise choices in how we travel. We are longing for opportunities to experience the beauty and to connect with what’s around us.
One of the ways people in the Northwest have increasingly chosen to connect during COVID-19 is through the National Park system. Wyoming, for example, has had some of the lowest numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths in the nation. Their national parks, including Grand Teton and Yellowstone, were able to remain open for the majority of the COVID-19 pandemic with very little outbreaks. Enjoying the great outdoors has become one of the easiest and healthiest ways to be physically distant and remain in-tune with the outside world. The outdoors will remain throughout the winter months.
However, experiences in the outside world don’t have to be limited to the national parks. In a world with an ever-increasing demand for individual, and oftentimes virtual experiences, digital designs are playing a vital role in a physically distanced pandemic America.
Digital designs are one of the most affordable and diverse ways to transform public spaces in ways that would be too cost-prohibitive for traditional capital improvements to take place. For example, holiday tree lightings, modern drive-in theatres, and socially-distanced architectural projection mapping offer the opportunity to set up live experiences with minimal changes to the structural environment. Drive-thru and drive-in live experiences offer the chance to mimic the traditional performance environment without costly overhead or unsafe practices during COVID-19 shutdowns.
Experiential design has been at the forefront of our culture preceding the COVID-19 pandemic. They offer the benefits of a communal social function while allowing individuals to participate from the safety and comfort of their cars, outdoors, or from the comfort of your home. These options offer the blend of privacy and community that many are craving right now. And, there are many other options for virtual live experiences that are just scratching the surface of what we’re able to accomplish within the digital pace.
Join us this holiday season in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Where Cheyenne is bringing the lights to the holidays this year. Alt Ethos will feature two light experiences in Cheyenne this holiday season. On Saturday, November 21st, and Friday, November 27th we light up the Downtown Lighting Celebration through architectural mapping of the train depot located at 121 W 15th Street. That’s not all! From November 21 through January 1st, 2021, come by the Prime Time Holiday Drive-Thru at Blue FCU located at 2401 E. Pershing Blvd, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82001.
The post-pandemic world is undetermined. What do we want to use to shape it, and how will we as individuals and communities contribute? That is the question that digital art and technology can provide if we are confident enough to venture out.
Note: Always follow the recent guidelines from local health and state agencies as well as the recommendations of the CDC to stay safe. If you or someone you spend time with have compromising health concerns, please avoid crowds.
The hardest part of event planning is coming up with unique event ideas to make your occasion memorable. You can go the route of games and an open bar and risk the chance of your event blending with all others that have done the same, or you can stand out by going the Alt Ethos route.
Alt Ethos provides creative technology to transform your physical environment to engage your audience with your organization, products, and purpose. One of our popular rentals is the Balloon Hive, an immersive projection that’s perfect for any event and any audience.
What is the Balloon Hive?
The Balloon Hive is a mass created with balloons of various sizes with a completely customizable projection cast on their surface. The Balloon Hive can custom fit to a variety of spaces and grows in a modular fashion outward to reshape any wall into a billowing display of light.
Each construction of the Balloon Hive makes for a unique event decoration and can be abstracted from a stage to a fully reformed room. This texturally rich space brings added dimension to your projection! The varying sizes of balloons that make up the wall allow for an exciting and captivating experience.
Why the Balloon Hive?
The Balloon Hive is an immersive projection onto balloon surfaces that can be easily customized and installed. Use it for your next stage background, a selfie station, or unique backdrop! The uses are as versatile as the Hive itself.