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USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Ganek Immersive Studio Inaugural Showcase Set

The program review, featuring projects in production and development at the state-of-the-art studio, will be held on the SCA campus this coming Thursday, April 4.  

The USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Ganek Immersive Studio, a creative hub dedicated to expanding the current boundaries of immersive storytelling and world building, will host its inaugural Immersive Showcase Thursday, April 4 on the SCA campus, it was announced today by Associate Professor and Studio Director Jordan Halsey. The event will feature a slate of projects in various stages of production and development highlighting the innovative work emerging from the Studio. More details can be found here.  

The Ganek Immersive Studio, the first of its kind at the university level, commenced operations in the fall of 2022, thanks to a generous gift from David and Danielle Ganek and the Ganek Family Foundation. Equipped with cutting-edge facilities, the Studio serves as an interdisciplinary center for the development and production of immersive media content. It operates similarly to a contemporary creative design studio, with a modern, real-time production and visualization pipeline. Student and faculty projects employ an array of technologies including state of the art camera technology capturing and rendering, machine learning-powered sensors such as Microsoft Kinect Azure, Intel RealSense, Lidar, Photogrammetry, and Volumetric Video capture. The Studio is under the direction of SCA Associate Professor Jordan Halsey.

“We take immense pride in presenting the innovative work underway at the Studio,” Halsey noted. “The selected projects underscore the bleeding edge and imaginative efforts of our talented students, poised to profoundly impact and shape the future of immersive storytelling and experiences. At SCA, our primary goal has always been exceptional storytelling and our students continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible by leveraging the technology available and expanding their creative abilities to transport us into uncharted realms.”

“Seeing the School of Cinematic Arts come to life through these projects and the brilliant storytellers behind them continues to inspire and influence the limitless possibilities of the immersive experience.  We look forward to the groundbreaking work that will play a role in the film industry for years to come,” states David Ganek.

The slate of projects selected embrace a wide range of technologies and storytelling mediums of VR, XR and AR as artistic platforms and include the following:

They Shall Not Come Back – Director, Seleny Xie

Unreal Interactive Story Telling

A narrative VR interactive experience that enables the player to embody a young soldier's soul from WWI, endeavoring to reunite with his NYC family for a final farewell. Traversing from war's reality to the afterlife's ethereality, you embark on a moving journey, exploring timeless bonds and love that transcends mortality.

Perfect City - The Room – Director, Shengwei

Experiential Linear Art Film-Based Experience

One of the episodes in the Perfect City series. Perfect City: The Room is a VR piece that explores the mental textures of a woman’s dreams and memories, inviting the audience to feel the different textures in this “room” inside her mind.

Help is on the Way – Director, Nathan Fairchild

Seated Linear Storytelling Experience

An experiment in building suspense in VR. Walking through town at night, Flora Chapman is followed by a mysterious threatening presence. Viewers will move back and forth between the perspectives of Flora and her pursuer.


Experimental VR – Director, Michael Brown

Embodiments is a system of works that explores the questions and emotions that arise as we probe the relationship between our physical and digital bodies.

The Blue Deer – Director, Pablo Diaz De Leon Hicks

 Seated Linear Storytelling Experience

 A magical adventure of a young boy and a magical deer.

Altered Visions:

Wounded Dreams – Director, Nina Ceklic

Seated Linear Storytelling Experience

The immersive story of an athlete whose career was ended by injury-induced disability. A journey through memories and surreal dreamscapes as she comes to terms with an altered sense of self.

Free Roaming AR | XR Projects


XR choose your adventure game prototype

Director, Rylan Pozniak

Kooks - Team Project

AR Storytelling Driven by A.I

Quest 3 Headset Projects

Shades of Blue - 2-4 Minutes

Director/Writer - Akaash Tumuluri

Seated linear narrative 360 stereo experience

A woman in her twenties returns to a familiar place to confront her past only to discover that she is not sure about the reality that confronts her and begins to doubt her sense of truth.

Pina - Ganek Experimental Work 5 - 8 Minutes

Directors, Jordan Halsey & Esther Chae

Seated or standing visual experience

Working with Professor Esther Chae and the choreography disciples defined by Pina Bausch the Ganek Immersive Studio has already recorded the motion capture on a visual expiration of body movement.


Director, Jake Wang

Futuristic Narrative

Baby of the Earth

Director, Harry Chen

Source: USC School of Cinematic Arts

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.