Ep. 11 | This isn’t 3 degrees of storytelling…

On this episode, we welcome back Will Gee, Founder and CEO of Balti Virtual. A lot has changed since we last spoke with Will back in 2019; Balti Virtual has evolved as a tool for creative expression, social engagement, and brand experiences.

We nerd out on the rapidly-advancing world of XRcise, the compelling ways VR can connect us in isolation, and what perspective in 6 degrees really means. Will shares with us how augmenting our surroundings with XR technology is more exciting than ever, and expanding the possibilities for how we tell and experience stories.

Explore further

WebAR Sample Projects developed by Balti Virtual
Learn more about Web AR and hypARlinks HERE

To Our Supporters

Special thanks to O’Keefe Communications for the remote studio support. Music by Minden “4th And Starlight Road – Instrumental” (CC BY-NC 2.0).


Backstage Pass | JC audio

On this installment of 6 degrees, we have the pleasure of talking with friend, collaborator, audio engineer extraordinaire: Josiah Canzanella.

 Josiah’s professional trajectory – from touring with world-famous bands to mixing audio for high-profile corporate events – makes for some unforgettable stories and insights.

In conversation with Josiah, we reflect on the power of the unexpected, the spontaneous moments unique to in-person, live events; and what we’ve learned about emotional impact and interpersonal connection in virtual spaces.

Explore Further



Special thanks to musician Kontekst(Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)) and O’Keefe Communications for the remote studio support.

Ep. 10 | [AR]t & Liberty

AR is impermanent, ephemeral, invisible to the naked eye and leaves no environmental trace. It is accessible to a broad audience through the ubiquitous use of smartphones and tablets…”

NANCY BAKER CAHILL’S LIBERTY BELL – Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

From its origins in American history, “liberty” was only available to a certain demographic and came at great expense to others.

What happens when a visionary artist brings together these conflicting histories and complex realities with immersive design and technology?

Artist Nancy Baker Cahill asks: “In an age of pandemic, surveillance, injustice and disinformation, who is actually free? That’s the conversation we need to have.” We sat down with Nancy to discuss storytelling and American history using immersive technology.

Explore Further

Read Nancy Baker Cahill’s thought-provoking piece “Embracing the Radical Uncertainty of Part-Machines.”

Learn how a collective of artists leverage augmented reality “to make visible the injustices of the largest immigration detention system in the world.” Through the project entitled “In Plain Sight” these creators seek to share a sense of hope and solidarity with those detained in immigration camps.


Special thanks to musician Artofescapism (Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)) and O’Keefe Communications for the remote studio support.

Ep. 9 | Storytelling Distilled: Experiences Drive Human Connection

“There is a special kind of magic that lives in creating shared moments in time.” 

-Nick Rivero

We came across this line in a recent Medium op-ed, and couldn’t resist reaching out to the author to learn more about his perspectives on experiencing stories with new technology.

Nick Rivero, co-founder of Meptik, shares his unique journey from classical music major to data visualization innovator. Fusing skills in design and technology, his company is pioneering creative modes of storytelling that are possible in today’s new paradigm.

Nick tells us about painting stories on buildings with projection mapping and reimagining the content development process as real-time and reactive. He leaves us with a call to action to reinvent how we connect audiences and drive human connection.

Listen to our conversation with Nick, and experience Meptik’s cutting-edge work through these links and videos….

For International Day of Yoga, Meptik teamed up with lululemon to host an immersive, virtual yoga experience.

BONUS: COVID-19 Visualized

The graceful rhythm of an ugly virus on the move. Meptik created visualizations that are driven by data, in real time, to bring awareness to the devastating impact using the same tools for concert visuals and live experiences.

TO our supporters

Special thanks to musician Chad Crouch (Attribution-Non-Commercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0)) and O’Keefe Communications for the remote studio support.

Ep. 8 | QuARantine Catch Up

We caught up with Cyrene Q – SnapChat Influencer, Graphic Designer, and one of the most inspiring artists we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing.  Cyrene makes art that’s meant to be played with, and her ingenious Snap creations simultaneously reflect the current world we live in and bring joy to millions of users. Don’t know much about Snap Lenses or how they work?

Cyrene explains the magic of AR and takes us inside her creative process. Get inspired by her thoughtful insights on how we’re living today and how innovative storytellers can make an impact using AR.

Together we consider the future of lenses, and get a glimpse into the exciting projects on Cyrene’s horizon (like her collaboration with The Advocate to create augmented Pride 2020 experiences)! 

Special thanks to musician Chad Crouch (Attribution-Non-Commercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0)) & Mid-Air Machine (Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA 4.0) for lending us your musical talents to underscore this episode.

