Jessica Brillhart, Immersive Director, on VR and AR

by Y Combinator8/16/2018

Jessica Brillhart is the founder of Vrai Pictures. They’re an independent immersive content studio.

Before founding Vrai, Jessica was the Principal Filmmaker for VR at Google.


00:00 – Starting Vrai

10:00 – Story in film vs. VR

12:15 – Gaming

19:30Conditions at Omaha – The Weather Channel in VR

22:15 – Jessica’s upcoming projects

27:25 – Andrew Peterman asks – How long until we’ll be able to create 3D 360° video from cell phone hardware+amazing software?

29:50 – Matt asks – Where do you see VR in 10 years?

30:05 – Michael Hodapp asks – Does VR still have long term mass adoption potential, or will the market shift to AR?

32:00 – Will people be in VR for a significant percentage of their time in the future?

40:35 – Virginia Pigato asks – How can a traditional storyteller adapt to vr?

49:50 – Can Olcer asks – What key but non-obvious thing is missing for VR to become mainstream?

51:45 – Matt MacVey asks – What are some of the most exciting or scariest parts of social VR and what is the storytelling potential of social VR?

55:15 – Tony Cassara asks – What kind of dog do you have?


Google Play


Craig Cannon [00:00] – Hey, how’s it going? This is Craig Cannon and you’re listening to Y Combinator’s Podcast. Today’s episode is with Jessica Brillhart. Jessica is the founder of Vrai Pictures. They’re an independent immersive content studio in New York. Before founding Vrai, Jessica was the principal filmmaker for VR at Google. You can see her work at All right, here we go. You started your company this year, why?

Jessica Brillhart [00:27] – Great question. This actually ties into my past, actually. I was at Google for eight years. I started as their first filmmaker with the Creative Lab. I moved on, five years later into the online Google VR team, which is now the Google AR/VR team. They might be different now, I don’t know. I became the Principle Filmmaker for VR at Google, which again, is, talk about titles, it’s the fanciest of titles. It was very cool. I helped develop Jump, which was their VR live action, capture ecosystem, for live action VR footage. I was making stuff and working with the engineers and the more that I was working there, I found it was very very tough to be reactive. In the beginning, it was super easy, because it wasn’t, like, VR was still pretty new, and no one really knew what we should be doing with it yet, and then once it started to solidify, it was much harder to turn the big ship towards the things that I thought were important, namely, I thought that there was something, some really interesting parallels between the machine learning team and the Google Brain team. Also, what was happening on the VR team, and just in the terms of the mediums, how similar they were, both in how they’ve become more present in our lives. How they both kind of were like, “Everyone was really excited, and then oh no, it doesn’t work,” and then it was, “Wait, we found this weird thing that actually makes it work great.” For VR, it was like cell phone technology,

Jessica Brillhart [01:59] – actually, we have it in our pocket. We can make this stuff work and with machine learning it was, “Right, logic is wrong, it’s actually preventing us from doing the right thing, and teaching these systems how to learn.” Suddenly, they both were on this trajectory and from a creative standpoint. You could see some really interesting stuff coming from both teams. I felt that there was a lot of ways that we could work together on stuff. I also felt that there were lots of interesting pockets of, artistic pockets where we could create content. It wasn’t going to be with the big studios. It wasn’t going to be like the big IPs. It was really going to be in these places that needed it, probably, more than Hollywood, and thinking about ways that it could be functional and helpful for people, but also be artistic. You didn’t have to be boring and-

Craig Cannon [02:47] – It’s not just functional.

Jessica Brillhart [02:47] – Precisely. Gunction’s actually good, because films actually serve a function, serves a purpose, and so, VR could also do it. Any sort of immersive content can. I had worked on some stuff, kind of envisioning what the future would be like when Glass was around, and it clearly worked because everyone now is wearing Glass, so we’re great. I’m really interested in this other layer of immersive stuff, but I also believe that it’s not one technology or another technology, I believe it’s all going towards something, they’re all going to work together and so, a combination of that belief, and wanting to be more reactive, and honestly, just working on the stuff that I felt was important to me to work on, once that all sort of became more clear, I felt that once I had left Google, the best course of action for me was to actually create my own company, and so, Vrai Pictures is the company, Vrai for short, and has all the letters in it.

Craig Cannon [03:49] – Yeah, meaning VR AI.

Jessica Brillhart [03:49] – VR AI, but I didn’t want all the letters in my name, because I always felt that that was a little weird for me. It exists in the ecosystem, and some people wear it really nicely. For me and my company, I was like, “I don’t know. I don’t know if I want that.” Then I was in Paris with my partner and I had asked him, “What’s the word for true?” He had known I was looking for a name, so he immediately was like, “Hold on,” and he took a pen and he wrote it down. He goes, that’s what it is. The word for true, in French, is vrai. V R A I, it means true and actually means real, depending on what, how you use it. At that point, you’re like, “Okay, well, I can’t not,” and this makes absolute sense and I started the company in January. It really does, in a very odd, eerie, but wonderful way, reflect the stuff that I care about, which is how all these letters, all these, you can pick it apart even and think it’s visual arts, it’s mixed reality, it’s all these various things that we talk about, will all come together, work together in really wonderful ways, and actually lead to whatever this new immersive environment will be, and right now we’re seeing each as these separate paths, and it’s really not going to matter.

Craig Cannon [05:24] – You see the same thing happens in science, it’s happening right now, where physicists and mathematicians and CS people are all learning Python and it’s converging into one thing.

Jessica Brillhart [05:35] – Right.

Craig Cannon [05:35] – Just through computers.

Jessica Brillhart [05:35] – Right.

Craig Cannon [05:37] – It may be your Deep Dream project is the most clear example.

Jessica Brillhart [05:42] – I think it is. That was really funny, because that’s… Inn Seattle, the Jump team, I think is still in Seattle, I don’t know, but they… The computer vision people that are working on the Google live action VR rigs are planted in Seattle at the same office and it used to be on the same floor as the Google Machine Learning team, that was literally adjacent, next to each other, never really talked to each-

Craig Cannon [06:11] – Not intentionally.

Jessica Brillhart [06:12] – Well, they’re both computer vision teams, so I think that was the reasoning behind it, I don’t know, but I would visit the Seattle team, and then I was fortunate enough to make friends with this particular machine learning team, AI team, is run by this guy, Blaise Agüera y Arca, who’s amazing, so him and some friends of mine who were working on this team, were literally sitting two feet away from us, and I had gotten an email from Clay, actually, on the Google VR team, saying, AR/VR team or whatever, had emailed me and put me in touch with them, saying, they’re actually, they’re announcing Deep Dream, they really need a video person to help them out, and so, they’re asking me what I have. I originally just showed them stills of the stuff that I actually filmed in VR, and we started having this conversation around, well, I was trying to push on them the idea that, well, what if you’re able to dream up on top of the stills of these VR clips, then surely you could do it in such a way that we can actually experience it in VR. It was a bit of a back and forth being like, “Well, the fidelity might not be that great, it’ll be low res, I don’t know if it’s going to be interesting,” and then finally, they, Doug Fritz, who was working on the team at the time, and he actually gave it a shot. Worked his magic, and we were like, “Oh, this is actually kind of compelling! We don’t know what it is,” and we’re just like, dreaming up on stuff, and it was really, it was really fun because I think, there was no expectation, it didn’t fit on a roadmap,

Jessica Brillhart [07:54] – it was literally just us working together to see what we can come up with, and we actually worked with Ross Goodwin on having his system, which was trained on Faulkner and Vonnegut, separately, to actually write prose about what it saw, and then it would recite it using this voice, Myra, which was an Irish speaking, Irish, dialect speaking, Apple voice, Mac OS voice, which made it really just unbearable. We both sort of like, this is kind of interesting, but it sort of calls to mind less is more in a VR space. Once everything’s kind of acid trippy, hearing this Irish-American speaking, fabricated lady speaking Vonnegut interpretations to you, just doesn’t, isn’t, ideal. It’s kind of hell on earth, so we sort of used it with caution.

Craig Cannon [08:56] – It makes sense when you change out every variable it just completely throws you for a loop, because it’s all kind of close, but sort of nonsensical.

Jessica Brillhart [09:04] – It is. What’s great about what Ross does, is that it actually does, it is very poetic, but it gets dark very quickly, because, well, Vonnegut, Vonnegut’s a little bit more upbeat but Faulkner is, a bit… I consider her a she because I hear Myra all the time, but it’s, she’s sort of says these phrases that are sometimes normalized about the world, like, “A man with a hat on a hilltop, why is he there? What is…” She’ll go off on that, and then, she’ll then she’ll be like, “The darkness, it looms. It looms for me,” or something, and we’re all just like, “This is weird.” Again, it’s us interpreting. What’s interesting is that, it’s all pretty surface stuff, and the depth is stuff that we bring to it, which I really thought, that part, to me, is very fascinating, how we interpret it, is really where the story, where the emotional foundation comes from.

Craig Cannon [10:06] – This is actually a big topic I wanted to jump into, which is framing. In cinema, obviously, it’s the director, cinematographer, working together to create the picture that transmits a story to you. But in VR, obviously you have a certain amount of control, but how do you think about the framing and the storytelling?

Jessica Brillhart [10:27] – Oh, so I don’t think it’s storytelling, and I think that’s the main problem. I think story is extremely important to the medium, I think storytelling is, kind of like, it’s sort of like you want to get to something that’s important, so you take a pill to make you feel that way, say like a sleeping pill. I need to go to sleep, I need something to help me sleep, so I’m going to take a sleeping pill. I don’t recommend that, I’m not saying that’s something you should do, it’s just something that some people do. Storytelling is the act of taking that pill, so it’s like, yeah, you may take that pill, you might exercise before you go to bed, it’s a means to an end, but it itself is not the end. For film, storytelling was the way that you got to story, and a lot of mediums, the telling part was actually really important because you couldn’t actually take those people and put them where you were thinking, and now you’re in a medium where you can. Telling doesn’t really work anymore. You don’t need that. If you think of it as kinetic versus potential story, right, so kinetic is storytelling. It’s the idea that actively, I am trying to take you and put you over there, so it’s this kind of active thing that’s occurring. For VR, the way that I’ve been looking at it is, it’s more a potential story. It’s, I’m crafting worlds that where, when you go there, the story is something that you can decode. How do these worlds transmit the story or represent the story

Jessica Brillhart [11:54] – so that no matter how you interact with that world, you’re able to sort of decipher or get to the core values of what that story’s trying to transmit. It’s a bit in the same line as in an Aesop fable, in a way. It’s like slow and steady wins the race. If that’s what you’re going for, it’s not about the turtle or the bunny, it could be anything, right? It’s about, that’s the core value of the story. That’s what we want the takeaway to be, and so in my mind, in VR, or any immersive content, if you can get that piece, that truth, transmitted to that person, it doesn’t matter what kind of experience they have. They walk away with what was most important to you in the first place.

Craig Cannon [12:30] – How do you think about that in the context of video games? Do you think that is just a transition to immersive content? Do you think it’s there for certain games already?

Jessica Brillhart [12:39] – What’s interesting about games for me is this idea of flow, which is, it’s very musical in nature, the best games are, where they give you the capacity to explore at your leisure. Some of my favorite games have been something like Myst. I actually love Red Dead Redemption a lot because, it’s really stressful, this rail that we’re putting you on. Maybe you just want to take a break and train some horses over there, and that’s fine, and then you can duck back into the story when you want to. This idea that you can be in a completely explorable place, you can do all sorts of things that you want, but then there is this rail that you could go on and duck in and out of. To me, is very compelling. Myst had that same sort of rail as well. It is definitely a different kind of game, if it’s like, “Okay, you do have this and that’s all you can do, and you can’t move forward until you do that,” like a Super Mario Brothers is a great example, and you have the earlier games.

Craig Cannon [13:41] – Literally.

Jessica Brillhart [13:41] – Literally.

Craig Cannon [13:43] – Side-scroller.

Jessica Brillhart [13:43] – Sure. That’s something that we need to be aware of as creators in the space, too, when we talk about games. It’s not a catch-all. Different games serve different purposes. Pong’s different than Super Mario Brothers, which is different than Myst, which is different in some ways, or a lot of ways, from Red Dead Redemption, too. Red Dead Redemption at least gives you elements that you’re used to dealing with. It works sort of similarly the way the world works, like, “Okay, that’s a gun, that’s an evil person.” It’s easy to kind of decipher it. In Myst, the whole point was that you had not idea what you were doing. You’re pulling a lever, the first thing you do, is there’s a book on the ground, and then you go, and then there’s a lever, and you don’t know what the lever freaking does. You pull it, and nothing happens, and you’re like, is this going to be the rest of the game? And it is, you’re like, “I don’t really know what these things do.”

Craig Cannon [14:32] – Many of those games, pre-internet, were so hard! Now you just go on YouTube and it takes two minutes to figure out what you’re doing.

Jessica Brillhart [14:39] – Yeah, I know, I know. Yhere was an old game from the 90s, called Amber: Journeys Beyond, which is actually, has been an inspiration on a recent project, and it’s really great because there’s some, well, it was just a really great game. It was sort of a Myst-ish copy made by two guys. I don’t think they made anything after that, but they ended up, well, you can’t play it anymore unless you have an emulator and a piece of hardware that will help you run it, but they have, there’s a bunch of play-throughs on YouTube and I actually sat there with a glass of wine and literally watched my, I remember, it was such a beautiful experience, actually, where I’m like, “Okay, I actually love watching other people play these games, and the commentary is really beautiful too.” One of my recent favorite games is from Davey Wreden, The Beginner’s Guide. It’s wonderful because it literally sets it up and says, this is a 45-minute game, because most of these games, you’re like, “I don’t know if it’s going to take up my life,” but it’s basically, you’re on rails, but it’s him, and he kind of gives you, he voice-overs it, and it’s about this other game creator who’s created kind of these weird psychological, very basic games. It’s weird, it’s like he builds this character that you never see, and this character is someone you explore through the games, pieces of games that this character has made, and Davey is taking you through it as if he knows this person, but then you start to question

Jessica Brillhart [16:13] – whether or not this narrator actually knows this person or not or if this person gave Davey the permission to showcase his games like this. Suddenly, you start to question everything, as you’re going through this kind of gameplay, I think it’s really brilliant. Any game that kind of takes the format and then through your interactive, through the interactivity through your agency, kind of makes you feel these different things, I think that’s a huge win for games, especially, and I think that is where immersive needs to go. Florence, which I think just won the Apple Design Award for best designed game, this guy, Ken Wong, who was the designer on Monument Valley as well, started his own company in Melbourne. He’s an amazing creator, and he, this game, Florence, is all about using, you use your phone the way that you would normally use your phone, but the story, you feel for the story based upon the way that you would feel for conversations, and interactions, with your phone, so moments of frustration, is like not hearing back from the person for like three minutes, like that kind of thing.

Craig Cannon [17:25] – Latency, all of those things.

Jessica Brillhart [17:26] – Yeah, yeah, absolutely, like, how fast you, how you reveal things, like the whole idea of swiping, it’s just very smart, and I think that’s a thing. It’s not, we try to shove a lot of this stuff through preconceived notions and conventions, where, embracing how technology works now, and using those limitations as a means of telling a story in some capacity, or understanding a story in some capacity, I think that, to me, is really fascinating and that’s the stuff I like, too.

Craig Cannon [17:54] – Have you played the game, this is really embarrassing, because I met the creator, I think it’s called Black Box or something, the iPhone game?

Jessica Brillhart [18:00] – Yes.

Craig Cannon [18:00] – Where it’s all the puzzles. For instance, one of the puzzles, you have to put your phone in a freezer, and the temperature has to hit a certain amount and then you unlock it.

Jessica Brillhart [18:07] – That’s brilliant. It’s stuff like that where I’m like, that’s just so, because it makes you question your, like, relationship with the device.

Craig Cannon [18:18] – Totally.

Jessica Brillhart [18:18] – That’s an interesting thing, because that, the, that story, is potentially as good as some of the films that you see. Again, it’s like, it’s not one to one, but it still gets you to the same place, mentally and emotionally.

Craig Cannon [18:35] – When you left Google, did you have a project in mind, or were you just going to client stuff?

Jessica Brillhart [18:41] – I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I just knew that I needed to go. I think that the, what I ended up doing first was I took, I kind of got a lay of the land, sort of explored what other people were doing, talked to some folks, thought about the things that I wanted to do. For me, I needed a little bit of time to sort of get a sense of what was out there. It’s difficult, because when you work for a company for that long, you’re like, “Oh, okay, like, my problem was water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink.” Where it’s like, “Oh, I have all this stuff, but I can’t do anything with it,” and then one of my limitations was beyond that I had seen where interactivity was going and had a lot of ideas for that. I could see where augmented reality and VR could talk to each other, where machine learning techniques and VR could talk to each other, I couldn’t do any of that, other than the stuff that I could kind of sneak through. In frustration, I made what I believed to be sort of like a VR gif-type thing which was The Weather Channel project that I did.

Craig Cannon [19:47] – That was my favorite one. I don’t mean to be down on you, because I know there are other really ambitious ones, but that was my favorite.

Jessica Brillhart [19:52] – Yeah, well, it’s most people’s favorites, because they get it. It’s like immediately apparent. It’s, and it’s also like, it’s hilarious, yeah, but that’s, and it’s one of the things that people are always asking was, “Well, how do we make comedy in VR?” They try to bring comedians in, and I’m like, it’s doesn’t have to be a literal thing. It doesn’t have to be, like, slapstick-y or here’ freaking, like, Jerry Seinfeld telling you a joke. It’s literally, just what is the human condition? What have we created for ourselves, in light of spaces and experiences that are just inherently funny? And The Weather Channel just happens to be like watching The Weather Channel, is one of those things.

Craig Cannon [20:35] – Totally, it was very Adult Swim. It’s like the little infomercials, yeah, it was really great.

Jessica Brillhart [20:38] – And I think that, to me, and I made that in a day.

Craig Cannon [20:42] – Yeah, that’s not surprising.

Jessica Brillhart [20:43] – Oh yeah, no, but I mean it, but considering how long it usually takes to make VR, it’s insane, and I can show it to anyone on my phone, I don’t care if they watch it on YouTube in low res or high res, like it’s one of those things that you could just show anyone, and I love that stuff. I still think that that’s very important as well. There’s all that stuff, and just this idea that, I felt that being reactive, seeing how everything works together, creating a wide variety of stuff, I think I did want to, but I also really wanted to create, like I had to work in a 3DOF environment, or, like, a 360 stereo environment, which, for me, was actually really great because it forced me to understand how something like just looking around, was still very interactive. I think that how we actually experience a space, and how those spaces engage with us, that is the, that is an important part of this medium. I don’t know if I would have necessarily come to that conclusion if I had made immediately, volumetric and 6DOF and you can speak whale. So for me I think that was, it was important to have those limitations so that I could see within the, or I could explore within the medium, just some of the basic building blocks of what made it so special. But, that said, I really wanted to make volumetric 6DOF whale calling VR experiences. I just wanted to do more, and I wanted to work with different technologies and different VR companies and really expand what I was doing, and I felt as someone who as in the space early enough

Jessica Brillhart [22:23] – and who had the fortune of sort of being around the medium in its sort of second resurgence, I felt that I had the opportunity at that moment, to actually do some good.

Craig Cannon [22:36] – What’s coming out next?

Jessica Brillhart [22:39] – I was thinking about what I could talk about, and I can’t, I feel like, I’ve been told I need to be patient and probably not talk about anything yet, but I think I can say that one of the things that has been really amazing is, the response to me going solo-ish was really, was pretty good. It was like I got so many people coming up wanting to work with me, pretty, big names, and IPs and so on, so, the projects that I have, I can say that there are four projects. One is with a pretty big IP, which is a series, which we’re in development with right now. We’re still working out how that will work, but we’re excited about it. I feel like that’s really interesting, because that’s both, it’s something that explores the biopic, and how we reimagine that sort of experience in VR, in a way that feels like a journey, it feels like you’re going somewhere special. That’s sort of the crux of the series.

Craig Cannon [23:45] – That would be awesome, because biopics are so bad usually. The music ones are so disappointing every time.

Jessica Brillhart [23:51] – Well, the first one out of the gate will be a music one.

Craig Cannon [23:53] – Great!

Jessica Brillhart [23:53] – That should be fun.

Craig Cannon [23:55] – Hopefully you blow the doors off of it.

Jessica Brillhart [23:56] – Yeah, yeah, thank you! It’s difficult because I think music has a capacity to transcend and be emotionally valuable as well, and so I think that, for me, was an important part, plus this particular person is a very epic cultural icon, so it’s a wonderful, it’s been a very interesting experience getting to know who this person is, on a deeper level, on many levels. The second project’s with an architect who’s pretty well known, and it’s sort of, it’s a combination of, it’s more exploratory, kind of figuring out what we should be doing with his work. Third is a game, a fringe game, probably more in The Weather Channel sphere, which I’m very excited about, because it’s ridiculous. I feel like there needed to be a game that was more like, what would kind of help do what Pong did for folks, where, you know, I wanted to have a game that was simple enough that people could all understand, and play, and would be also sort of an introduction to like, what immersive stuff was, sort of getting them used…

Craig Cannon [25:04] – Was that not Pokemon Go?

Jessica Brillhart [25:06] – Pokemon Go, to me, is still a bit complex for folks. It totally helped people get the hang of things. I’m thinking about what could be uniquely VR. Not taking an original IP, like a Pokemon, it’s more like, can we create something that is from the ground up, something that was built for this space? Based upon thinking about the way that defaults are built, thinking more in that kind of retrograde, like basic geometry, world, and not like complex character world, but complexity comes with it. Longer conversation. What is the fourth one? That was, sorry, I’m trying to think. It’s really hard to keep them straight.

Craig Cannon [25:58] – That’s okay.

Jessica Brillhart [25:59] – And the fourth one, the fourth one’s actually, an immersive audio project.

Craig Cannon [26:07] – Dot dot dot, all right.

Jessica Brillhart [26:08] – Dot dot dot.

Craig Cannon [26:08] – Next question!

Jessica Brillhart [26:10] – But I also, real quickly, I think that immersive audio is great. We had talked about this before.

Craig Cannon [26:14] – I am super into it, yeah.

Jessica Brillhart [26:14] – I feel that there’s, as the visual fidelity changes all the time, and as someone who creates in the space, it’s annoying because, like, every time a headset comes out, you have to re-export, like specifically for live action, I think it’s probably the easier, for probably, I’m going to hear back from people being like, it’s not easier, in volumetric or 6DOF, but the audio guys are like, we good, you know? Just like lean back, like, yeah, I’ll re-export it as whatever kind of, do you need a 5.1 here? You need, what kind of Emphasonic, what kind of spacialized file format, and it’s very, I’m not, this is not to, they are extremely talented, like, the right, the people who are talented are amazing at it. The people who know how to do it are incredible. It just feels like that stuff is so important in terms of selling you being in a space. People are trying to think of it second, so I want to be part of the, I want to help lead the charge and like, it’s first for me.

Craig Cannon [27:11] – I totally agree with you. People don’t realize that you could shoot this podcast on a Motorola RAZR from 10 years ago, for video, and then use this mics, and that would be good enough. Audio is so much more important than HD anything.

Jessica Brillhart [27:27] – It’s, that absolutely is, yeah.

Craig Cannon [27:29] – And no one gives it any love.

Jessica Brillhart [27:30] – I’m thinking about The Weather Channel piece again. It’s like Kenny G really hit it out of the park, you know? Like, if that wasn’t there,

Craig Cannon [27:36] – Oh, of course, I understood that in one second, I was like, yeah, I get it.

Jessica Brillhart [27:39] – Sold. Understood.

Craig Cannon [27:40] – Yeah. All right, let’s go into all the Twitter questions. Girst question, Andrew Peterman. Andrew Peterman asks, how long until we’ll be able to create 3D, 360 video from cell phone hardware and some kind of software? Ballpark guesstimate.

Jessica Brillhart [28:01] – You can kind of do that now.

Craig Cannon [28:02] – Yeah, I think it’s pretty good already. It’s a storytelling challenge, or not, whatever. What’s the word you want to use?

Jessica Brillhart [28:10] – No, storytelling, I mean, I can speak to, what’s the question?

Craig Cannon [28:12] – I mean, the question is like, rather than storytelling, what would you prefer to say?

Jessica Brillhart [28:16] – Oh! Oh, god. I don’t know, world building. That’s the one that I can think of. It’s weird, again, it’s like the director question, we don’t really know what to call it, so we just, it can be anything.

Craig Cannon [28:28] – Close enough, okay, cool.

Jessica Brillhart [28:29] – Story crafting, narrative. Narrative is good.

Craig Cannon [28:32] – Narrative.

Jessica Brillhart [28:33] – Creating a narrative. I’m trying to think back to all the decks I’ve made in the past couple months and there are a few where, I’ve definitely used narrative, story, crafting story, crafting experience, making experiences.

Craig Cannon [28:49] – Time will tell. Yeah. Not the most important thing. Another…

Jessica Brillhart [28:52] – No, it’s all semantics. Just make stuff that’s meaningful.

Craig Cannon [28:57] – Oh, no, totally, it’s like the hardest part as any creative person, you’re like, “Dude, I know you want to put me in a box, so here’s the box, but, I’m going to do what I want.”

Jessica Brillhart [29:03] – I love this because I haven’t used this phrase in a while, but I came up with, in my earlier days of working, I was trying to explain how I edited World Tour together, and the thing that I had called it was probabilistic experiential editing, which, the acronym is PEE, and I remember, when I was putting this together for a presentation, I noticed it, and I was like, either I can pretend like that’s not the acronym, or I have to call that shit out, and so I basically called it out, was like, “I know, but in the beginning of every medium, people are going to say some weird shit, and it may not last, but here you go, and, yeah.” People actually, the response was very positive, because I think sometimes people are so serious, like, “Well, this is what this is called,” and it’s like, well, it doesn’t have to be, it could be called anything. We can call it cheeseburgers and it would be like, who would matter?

Craig Cannon [29:58] – Of course. If you have the confidence and you make cool stuff, no one’s going to be like, “Oh, that’s not wrong.” Like, “Jessica’s wrong, you know,” like, “Dude, I makecool stuff.”Another VR future question, Matt asks, where do you see VR in 10 years?

Jessica Brillhart [30:14] – I don’t see it being called VR.

Craig Cannon [30:15] – Okay, sure.

Jessica Brillhart [30:18] – I just don’t see it. That it’s all going to go to a different kind of place. It’ll be called something else.

Craig Cannon [30:26] – Related, Michael Hodap asks, does VR or whatever you want to call it still have long-term mass adoption potential or will the market shift to AR? Magic Leap, Apple Glasses, stuff like that.

Jessica Brillhart [30:39] – That’s already happened in a lot of ways. You can see that just in the shift of Google’s cut, like the team’s name, it’s like, it was Cardboard and then Google VR and then Google VR/AR and then Google AR/VR. It’s like people are still… They’re trying to be like, “What’s going to be the easiest thing for people to grok?” Yhere’s an AR project that I’m working on, or will hopefully be working on, that is, it’s similar where it’s, everyone has phones in their pockets, everyone can download apps, so there are these two things that are easy enough for people to grok, where it’s like, okay, I get it. It’s not like I have a new piece of hardware that I have to learn. I still have a hard time finding compelling content on AR, in the AR sphere, as well. Similarly to where VR is going to be in 10 years, I think that a lot of these technologies which are by themselves, have weaknesses, weak spots, will, when together, kind of fulfill each other’s gaps. You can imagine, okay, AR is great because it’s the most accessible thing. You build a relationship with a particular app that leads you into the VR space because now you actually, because with VR, it’s like you kind of need people to care enough to want to do it. If you have an AR experience that is compelling enough that does speak to you on some emotional level and the fact that a VR experience can be there to help expand upon that,

Jessica Brillhart [32:10] – that’s a simple, off the top of my head, way that those two could work together.

Craig Cannon [32:14] – Yeah, is it compelling to use the notion that in pick a number of years, people will be in VR for a significant percentage of their day?

Jessica Brillhart [32:24] – People kind of are, aren’t they? With computers and cell phones, like, we spend so much time on the Internet. I mean, if you really wanted to-

Craig Cannon [32:30] – You could say that.

Jessica Brillhart [32:30] – You could probably go to that level of, well, we do, we spend so much time not here. We’ve seen the effects of that, in some way, it hasn’t destroyed us, but it’s had ramifications to the way that we work, live, have relationships and so on. I told you that story about the hedgehogs and the plasma screens, so I went to the lounge at Heathrow, and I saw these plasma screens with these hedgehogs on them for some sort of AI system, advertisement, and I’m thinking Blade Runner called this, in a very kind of semi-dystopic way, like look up, it’s just everywhere, it’s all over the place, and I’m like, it still is, it just has hedgehogs on it. It’s probably not going to be anything that’s going to just, it’s probably not, we destroy humanity, we do a great job doing that.

Craig Cannon [33:23] – Oh, yeah, we’re on track.

Jessica Brillhart [33:24] – The technology itself is something that challenges the way that we exist and will provide us with ways to have a conversation around that. I don’t think it itself will be the cause of any sort of insane thing.

Craig Cannon [33:40] – I’m actually not negative about it. People are just interested in altering their perception, and like, you see it when people watch folks on Twitch. You see it with deprivation tanks. Have you tried those?

Jessica Brillhart [33:53] – Yes.

Craig Cannon [33:55] – Really awesome.

Jessica Brillhart [33:55] – They are amazing. To me, that’s what’s so great about, like, with people are all like, oh, when you go into VR and you can do a billion things, I’m like, “No, you don’t do anything. Sometimes people just want to hang out.”

Craig Cannon [34:05] – Oh, for sure.

Jessica Brillhart [34:06] – And just, like, chill for a second. And that’s the thing, that’s very valuable for VR right now, at least, is the idea that you can focus, and it does have that meditative quality that’s really great. I also think the potential for having it at hospitals, with having it at places where people are there, just sitting anyway and it’s awful, like, the idea that you can have someone in a VR experience and not feel so bad, is a great idea. My dad, I gave my dad an Oculus Go recently. He loves it, my mom’s been taking photos of him using it. He fell asleep in one, which was really pretty entertaining, and to me that’s how I know it’s going to be fine, because I mean, it’s just, it literally is, it looks, he’s fine, like it’s just him being like, “Yeah, I was watching this thing and I fell asleep.” I don’t know what he was watching, I didn’t ask, just in case it was my project. But there’s something really sweet about that where it’s like, it’s just another thing for us to experience the world.

Craig Cannon [35:07] – Yeah, and just falling asleep in front of your TV, reading a book or whatever.

Jessica Brillhart [35:09] – Yeah, I don’t think, precisely. I do think that there’s, for example, I actually realized I needed glasses when I was starting to make VR because I couldn’t rectify, I couldn’t, the stereo disparity.

Craig Cannon [35:24] – You were getting nauseous?

Jessica Brillhart [35:24] – No, no, stereo disparity. I couldn’t actually, it took me a while for me to see, my left and right eye for close up text, wouldn’t match, so they’d still seem like they weren’t working. I sent it to an engineer, and I said, is my text right, because it doesn’t seem to look right, and he looked, apparently he looked at it and said, “Well, the font’s kind of weird,” and I was like, what do you mean the font? Does it work or not? And he was like, oh yeah, no, it looks great. He’s like, are you sure your eyes are okay? And I went to an eye doctor, and sure enough, I had astigma-thing, so now I’m-

Craig Cannon [36:01] – Funny.

Jessica Brillhart [36:01] – Yeah, it’s weird. I feel like there are some interesting ways of how, there are all sorts of things that will come to the surface from once people start to actually adopt and experience this stuff more. I do think, from a VR standpoint, like right now, people are sitting there with their VR headsets, doing this kind of thing, just like watching, but all the headsets are going towards volumetric, positional.

Craig Cannon [36:28] – Wireless.

Jessica Brillhart [36:29] – Wireless, so I imagine there being a much more interactive, much more engaging, like you’re not going to sit there, you’re going to actually move around kind of thing.

Craig Cannon [36:40] – Have you been to that, I think it’s in Utah or Las Vegas, it’s like some laser tag type thing, where you have a VR headset on?

Jessica Brillhart [36:47] – Oh, it’s the, oh my god, why am I blanking on it? Yeah, they have a Star Wars experience, too. I’m going to get reamed for this. I don’t remember the name of this company, but yeah, they basically do kind of a location-based entertainment. They have the Ghostbusters thing also that was here in the city. I really feel bad about this. I want to say Valve, but that’s not true at all. It’s like, all the game talk, I feel like they actually, yeah, I think that stuff’s really cool. I think it fits within, again, it’s like it’s a different genre of VR for me, where I feel like that’s a very, what they’ve figured out, you have to dedicate a space for that kind of thing, because what you’re doing is, you’re letting people seemingly move through a whole experience, and I do believe that taking that first step in a VR space for a lot of people is really, it’s powerful. It’s a powerful thing to feel. We were running some very very basic, if we took the 360 World Tour film that I made, if we put it in a space and kind of created, even if it was a rudimentary box with what the floor would look like and gave you space to move. I did that and I almost, it was very emotional, for me, because I remembered what it was like to be there, on a level that seeing it was, couldn’t do anymore. You would see it and be like, “Yeah, I was there,” and then you moved, you’re like, “No, but I was really there.” That’s where it’s like, holy shit. Like when we’re able to actually capture our own personal moments like that where we can relive them,

Jessica Brillhart [38:28] – that to me is kind of…

Craig Cannon [38:28] – Terrible?

Jessica Brillhart [38:32] – Perhaps, yeah, I mean, I’ve said it before where it’s like, okay, part of the human experience is that we forget.

Craig Cannon [38:37] – Of course.

Jessica Brillhart [38:40] – When you can’t forget anymore what happens? When you can’t, where you’re, because I don’t, I believe in the sanctity of experience and the human experience, that’s my own opinion on it. I don’t think that we should have all the world’s experiences accessible to people all the time. I think that’s a terrible idea. I don’t like the way that that’s been marketed as such. There are, there are things that are poetic to forget, and should be forgotten, in some way, and, I worry that it, my worry of this is that it goes in the opposite direction where everyone’s like, remember everything. Like, experience everything.

Craig Cannon [39:19] – Of course.

Jessica Brillhart [39:21] – Access to everything.

Craig Cannon [39:21] – Yeah, once we index all of our memories, they’d be perfect.

Jessica Brillhart [39:25] – Totally.

Craig Cannon [39:25] – Completely discrete. There’s like a romance to the feeling.

Jessica Brillhart [39:29] – For me, as long as there’s hedgehogs on a plasma screen saying AI systems and it’s an ad, like, I, as long as those exist in that kind of way I think there’s hope. That actually brings it to a place where it’s like this, the stuff is being adopted, but in a way that’s essentially harmless. Once you start thinking, once you start getting to the bare bones of why people are trying to do this, what the end goal is for some of this stuff, that stuff gets a little weird, but ight now, we’re in a really nice, we’re in a reasonably nice, place, with some of this.

Craig Cannon [40:06] – Well, I think it’s like VR, AI, whatever you, or not, VR, AR, so, it’s bringing people joy at this point, so I don’t think it’s really seeded fear in ways that other technologies have.

Jessica Brillhart [40:16] – We were talking about this, like, it’s only AI until it’s cleaning your floors, and then it’s a Roomba. Then we’re just like, my friend, you know? It’s like, we have so much AI, intelligent systems, around us now. I speak to Google Home every day. I would speak to Siri occasionally. It doesn’t, it’s fine. It doesn’t even, doesn’t faze me at all to do that, but ask me five years ago if I would talk to a little speaker in my kitchen and ask it to set the timer for me for grilling, it would be like, I wouldn’t really understand what I was talking about. I would be like, that’s weird.

Craig Cannon [40:58] – Let’s go into the craft. Virginia Pigato asks, how can a traditional storyteller adapt to VR? And actually, I don’t know this about you either. Were you making films before?

Jessica Brillhart [41:10] – Yeah, so I was a filmmaker. A quick background on my life, was that I studied film at NYU.

Craig Cannon [41:20] – Oh, okay.

Jessica Brillhart [41:24] – And, at the same time, I was running across the street to the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

Craig Cannon [41:29] – I went to NYU as well.

Jessica Brillhart [41:29] – Oh, okay. So you know Courant. I was there and I got a minor in computer applications. Not computer science, because I got to Perl and I hated it, so I was like, “No way in hell am I going to spend my time doing this.”

Craig Cannon [41:46] – It annoys me so much. Languages turn people off.

Jessica Brillhart [41:48] – I can’t stand it, so I would go back and forth between these two schools. I didn’t know about ITP, never heard of it.

Craig Cannon [41:55] – Me neither.

Jessica Brillhart [41:55] – If I had, I would have totally gone there, so it was this kind of, so I went to both schools, did that, had a short, worked at Apple for a little bit, I worked at a place called Yugi Factory as their lead editor for a bit, and then I ended up at Google, and Google was, it was always like that back and forth, like science, art, science, art, and then, or technology, film, I guess, were the two. Google had a position open for a filmmaker, or it was like film editor at first, but it turned into filmmaker when I got there, so I started working there with the Creative Lab, which at the time was like 10 people.

Craig Cannon [42:32] – The one in Chelsea?

Jessica Brillhart [42:32] – Yeah, exactly. And now has become like a huge and very, it’s a very important part of Google, actually. They create magical things about the brand and they kind of tell Google’s story about their products and I was part of that. How do we use films? How to be artful about these films so it’s not talking heads and engineers that look really nervous, so I ended up working with them for five years, before I went into VR, and actually, the VR team, the people that were working on the camera, I think, found that it would be better if they just tried to look internally to see if someone could use the rig so they wouldn’t have to rely on external staff, it’d be more cost-effective to try to find me than you know. I remember they had emailed me. I actually kept the email because it was a huge turning point, because I was actually feeling kind of bored, to be honest.

Craig Cannon [43:20] – Making film?

Jessica Brillhart [43:20] – Yeah, because it was a bit, again, it’s that idea that I wanted to do more and I felt like I could do more, and then when, when the VR, I wasn’t really interested in VR at all, to be honest, I just wasn’t. I didn’t think it was for me, or I didn’t really think about it at all. But then, a bunch of my friends started working in it, like Aaron Koblin, Chris Milk, started with Verse at the time, which is now Within. Saschka Unseld went to Oculus and started Story Studio, so they’re all these people that I had known who were starting to get more involved with VR, but I, again, I wasn’t thinking about it, and then, sure enough, I get invited to see this rig and experience the footage and there was one clip that, it was the test footage, a clip that the engineers had filmed, of just themselves hanging out in Seattle, and it was brilliant. It was wonderful, because I’m making films about these engineers, and it’s really hard… I feel like I was mostly successful in doing it, but it was hard to get engineers to be…

Craig Cannon [44:26] – Just relaxed, like normal?

Jessica Brillhart [44:28] – Or just talk about what they love about this stuff, because when they do, it totally makes sense, but I think they’re still like, well, I have to talk like this and I’m not, you know. I had to kind of coach them.

Craig Cannon [44:37] – I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Jessica Brillhart [44:38] – Yeah, no, I don’t imagine you would. But then seeing that I was like, right, this is actually, this is the truth of that.

Craig Cannon [44:51] – To really quickly answer the question, how do traditional storytellers adapt to VR?

Jessica Brillhart [44:56] – Right. You abandon the telling, as hard as that is. What I do, actually, is, I draw two X’s, and in brackets, I write down what I want to, what the story that I want to tell. I use a whiteboard, I love whiteboards. I don’t know if it’s the Google thing, but I love whiteboards because it’s like, it’s non-precious, you can just write and erase it and it doesn’t exist anymore. I write down, even if it’s long-winded and crazy, I’ll write down what I believe the story is, and then I’ll look at it and start to hack away at it, until I get to that truth statement. It’ll be some, like if it’s the tortoise and the hare, it’s like the entirety of that narrative, and then it’s like, slow and steady wins the race might be the end, result. I reduce. You’re sort of sculpting, at that point, you’re sort of like, here’s my, the story I would tell is this big block of clay. Within that block of clay is the actual, meaningful bit.

Craig Cannon [46:03] – Yeah, well, that’s like the Michelangelo quote, right? It’s like, I see it in the marble and then I bring it out?

Jessica Brillhart [46:09] – There, that’s it, that’s-

Craig Cannon [46:10] – It’s like literally what you’re saying.

Jessica Brillhart [46:11] – Okay, well then I think that’s, aim for that. Also thinking about once you get to that truth, then it’s really about holding, it’s like your north star, and it’s about, for me, after that, once you get to that, you have to also think about the flow of the experience, thinking about the cadence, how people come into spaces, how they relate to other objects, how they relate to other people, thinking about the various elements that you want to bring into it, so it’s a layered thing. Thinking about the tech, as well. It’s not film in the sense that, okay, you edit it in Final Cut or Premier or whatever, you export it, you put it on an FTP and you send it to somebody, right? The process is very much in flux, so a lot of the things you have to consider are who’s my audience, where is this going to go, which headset, what kind of limitations are there for the headset, are they creative limitations? Are they annoying limitations? And then you really have to understand how those limitations play into the truth that you’re trying to transfer over, and again, thinking, how is that truth constantly represented in this experience? How do I make sure that, regardless of where someone is engaged with, either what I believe is front, back, wherever, how is it, even at its worst, still able to transfer that over to somebody? It’s a lot of really the preemptive stuff. Figuring out, what are, one of the things I call it is, what is the superpower for the person in the experience? Like, in a game.

Craig Cannon [47:48] – Oh, man, okay.

Jessica Brillhart [47:50] – In a game, you’re like, “Okay, I can jump, I can throw a fireball if I have one. I can go this way, but not that way.” Giving people the time to understand that, first and foremost, is also important, but understanding what those things are and how that evolves over time is part of the narrative, too, and could, like, I don’t know if you, it’s like the Companion Cube in Portal, where you’re given an object that’s meant to help you, and does help you, but then it’s incinerated, three layers in, because the computer wants you to feel awful, and you do! And it works, and so it’s that kind of like, when you’re given this gift to do something incredible, and then, halfway through, it’s taken away from you, I don’t know, I don’t want to spoil Red Dead Redemption, but so sorry, maybe we should cut this out.

Craig Cannon [48:41] – It’s pretty old at this point, right.

Jessica Brillhart [48:42] – Okay, so there’s the second one coming out, so it’s fine. But, you’re playing this character, John Marston, and you get to the end, and you realize that you can farm. You get your wife back and your kid back, and you’ve been trying to help the FBI as this outlaw for the entire game, you beat your enemy, former colleague, and then, they let you go, and you get your wife back and your kid back and you can farm, and then the FBI comes back in a rampage, and kills you. And you can’t win, there’s no, like, and you’re just like, holy shit, like, what happened? And then you die, that’s it.

Craig Cannon [49:18] – And that’s life.

Jessica Brillhart [49:21] – That’s life, and there’s nothing you can do about it, and then, for the last little bit, you play your son.

Craig Cannon [49:26] – Oh, okay.

Jessica Brillhart [49:26] – You play the son, and then your son is now taking revenge on his father’s death, and it turns out, in a way, the whole Red Dead Redemption is about the son, redeeming his father, not the father redeeming whatever else, which was always a little bit, like, I guess, like, getting back at his gang for having abandoned him, I don’t know, but the real redemption’s with the son, and that’s when you’re like, “Wow, okay.” That’s when you’re like, because you’re suddenly terrified. You’re like, I did everything that I could, and you did.

Craig Cannon [50:01] – Yeah, and you still failed.

Jessica Brillhart [50:01] – You still failed. Because life, that’s sometimes life.

Craig Cannon [50:07] – That’s how you set up a second game.

Jessica Brillhart [50:09] – That’s how you set up a second game.

Craig Cannon [50:11] – All right, let’s go rapid fire through these questions. Ken Alser asks, what key but non-obvious thing is missing from VR to become mainstream?

Jessica Brillhart [50:23] – People not just focusing on entertainment and games. A lot of what I’ve been doing has… Granted, one of the pieces I’m making is entertainment, but thinking about education, thinking about various other professions that could use it, infrastructure, architecture, the other project I’m working on. Thinking about, I don’t know where this stuff could actually be useful, and then doing those things artfully. We kind of just try to focus on doing this one thing, and it forgets, like, but you know, we could just find, be inspired by other places. I’ve had people come up to me saying, like, “Is VR important to us?” And sometimes I’m like, I actually help them, I work through the stuff with them, and I say, “Actually, no. It’s not useful, it might be useful in the future, but I think right now, it would be weird if you did it.”

Craig Cannon [51:16] – As technologies expand in popularity so quickly now, they just become hammers, then people are looking for nails, like blockchain. It’s like, “Oh, we have a blockchain!” I say, “Why?”

Jessica Brillhart [51:29] – Why do you have that? It’s like, this was driven by AI. You’re like, I don’t think, A, I don’t think it was, and B, like, why would you do that? It’s like there’s no reason. Yeah, it’s like, kind of, you know, I think that that’s, it’s more figuring out where you can have, where that stuff, that technology, myself included, where we can have the most impact, and still be creative and still explore, and people who really do want this from other sectors are also really open-minded, at least the people I’ve been working with, to explore those, how it could be really interesting, and wonderful, for people.

Craig Cannon [52:05] – Yeah, yeah, totally. All right, next question, Matt McAvey asks, what are some of the most exciting or scariest parts of social VR, and what is the storytelling potential of social VR? Also, what is social VR?

Jessica Brillhart [52:16] – Social VR means a lot of different things. That’s another kind of group thing. Okay, so, it’s, social could mean it’s a way for your friends or followers to… Basically it’s about the idea of sharing the experience with another person, that’s ultimately what it means. It could be either you’re represented by avatars in the space and there’s multiple, or it’s multiple people being able to do the same experience at the same time. It could mean all those things at the same time, too. I did Alt VR. I think that’s what it’s, oh, Altspace, sorry, AltspaceVR, for the first time, I think a month ago. I just was curious, I just hadn’t been able to do it for a while, and so I did it using the Oculus Go. I was changing my avatar, because you’re a robot, and then you can be three or four other things, and meanwhile, this couple comes along, and they start talking to me, and I’m looking over at them as they’re talking to me, and I’m still changing my avatar, and I kind of give them a look, and then I look away, and I, for me, because you’re thinking, “Okay, it’s a game and it’s not going to happen,” but then you realize they’re actual people, behind that, and I just probably looked like someone who just gave them the cold shoulder, like, oh, it’s you. And just, like, look, because the other thing, I don’t even know how to talk. I’m still a freaking robot, like I don’t know how to do this and I look in the distance, and there’s another robot, and that robot’s looking at a fire, and it’s heart-ing the fire,

Jessica Brillhart [53:51] – because you can basically throw emoticons at things, so it’s like, heart heart heart heart, when someone’s throwing a stick, and all I could think of was, this is beautiful, this is a beautiful thing, because everyone’s just like, “I’m just going to try out a bunch of stuff,” but this is probably where chat rooms were for like AOL back in the day, where you’re like, this is great, we’re all one big happy family learning from each other, but then there’s also, then the creeper comes through and it destroys everything for everyone. The fear is that people, there are creepers out there, there are, you know, there’s been a lot of talk about, women being mistreated, in that space as well. The same patterns of what we’ve experienced before in digital spaces, it’s probably going to be the same problems we would potentially deal with now. And again, it’s more affecting, because it’s like, it’s trying to emulate real life to some extent, so these experiences are a bit more, they stick to you.

Craig Cannon [54:52] – It’s kind of visceral.

Jessica Brillhart [54:54] – Yeah, so we have to be very careful about that sort of thing. It’s one of the reasons why I think games with guns are, I mean it’s hard, because, I think that VR experiences should not be following in the same footsteps of games in that regard, because holding a gun to someone’s head is very different than holding a controller so that that character can hold a gun to someone’s head. Once you actually put a gun in the hands of a kid in a space there’s heavy responsibility there, and I think that’s where we do need to be very careful and very responsive, in how we create these things.

Craig Cannon [55:33] – Well, let’s end on a happy note then.

Jessica Brillhart [55:34] – Yeah, please!

Craig Cannon [55:36] – Tony Cosara asks probably the most pertinent question. What kind of dog do you have? This is from your Twitter bio, I think. Right, you haven’t mentioned-

Jessica Brillhart [55:45] – Oh, what kind of dog, yeah. I have a German Shepherd mix. I adopted him, when he was five months. His name is Fisher.

Craig Cannon [55:51] – Right on.

Jessica Brillhart [55:53] – He’s great, I actually, he hates VR.

Craig Cannon [55:57] – You put it on him?

Jessica Brillhart [55:57] – No. When I’m in VR, he gets very upset. He’s just like, “Where’d you go?” He’s kind of like, “Bbut what about me?” He’s sort of used to it, but he does this whole kind of, he’ll lay down in the middle of the floor near where I’m doing it, and kind of huff, like, “I’m here.” But yeah, he’s cool. One of my favorite, talking about memories and so on, I’ve actually, the benefit of having been able to work with the Jump rig so early on, was that I was able to take a lot of the prototypes and I took one home.

Craig Cannon [56:33] – Oh, cool, yeah.

Jessica Brillhart [56:35] – I filmed my family, in my house, kind of where, a later part of my life where I grew up, and where actually our parents moved after various other stints, other places, and there’s a shot of me playing with my dog, and I was like running around. Right now, it’s like, “Yeah, whatever, that’s silly, that’s dumb,” but I imagine myself, you know, years from now, you know, looking back and being very happy, seeing that. It’s happened to me, too, that I’ve had, one of my producers passed away, actually the person who worked on World Tour with me, passed away, like a few years ago, and one of the things that I had to grapple with was, do I give his parents this VR footage? Is that okay? We figured out a way to do that where he had, a friend of his actually was working at Jaunt and so his Jaunt friend was also there kind of mutually saw it. But it’s that question, too, where it’s like, it’s so wonderful to have these experiences. To be able to remember some of the things that matter to us a lot, and even though it’s, what I’m trying to do is, is trying to combine these three different technologies and more, it’s also about what’s the conversation all this stuff will have with reality and how we live our lives. I’m really excited to keep exploring that stuff, too.

Craig Cannon [58:00] – Me too. Well, thanks for making time.

Jessica Brillhart [58:02] – Yeah, thanks for having me on this podcast.

Craig Cannon [58:05] – Yeah, cool.

Jessica Brillhart [58:08] – And thanks for the questions, too. It was really good.

Craig Cannon [58:10] – Yeah, totally.

Jessica Brillhart [58:10] – The dog one, too.

Craig Cannon [58:11] – One of the best.

Jessica Brillhart [58:13] – One of the best questions.

Craig Cannon [58:15] – All right, thanks for listening. As always, you can find the transcript and video at If you have a second, it would be awesome to give us a rating and review wherever you find your podcasts. See you next time.


  • Y Combinator

    Y Combinator created a new model for funding early stage startups. Twice a year we invest a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200). The startups move to Silicon