Origin stories

This evening I gave the opening talk at this year’s Hear Now festival. I spoke about our work at NYU, ending with our forthcoming CAVE project, a narrative in shared VR which goes back 10,000 years to tell about the origin story of narrative in shared VR — Paleolithic cave paintings.

Yet earlier in the day I had experienced a different kind of origin story. I was taken to the place where right here in Kansas City, in 1922, Walt Disney opened his very first production house for animation: Laugh-O-Gram Studio.

Seeing this little building, the place where it all started, filled me with awe. Somehow I doubt that old Walt, or Ub Iwerks and their other colleagues, could have imagined just what sort of giant would emerge from such humble beginnings.

Then again, maybe Walt knew. He seemed to have a knack for knowing where things were heading long before they got there.

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