Ep. 7 | Let Us, Edutain You

The world around us has changed dramatically. So has the role of virtual and immersive technology in our everyday lives. It feels like our dialogue around these topics and how we connect through stories are more relevant than ever. Join us as we continue to explore the implications and applications of immersive media.

Augmented Reality is expanding as a means to help kids learn, simulate experiences, and bring books to life.

To find out more about how AR is built for and marketed to children, we reached out to Live Animations, an agency based in Ukraine. Their mission – “to create magic” – drives projects like Alif & Sofia, a children’s book series teaching the Muslim rites of prayer using AR. Live Animation’s retelling of Little Red Riding Hood lets the reader experience the story from multiple perspectives, finding their own way through the forest with no fixed point of view.

Rather than trying to fit old stories – like Alice and Wonderland – into new technology with gimmicks, Live Animations is using augmented reality to give young readers more immersive experiences and encourage reading. They’ve even come up with a way to make math more fun, with the game IQ Robots

Join us for a little “edutainment” on this episode of Six Degrees of Storytelling!

Ep. 6 | Virtually Present: Alone Together

The world around us has changed dramatically. So has the role of virtual and immersive technology in our everyday lives. It feels like our dialogue around these topics and how we connect through stories are more relevant than ever. Join us as we continue to explore the implications and applications of immersive media.

With Christina Heller, CEO of Metastage, we delve into volumetric capture as a mode of storytelling, addressing questions of authenticity and applicability of new technology.

A woman leader in a predominantly-male industry, Christina shares how her career and aspirations developed, and insights into the value of immersive content. On both personal and professional levels, Christina offers enlightening perspectives on the potential and the impact of multi-dimensional technology on how we tell and experience stories.


Ep. 5 | Virtual Presence Puzzles

sharing in the emotional state of another person.

Virtual Reality Creator, Tobin Asher

We love solving puzzles. So does our latest guest and VR-Research hero: Tobin Asher, Associate Director of Global Partnerships for Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab. Tobin investigates how media impacts society, and considers empathy at scale – how can we connect; how can we better understand each other; how can we get closer through VR? Our discussion with Tobin reveals fascinating philosophical and scientific insights into the nuanced power of storytelling through immersive technology, and the potential of VR to educate, disrupt, and inspire.


Backstage Pass | The Robot’s Got Sass

Click play to listen to our latest pod!
Jill, Spokesbot for PAYMENTS2019

This installment of Backstage Pass takes you behind our own curtain, in a candid and convivial conversation with the O’Keefe video superwomen – Tina Hoffmann and Asia Taylor.

In Part One, we discuss how intention and purpose drive every new project. We divulge our collaborative creative process – how we, as producers, directors, and editors with vast and varied skillsets, team up to bring ideas to life. How can we, as artists, craft original work (that challenges, engages, and excites us) within the parameters of a client’s goals and interests?

Meet Jill, Spokesbot for PAYMENTS2019

In Part Two, Asia and Tina share takeaways from the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) 2019 Show in Vegas. We consider how our team might implement cutting-edge technology to innovate our creative approach. How can we, as creators, use this new technology to tell stories with a purpose?

Technology is exciting but, as Tina says, audiences still seek connection to authenticity. Tina was impressed by MetaStage – a company creating volumetric video, and first US partner for the Microsoft Mixed Reality Capture system (*side bar: stay tuned for our upcoming interview with CEO Christina Heller!) Asia was most compelled by seminars and classes geared towards video editors. Technology without technique, Asia contends, is emotionless design.

We had a blast chatting with Tina and Asia; let us know your thoughts on new technology, audience engagement, and creative authenticity. Tweet us @Pod6Stories or message us on instagram @Pod6Stories.

This podcast is brought to you by our Premier Sponsor:

Ep. 4 | IntARctive Presence – Past, Present, & Future

Charlie Fink
Consultant, Writer, Speaker, & Futurist

Do AR/VR experiences complement our basic instincts, or contradict our natural tendencies? On this episode of six degrees, we explore the sociology of immersive technology with our guest Charlie Fink, an AR/VR consultant, and former Disney, AOL, and AG Interactive executive who now writes about immersive technologies for Forbes. His insights into the innovation, industry, and impact of AR/VR spurs discussion of how we communicate and interact with stories.

With an eye on the future and anchor in historical context, we learn about the Milgrim Scale and Pepper’s ghost in order to better understand how immersive technology augments experience and what’s next on the horizon for content creation and hardware.

Addressing myriad subjects from the McKittrick Hotel to Game of Thrones and the state of our democracy, Charlie compels us to consider narrative experience from unexpected angles. Why does some technology cause disruption; how does it infiltrate society; and what challenges do we face as immersive technology integrates into our daily lives?

