Sponsor Session – disguise

11:00am in Studio A

The Spectrum of Reality: How Technology is Changing the Way We Tell Stories

As technology becomes second nature to future generations, what are the implications for effective storytelling beyond tomorrow?

In this session, Nick Rivero, co-founder of disguise subsidiary, Meptik, transcends the confines of traditional tech talk and explores the profound impact that lies ahead. Content is the heartbeat of our tomorrow, intertwining itself with every aspect of our lives. As content creators & facilitators, staying attuned to the content preferences of future generations becomes crucial to engage them effectively.

Delve into the impact the advancements of technology will have on future storytelling, as we move at an unprecedented pace toward a converged existence of physical and digital realms.

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Nick Rivero  00:14

The future is bright. And I think we all really know why. Right? Because of this, and things like this, this, some of this or even that, right? We know that, but I don’t think it’s because of screens. Right? I think there’s something deeper we know is that the future is visual. And even beyond that, at at our core, there’s something else every one of us know in this room that’s true about the future is that future is really video. And before I get to this all backup to say, my name is Nick Rivero. And I have the incredible opportunity to lead a team in Atlanta called medic. And nine years ago, I got to co start the company. And we’ve had the incredible opportunity to work on so many amazing different types of projects in this space for almost the past decade. And it’s an incredible just opportunity to do some cool things. And last year, we had an even real incredible opportunity to join the team at the skies and really push that forward. And my background comes from here. But it didn’t start here. It started in a very different place with a degree in classical music, actually. And in my history, I went to school, thinking I would study music, and I deviated by meeting a bunch of friends that helped me get a degree in multi Camera sports television. And that was great because I don’t like sports. So it really worked out for me that I studied this. But I stumbled from classical music to sports television, to two days out of college, into the world of concert touring. And I spent the next decade in this world. And I realized pretty quickly that there was just something so interesting to this. I never lived in the world of live events before I never lived in the world of concerts, not even sports before. It wasn’t the space I came from my family came from. And it was so interesting to me, there was just something so fascinating about the immediacy, the action, the fact that these things happen in a split second, only one time was so captivating to me. And layered with that was video Technology was so fascinating. And through this journey, I realized something really important is that video really is what we know it is a language. And before I unpack that, I want to back up a second because we have this kind of existential question to answer, which is what is video? And we all know it to be something like this, right? We think we know. It’s the idea that we record moving images. Yeah, that sounds right. It’s this idea that we record things on videotape or digitally. But at our core, I don’t think we actually know that I think we know something bigger is that there’s a connotation, there’s a meaning behind video, that is what we actually believe. And the first to that is is it is a Technology it is the parts it is the LED it is the Projectors, the screens, it is all of those things. Sure. But it’s more than that, right? It’s this it’s a means to communicate. Some of you might recognize some of these faces. I’m from Miami, Florida. So I know that guy, Jim Cantori, from the Weather Channel. And I knew that if that guy ever showed up in Miami, you should have left yesterday. Right? And so we know that video has the ability to communicate the tell us the news to tell us sports to tell us things. But it also has an incredible power to capture. Right? Some of us probably remember some of these images. And I won’t say who remembers some of those and which ones but we’ve all lived through these we’ve been through these moments. I remember Felix Baumgartner jumping out of space watching that live right? We have the ability to preserve that forever. We have the ability to entertain ourselves, right? We have the ability to tell incredible narratives over time and entertain generations of people. And we even did it in the 80s through reusing our own home videos to tell entertaining stories. But now we have all these new layers. We have social media, right we have people that can communicate can interact through video. You know you have Charlie the Emilio Mr. Beast, I don’t know if anybody even knows who the first person is. Bobby who just kind of came out of nowhere, and she’s interviewing Drake, right? And you have these people But we can now interact through video and through audiences and to people. And we take that a step further, right? Video games, video games aren’t just games now their entire communities of interaction through a layer of video. And so when you summarize this, you look at all of this together. And we see these things, we see it as a Technology, information, memory, memories, entertainment, interaction, and community we see that video really encompasses so much more that we know, kind of in our subconscious. And so this first idea is that right? Video is not just a Technology, it is a language. But how do we all actually know this? Well, let’s look at the statistics and the data behind it right? First, we’re a visual society 93% of everything we do is visual, we process information 60,000 times faster than text with visuals. We remember visuals better, right? We create and consume Content as a society 50 pours today 54% of all global traffic now is video, Gen Z spends more time in video social media and videos consuming more and more we see that we are you are now all Content creators, whether you like it or not, you sit in front of a lens now, every single day communicating to the rest of the world, just like social media, just like people on Twitch, we do the same thing. And 43% of you clean that visible part of your room. Now, we all think through that lens in our subconscious. We’re furthermore on a path of digital convergence, we’re putting all the pieces together, that now we’re combining, not just video, but it’s combining into our daily lives. It’s combining into every reach of all of the things we do, right, we attend virtual concerts, we consumed most of the internet hours in video, you see all these things putting together. And so we looked at this first point, which is we know that video is a language. But I really think it’s this it’s the language of the future. And the thing is, through language, human language, there’s a thread. And I think we know what that thread is. And that thread is story. And story. I won’t go into the Deep Origins. But we all know it. We’ve been telling stories for 10s of hundreds of 1000s of years, from manuscript scripts, to religious texts, to cave paintings, everything in between, all the way through to things like fairy tales. Why, because of this, Amanda Gorman, American poet summarized it great is that we tell stories because we are human. And I think it is just so central to what we do. And we can look at time this way, is if we have time linearly, inter woven in that I feel is always been this thread. It’s always been this thread of story. But I want to look out a little bit is that that thread of story I don’t think just looks like this, like a flatline. I think it is looked like this. And we go through these ups and downs. And we carry that thread through all of history. And it looks like this. We’ve been telling the same stories, we’ve been telling Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Beauty and the Beast for centuries, to our kids to our families. And guess what, we’re telling the same stories again, in new in different ways. And how far do we have to look back to say, you know, we’ve gone this far to only travel this little right. And so we have gone through society, doing these things on these threads where we see these patterns. And there’s that there’s a connecting tissue that holds it all together. And then a story. And I’m going to take this a little bit closer to home, right? Virtual production, the new thing, the stage I am standing on, it’s a thing we all know. But it all came from somewhere, right? It came from somewhere about a century ago, is the things we are doing back then the way we put things together was all in Camera, we built sets, we shot everything, there was only one take to get it. And that’s kind of crazy, because we’re doing that again now. And here by building the shots, putting everything together in the exact same ways our ancestors did, right? And we go through these fluctuations. We have the old side where back in history there we were an old Hollywood, here we are new and in Camera, and we go through deviations like this, we went to green screen and post right the last 20 years. Every film was shot in a green void. But through all of that, the point is one thing remains one thing glues all of it together, and that constant is story. And when we put that overlaid with this, we go back and look at the definition of video. We see all of this but if we We really scratch through that, right? And think about it a story, we see the similarities, we know it. We know that story equals a video and video is the conduit. And so it’s not just the language, or excuse me, videos, language, videos, the language of the future, and Content are the stories of this language for us. But the question we ask is how now are we telling the stories? Yes, video. But there’s more to that? Well, we’ve been in the physical world of existence, we’ve been telling things in the space that we’ve all known physical books, physical things, all of this. But we have a future that lies ahead of us that looks very different. It’s this new digital ether. And for so long, they’ve kind of been very disconnected. But more and more, we are now starting to pull those together, right, this space of experiential activations of life things, live concerts, being in person doing things, picking up physical things, is now moving into this whole new ether, right? And it looks a little bit I think, like this, we have the physical and the experience world that we all live in, meaning the future the the ethereal Metaverse in the digital world. But there’s something that glues all of that together. And that is this idea of reality. And unreality is that same thread, right story. It’s all of these things we’ve done are glued together by the narrative that connects them. And now we live in this new era. Where it is this this gradient is we slide back and forth between the things that are physical and tangible, and the things that are on our screens. But there’s the same thing that connects them all together. And we are telling these stories across this new spectrum of Technology. But the difference is we have Technology and Technology serves is that conduit. And something I say to my team all the time. That’s pretty incredible, incredible as this quote, any sufficiently advanced Technology is indistinguishable from magic. And I love that because just like magic stories Captivate us, right, it does the same thing. It sucks us in it Captivate us in the things we see and do. And so I want to look at the Technology, yes. But I actually don’t want to focus on what the Technology is because we know all of that. But I want to focus on something I ask our team all the time, which is this, you have to look at Technology in the face of storytelling, and say, Okay, what can it do? What is the core thing that Technology can do? And then the immediate next question you have to ask yourself is what else? And what else is what motivates us to push forward to innovate, to drive to say, what is beyond the face value of these things, right? Is we look at things like AI and automation, and we know the power. But there’s so much potential in the What else, right? Simple. What else is is just this right? We have things like auto captions, auto captions, or machine learning, very simple things that profoundly change our life, right? Most of us think of AI in crazier terms and things of this nature. But all of us know what’s possible, right? We know what AI can do. And now our job as storytellers is to say, what else? And there’s so many other things in this stack that I think are going to just completely change the way we tell these stories in the future. Right? The idea of decentralized workflows is now we can have the best people anywhere in the world contributing to a live experience telling that story from anywhere, any place at any time. We know that real time rendering is just going to become normal time. And what’s fascinating is Mario in eight bit captivated many of us in the 80s is now the future is going to be captivated by things that were never thought possible, right? I always loved what the Weather Channel did because they could use this to tell stories that can’t be visioned can’t be seen. They asked those what else questions that say how do we tell the impacts of global warming of climate change in this world? And through the use of these technologies, but our future generations are going to know things completely different on completely different tangents, right. The idea of virtual humans. I don’t know if anyone is familiar, it’s but you have people like this little Mikayla on the right. And there she is with her trainer. She does not exist. She is a figment of imagination. She’s a character that has an entire social media following right. And this is the power of stories people follow her communicate with her talk to her she has brand deals. She’s worked with models before that are real, but she is not. And this is the power that video and story have. Right and we’re going to do Things like this immersiveness, I think is so incredible teamLab to the LUMINARIUM is we’re gonna captivate people with our stories in completely different ways. And to me, I’m a parent, and kids are the perfect kind of place for this is they see the Technology for the beauty for what it is and see through to the narratives that you’re trying to provide, as teamLab allows them to build a village in a city and they get it, they’re immersed in the video in Technology, we know that the future of the web is ahead of us, right? We have web three, we know where this is going. But furthermore, the thing that fascinates me so much about the future, is we will have people doing fashion design that never design real close, we will have people that go to concerts of artists that don’t exist in venues that aren’t real. And through this, we are going to have to find that thread of how will we tell the stories for clothes that don’t exist in concerts that aren’t real in the future. We know that a heads is the year of AR But I think what’s so incredible about AR is how it is going to blend that that reality spectrum together how it is going to pull all of our worlds together, and stitch these different pieces of reality, all together to allow us to tell the next evolution of these stories. And so I summarize to say this effectively, is we know that video is a language and not just a Technology, we see that we know that we all in this room know that at our core is that allows us to communicate. It is telling the stories of the future. For those that had their manuscripts in the past, we will have our videos, our recordings, our captures our shows of the future. And they will go down in history, I think in much the same way that we look at those things, right, we already look at the pile of beta SP and VHS tapes collecting dust, we will see that same way that we are preserving the history of now in the future. We are all the creators of the Content of this language, it is us who are telling these stories and get the incredible opportunity to do that. And so it is that you all are the storytellers on this new horizon. And I feel that our role in all of this is best summed up with a quote that I believe with our team is this always be the guide and never the hero. It’s by an author Donald Miller. And the idea is that we aren’t the Luke Skywalker is we are the Yodas we are the ones guiding the industry, guiding the narrative to help tell the stories of yes ourselves, but to tell the stories of others through the tools that we use. And more than ever, the future is disrupting at light speed. We know that. But it’s exciting. And that’s the fun part about it is we’re in such a time of disruption and change. And we get to be a part of that. Because right now we have the ability to write new chapters that were never thought imaginable. And we have the ability to tell stories that were never thought possible. And it’s very much like we are now The Linguist of this new language. And we are the storytellers of these new stories. And the next chapter is for us to write. And so I leave you with this last quote that I love that says the best way to predict predict the future is to create it. Thank you.

J.T. Rooney  19:00

Thanks so much, Nick, do we have a couple moments for a couple questions? Maybe if anyone has any questions for Nick. Right, cool. We can find Nick out here as well as well as part of the disguise team out in front. So thank you so much, Nick and the next presentation we’ll do a quick change over to have bumped into a little chat on stage as well. So thanks again to Nick Rivero. Appreciate it


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Nick Rivero, J.T. Rooney