Join us for this time-shifting adventure into the nature of reality with Charlie Fink!


Ep .3 | A Whole New BaltiVirtual World

On this episode of Six Degrees, we traverse the limitless landscape of AR / VR / MR with Will Gee, cofounder of Baltivirtual. Baltivirtual, a full-service software studio creating state-of-the-art experiential media, exemplifies how new technologies are transforming the way we tell stories, learn, and interact with the world around us.

Will’s candid perspectives on the creative process lead our discussion about the profound potential for AR content creation, exploring how layers of sensory engagement – sight, sound, touch – can enhance the created experience and, ultimately, the impact of the story being told.

Washington Capitals Tilt The Ice
Holo Popups

This podcast is brought to you by our Premier Sponsor:

Backstage Pass | Tim Zanker

On this very special installment of Backstage Pass, we sit down with Tim Zanker, President of O’Keefe Communications (and, of course, our boss!) for an expert’s insider perspective on technology and storytelling in live event production.

Tim Zanker
O’Keefe Communications

We travel back in time to catch a glimpse of live events before the technology that dominates our production systems and processes existed, and learn about Tim’s fascinating and often-unpredictable path from fine arts major to roving lighting director and stage manager to the fearless leader of our spectacular creative production team, and owner of a thriving company. We talk about how the industry has and continues to change, and what matters most when introducing new technology into live event production. Hear how Tim saved the day (on more than one occasion), using experience, intuition, clear communication, and blind faith, turning a potential production nightmare into a magnificent live experience. Finally, we ask Tim how one sustains not only a strong team and solid brand, but also one’s personal and emotional self as a professional in live event production.

Tune into the conversation for insider insights and inspiring stories with Tim Zanker on Six Degrees of Storytelling: Backstage Pass.

This podcast is brought to you by our Premier Sponsor:

Ep. 2 | Opening the VNTANA

On this episode of Six Degrees of Storytelling, we learn about Ashley Crowder, founder and CEO of VNTANA, and how her company is pioneering interactive hologram experiences. Ashley defines “hologram” through VNTANA’s unique lens, and describes how the company fits into the broader industry landscape and historical context of the technology.

Of course, we navigate the overlaps of theater and human connection with hologram technology, and the power of collective experience fostered by AR & VR. Ashley enlightens us on how a drawing becomes a hologram, and how VNTANA’s holograms actually come to be, through volumetric capture, AI, and motion-capture.

We learn about data collection and VNTANA’s internal creative processes, and how companies use their technology to provide consumers unique experiences. Finally, Ashley tells us about some live events that have inspired her, and what she sees in the future of AR & VR.

So, join us as we dive into the world of holograms with Ashley Crowder, and learn how you could be in New York and Tokyo at the same time (or, at least, your tele-presence can be).

– Rachel & Brittney

Check out some of VNTANA’s Projects in action below!

More about our guest:
Ashley Crowder is the co-founder and CEO of VNTANA, an industry leading augmented reality platform for creating and distributing premium mixed reality experiences.

Prior to co-founding VNTANA Ashley graduated from USC with a bachelors and masters in engineering and gained valuable manufacturing experience at Gulfstream, Northrop Grumman and BP. She leverages her engineering background to guide VNTANA’s overall direction and technology development.

This podcast is brought to you by our Premier Sponsor:

Ep. 1 | ARt

ARt: Storytelling in Augmented Reality!

On this inaugural episode of Six Degrees of Storytelling, co-hosts Rachel Schwerin and Brittney Lanni are joined by special guests Cyrene Q (@CyreneQ), a social media artist, influencer and author, and Nancy Baker Cahill (@4thwallapp), multi-disciplinary artist and founder of 4th Wall.

Over the course of the episode we discuss the potential to create enriched experiences through augmented art. We discuss how augmented reality has evolved to be a new creative medium, enabling stories and shared experiences to be democratized.

We explore how augmented art opens doors to creating contextually-powerful public art, through existing social platforms like Snapchat, or emerging mobile platforms such as 4th Wall and Coordinates, enabling artists to flip the script on age-old paradigms.

More about our guests:
Cyrene Quiamco, better known as CyreneQ, is a social media artist, influencer and published author. She is known for creating art on Snapchat. Her art takes her audience in whimsical adventures as she overlays doodles and augmented reality on her videos. Quiamco’s work has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Business Insider and Mashable.

Nancy Baker Cahill is a multi-disciplinary artist and founder of 4th Wall, a free Augmented Reality (AR) app which allows users to place art in 360 degrees anywhere in the world. She also created the
ongoing, collaborative, AR public art exhibition Coordinates, a new feature on her app, which allows individual artists to activate their work in site-specific locations.


This podcast is brought to you by our Premier Sponsor: