#1129: XRMust is Building the IMDB of VR & Covering the Immersive Story Industry

XRMust is part online magazine covering the immersive storytelling industry through news and interviews, but it’s in process of aggregating thousands of immersive stories into a database that have been showing on the festival circuit (with a revamped website coming sometime in the future). I had a chance to sit down with XRMust founder Mathieu Gayet during Venice Immersive to share his vision of part magazine and part database to help track the XR ecosystem. Be sure to follow @XRMust on Twitter, check out their latest report on “Access to Audiences: Challenges and Emerging Opportunities in XR Content Distribution,” and see their website for more coverage of immersive stories.

This is a listener-supported podcast through the Voices of VR Patreon.

Music: Fatality

Rough Transcript

[00:00:05.452] Kent Bye: The Voices of VR Podcast. Hello, my name is Kent Bye, and welcome to the Voices of VR Podcast. It's a podcast that's looking at the structures and forms of immersive storytelling and the future of spatial computing. You can support me on Patreon at patreon.com slash Voices of VR. On today's episode, I have Mathieu Gaillet of XR Must, which is an online magazine as well as a database that's tracking immersive stories. And so, Mathieu is running this startup in a way that is both, at the same time, marketing the different immersive experiences, but also just archiving and documenting all the different pieces that are out there in all these different festivals, and creating what I think is the equivalent of IMDb. That's the Internet Movie Database that's trying to track all the different movies and who worked on them. So he's doing something very similar for immersive stories, documenting all the different things that are being shown at these different festivals, creating a database, and also creating a lot of resources for creators in terms of funding and tracking the industry of immersive storytelling. So that's what we're covering on today's episode of the OasisVR podcast. So this interview with Matthew happened on Saturday, September 3rd, 2022 at Venice Immersive in Venice, Italy. So with that, let's go ahead and dive right in.

[00:01:25.462] Mathieu Gayet: Hi, I'm Mathieu Gaillet, I'm from Paris, and I started 10 years ago, almost 10 years ago, working on marketing for French events. And today I run xarmors.com, which is an online magazine and database around MSF pieces. We're trying really to get to the bottom of what the new storytelling is. We are very focused on VR today of course, but I do hope to find ways to talk about other kind of project, AR, mapping, kind of team lab, Atelier de Lumière project are also interesting for us. It's very focused on how the digital and new tools are changing the way that you can explore some medium. VR is the biggest thing today. So yeah, we started the project five years ago after South By. We had the feeling that there was a missing link in the industry between you watch projects in festivals, you have a few VR rooms in the world where you can find projects, but it's really hard. It was really hard at that time to follow what creators and what venues were showcasing projects. So amongst other people like you or No Proscenium, there was a few dedicated media for the industry. And yeah, Xarmus today is a community as well of people. We have almost 6,000 projects listed on the database and more than 500 articles written.

[00:02:44.924] Kent Bye: Maybe you could give a bit more context as to your background and your journey into VR.

[00:02:50.627] Mathieu Gayet: I really wanted to work for the cinema industry in France and as you know the French cinema is quite big today. So I started studying law and at the time it was a master of law in cinema and the web industry as well. So I started for five years, I worked on feature film and documentaries. But I was always interested in the new media spirit. I started writing for blogs and forums in 2004, so it's almost 20 years today. I was really dedicated to see what was going on in the new media industry, transmedia as we called it before. I left the cinema industry to work as a marketing manager and community manager. 10 years ago and I had the chance to meet a few people from the transmedia industry and started to work on festivals such as I Love Transmedia in Paris and then moved back to the cinema to work for them also in festival and I started to look deeper into what was going on when I went to Cannes. and a few cinema festivals that were trying to find a corner for this weird new media stuff. And well, from today we are in Venice and new media is not in a corner anymore.

[00:04:02.839] Kent Bye: Yeah, just to kind of reflect on how I see the broader XR industry press, trade press as it were, there's the road to VR and upload VR, which I think is really Focused on a lot of the news and mostly focused on gaming that haven't as much focused on the film festivals as much although in Hamilton from upload VR just covered one of the VR chat worlds from Kevin Mac now my Yuki where he did a whole YouTube tour so hopefully eventually they'll start to get more turned on but it cost a lot of money to go to these events and Sundance, South by Southwest, and Tribeca, and we're here in Venice, and there's like Ithaca Dock Lab, there's all these other regional festivals around the world. So there's a lot of different places in terms of the festival circuit that are showing these immersive stories, but most of the mainstream curation has been primarily focused on gaming, and it feels like that there has been these immersive stories that have been coming out at all these festivals. I started going in 2016 at Sundance, but I know that starting all the way back in 2012 at Sundance New Frontier is when Nani de la Peña had showed her piece of Hunger in LA. That was even before Oculus had launched. And then in 2014 when I had first got my DK1, Sundance had been showing in other pieces that had already been produced spatially, but they were flipped over and they showed a number of different VR experiences. 2015, I saw Upload had actually gone to, like, that's interesting to note is that Upload VR actually kind of started by going to Sundance in 2015, but then they eventually stopped going to those festivals at all and then just covered the larger industry. There's so many different events that, you know, in 2019 I went to 18 different events, so just to see that there's so many different stuff that's happening that a lot of the trade press of VR has focused mostly on what's happening in the gaming or SIGGRAPH or the technical conferences, but the immersive stories has been largely ignored. I've been trying to cover it in the Voices of VR, No Proscenium does a great job of immersive theater and also covering it, but I think XR must has also been coming onto the scene and doing these different interviews and running. But also what I see is a little bit of like the IMDB of these immersive stories, the producers, the credits, the film festival circuits, and eventually the funders and just trying to aggregate that data. And so I'd love to hear a little bit more about your background in marketing and what was it about you wanting to either promote the community or the industry in a way that you focused in on this niche of immersive storytelling?

[00:06:25.807] Mathieu Gayet: Yeah, coming from the independent cinema industry, I talked to a lot of producers on feature film and documentaries that had no time to consider the web and the online part of promoting their project, and especially when you have a little art project, you don't have a budget for marketing. And that's the same issue today with independent creators in XR, because as you said, we have a bunch of dedicated online magazines and also traditional media from time to time focusing on XR, but it's not following the industry entirely. Yeah, XRMUS is an aggregation service and also a creation service that we're trying to bring the best of immersive art industry, which is quite complicated sometimes because you are from gaming, as you said, to experimental XR or immersive projects. We are trying to find the good stuff in so many art forms, from theater to VR film to interactive installation and etc. So I would say that yeah, this is good question because marketing is from many people in the industry something they don't have time to do and that's connected to the distribution process and we're starting to consider the distribution issue to be like very important from the beginning of a production. Talking to a lot of producers I don't have time to I like their project to register online to send it to IMDB or for other aggregation websites. We have some in France but they're not listing their project. So I have time for this and I know social media, I know how to write a newsletter. Yeah, I found a way to have time for them and to highlight them. So my job every week, every day, is to push forward the production themselves, the project, and also to share what you do, voices of VR, upload and etc, variety, and every kind of news I can find on the independent art scene in VR, I push them on our network. In a way, it's good for everyone to have a small window of opportunity to show what's going on. Of course, when you go to Venice or Sundance or Tribeca, this is a huge lineup and it's difficult to highlight everyone, but I don't see a lot of producers and creators very often on social media and trying to push forward or developing their own service to communicate about what they do. And especially it's an international community. You got people and I'm very amazed every time I see people from South America, Africa, Asia, North America, Europe. You got people everywhere and it's a very small community indeed. But it's important to show that you have people from everywhere. And so, yeah, there is something amazing today in the industry. You get WhatsApp group, you get Discord, you get social media. And I would love my job to be to present that to a main audience. And that can be a next step for XR Musk, would be to find ways to talk to a general public as well.

[00:09:17.282] Kent Bye: Did you start the WhatsApp group here in Venice?

[00:09:20.688] Mathieu Gayet: No, but I was among the first to be in it, but it's Andre Lunev, we're working on financing startups who funded it. But there is an energy inside there. It could be a little bit time-consuming to be present in every WhatsApp group, but that's something that the kind of energy and community I didn't find in the cinema industry, in fact. So you have a WhatsApp group for every big event, as you know, and there is many ways for everyone in the industry to communicate and it's very unique, that's something you can't find in theatre or cinema because it's quite competitive. So we're not in a time where the XR people are highly competitive. Most of the people I meet, they are working together and for us it's about showing their work because they're doing so much great things that for today you can't see in festival and we're still trying to find ways to show them to a main audience and so we are at that time it's we're almost finding ways to like the Infinite Exhibition in the US or things like that are starting to gather thousands of people outside the industry, so it's nice, but the tool we use are gathering everyone on the same group, I would say, and yeah, we do hope to be like moderators or at least animators of that.

[00:10:35.478] Kent Bye: Yeah, there's a certain amount of community moderation or facilitation that I feel like that website or communities that you're cultivating there for XR Must are starting to bring the immersive storytelling community together in a more organized fashion and As we're here at Venice, you know, there's this island that we're on that has like four different wings with 75 different immersive experiences. And that, to me, it feels like a physical manifestation of the metaverse where you're walking onto this island and then you go transport through a portal into these other realms. And so all these different experiences and you come back out. And what I find really interesting about XR Must is that in some ways you're archiving the metadata of all of this, like what showed at this festival. and I would love to imagine a future where we could figure out some of the fundamental distribution problems of the stuff that shows here sometimes will fall off and it will potentially never be seen again like is there a way to archive these experiences or make the distribution if we figure out the distribution to like create the metaphoric metaverse so that then it's 22 that people could come back and visit a spatial representation of this and then be able to click on a link and then you go to a place where you can actually either pay or get access to some of those experiences and so people could Replicate the experience that we have of being here and seeing all these experiences and that if people wanted to go back through time through all these other Experiences because I feel like the challenge has been like because the distribution hasn't been figured out that there's been a lot of experiences that just kind of fall through the cracks and I love that a part of your project is to try to like do a comprehensive survey and a database and to just keep track of what has been created and what's worth shown who funded it and who worked on it and it's a historical document in some ways and I I'm excited that it exists and so love to hear some of your reflections on where you see that aggregation of that data and where it may lead as we move into more and more of these virtual metaverse spaces.

[00:12:24.934] Mathieu Gayet: Yeah, it's a good point because we are very trying to be a hub of information like we provide articles and data to everyone but the way we see the service is really to send people to watch projects so we have a button on every experience where you can find which online store they are, you have a list of festivals so you know what their story is in real life. And so for the following months, for example, I already have lineups from the next month's festival. So if you're based in the UK or the US or Asia, you know that it's going to be in your location maybe. But the fact is, the frustration I have is we're currently developing a new version and I will need to hire more staff to handle the data, metadata aspect of it because it's fascinating and the next step for us will be to work with researchers and maybe journalists to provide information like real data about the kind of experience you may find, the kind of creators we have, the length of the creation and etc, etc. We can study a lot about what's going on in the industry and what's fascinating for me is a young and small industry so it's a good time to gather such information and start building like, yeah, maybe not archive today because it's pretty new but to find ways to provide people an overview of what's going on and That's why I'm mentioning that it's an international community because the more I dig into that, the XR industry, the more I found that it's not a US-European based industry. There is a lot of things happening, especially with the metaverse now, or virtual worlds I would say. In Venice you get South African online party in virtual worlds. and you get creators from everywhere. I was doing experience with artists in Tokyo in live simulation or Paris. So it's highly connected and our job would be to provide such metadata to understand what's going on. And the more I work on the project, on the exam, the more I understand that universities and researchers are maybe one of my closest allies to be able to provide information. Again, producers and artists don't have time to step back and to understand the full picture of it. They're doing the direct job and wish to provide them some background on that.

[00:14:37.878] Kent Bye: I guess I've seen you identify as a magazine but I see it more than in magazine because it's got all this archival information and you had like an exclusive interview with Michelle and Liz for the Venice and that was very helpful for me to read and I didn't give a shout out but certainly some of the information that you reported on was informing me as I was asking questions in my interview so I feel like you're getting some breaking news in this festival scene so in some ways you're reporting as well but you're also here doing interviews and so And you did a report also, so I'd love to hear a reflection on, you know, because you say that you're coming from marketing, but if you see there's a journalistic component or a community service that you're providing, but also a database and what's the word that ties all those things together, and also providing services to this immersive storytelling community by doing different reports.

[00:15:24.082] Mathieu Gayet: Yeah, that's a good question because I need to be more identified that I write most of the time in English so people are not aware that I'm Paris-based in France. But also as always myself on multiple ads I would say that I'm a journalist and I'm also a startup kind of guy like I'm building a service for everyone. The journalist side of it is important for me because I really start from the editorial and creative part of things. I really want to keep that open door for everyone to be able to have interview articles and to highlight. Even press release we can publish on the website. But the writing part of it is like my main passion. It's something that keeps me alive. And the database is more my geek side. So yeah, this is a good question because I really need to be clear on that. we can cover a festival as a media but also we're building a service and I guess that's because I want the media to stay free and available for everyone and I live on the database and on the things I can do with that and so I'm working on conferences and curation in France and I'm doing a few services outside the website so the website is really for me the vitrine of what we can offer but Again, working alone on the project, I do hope to expand my team of writers and people to be able to build a proper service. Offering articles and interviews is very important also to link to the database. You got the technical thing and you got the editorial thing. Both sides of the project we want to keep in order to... I don't want to cover news like VRScout or Upload or other websites are doing because they are doing a great job. and we want to offer something else. And being able to interview people is taking also time to write proper things out of the news hub, which is I share everyday articles and it's fine, it's great, but I can't compete with that. I would say I'm a journalist today because I think all data exploration and stuff like that Media are starting to understand that they get treasure, like I would say that when you publish hundreds or thousands of articles, you start to have things you can offer or sell to people. But I want XRMAS to stay free. The editorial part is a discussion with the industry, and the database will be at some point, for me, a way to work and to earn my money on that.

[00:17:45.084] Kent Bye: Yeah, so because you are kind of an interesting mix of all these things, what is the business model or revenue streams that you're expecting for this venture that you're doing?

[00:17:53.710] Mathieu Gayet: Yeah, that's the main question. The first thing about the next version of the website will be to collaborate with brands and events to sponsor some part of the website. Again, I want the user to stay free. I don't want the user to pay. So we will offer some services to brands and events and to work along some events will get me back to my marketing time in France. But also I'm working as a curator in France and that the website helps me to do my curation as well. And I'm being paid for the conferences and the event I build in France for the community. And what I do in France is very B2B focused, so I gather the French community in some conferences, etc. And some people are starting to call me, like I did with Unifrance in Venice, it's also that kind of service. And that's a good way for me to say that in a modern way that I can be hybrid, like I can be a journalist on my own service, but I can work for other people as well and on curation. And yes, to these reports could be something nice. I want to push forward what I did with Michel Cranort from Denmark last year about the Indie Online report we just released. around distribution. And that's the kind of project we can partner with because we have the database. So that's the first service we can offer while studying the industry.

[00:19:10.557] Kent Bye: So working as a curator for different festivals, it helps to keep track of all the different projects and just be comprehensive by looking at what's already out there. So it seems like that is a tie. And you mentioned that you had just done this report. Maybe you could expand on a little bit about what this report was, how it came about, and what were the main findings of it.

[00:19:28.213] Mathieu Gayet: Yeah, so Michelle Cranotte, she's the co-director of The Young Man at Home and a few other VR projects with her husband, Uri Cranotte. They're based in Denmark, they're teaching animation workshop, which is a very high-profile animation school. And during that time, as researchers, they have started last year the Indie Online Report, which is every year on a different topic. But in 2021 we started, she called me to work with her on a distribution report. And I guess it will be a first step and we'll continue on that discussion next year hopefully. So the strange thing is after COVID the whole industry was starting again and the LBE starting again and online questioning about what was the business model and things like that. Distribution is the main question today. We have a good way to know what producing a project is like. I want to do LBE, I want to release online. But distribution, what kind of people are watching our project? Again, as you said, gaming is strong in VR, but the independent art scene, which can be a different format and medium, we are looking for a business model, which is maybe not the good word, but we are looking for ways to reach people. So Michelle was very interesting to do that because her last project was... So The Young Man At Home is a VR piece and they did a short film from it and they did LBE version of it, We Are At Home. So with Uri, she's really trying to understand how to reach the audience and outside the festival, inside the festival, etc. So we did this report and strangely it was at the same time like the XN Quebec, Canada Quebec published another report on the same topic. So I think it's nice to see that we are all in the same boat and we're just trying to go to the same speed. And so yeah, we interviewed a dozen people from Michel Rayac at Venice to Arte in France and other people. And yeah, it's not obviously a big report and we don't have answers for everyone, but it's a good way to say that what's going on today is that, and the report is available in the animation workshop. We will have a conference at the Anidux event Michel is running every year, end of September. And yeah, again, this is another discussion we want to have with producers and creators and we are lucky to have time to work around the topic and we did this first part as an introduction to the distribution question.

[00:21:50.179] Kent Bye: Yeah, one of the other big aspects of the industry is to get funding for a lot of these projects and being here at Venice there's a whole production market that's happening which yesterday they had 16 different pitches of people that were pitching their project and there was a lot of funders that were here and so Venice ends up being a place where because you're able to exhibit all the latest immersive storytelling pieces that's just great to come here just on its own right but then at the same time there's all these funders and other ways that make sense for other immersive storytellers and producers to come here to try to get the funding for their next projects that they're working on and so as I watch these different projects for me it's always interesting to watch the credits because the last scene will talk about the international co-productions and a lot of the funding because you know there's certain people that have been really supporting a lot of these different immersive stories. I have to say there's mostly international, European, and other places around the world outside of the United States that have government funding that's supporting a lot of this immersive art, so it's sad on some part being from the United States and seeing how there's all this international support but not a lot in the United States, but being here and seeing that there is a lot of interest of different countries that are investing in this type of culture, But at the same time, as I was jumping into the production bridge, I was thinking to myself, wow, if I was producing something, I'd want to know who the producers are, what's been funded. And in some ways, part of the next version of your website is going to start to track that a little bit more. Maybe you could expand on the challenges of being able to know who the funders and distributors are and how you want to start to help solve that problem of closing the information gap there.

[00:23:17.949] Mathieu Gayet: Yeah, I guess it's coming from the cinema industry and the VR industry was really looking to this model as what they did in the cinema, what we can replicate. And when we founded X-Armors, there was a thing about red carpet thing to try to list every festival where curated new media and VR project. And after some time on that, I was looking for the French funding and said, hey, it's public information, it's online, so we can try to start a list, also the funding side of things. It was at first to give people the deadlines and trying to provide useful information for the professional. But that's the kind of feature we also want to keep because it gives the curriculum of the project. Like you can find for, I would say like for Atlus 5 project, you can find the whole development phase and then the release in festival and then after that you can have a way to find the project online just looking at the X-Armors profile of the experience. And again, on the business model, that gives us the opportunity to map the industry and to understand where the money comes from, where it goes. And I was very surprised that everyone was saying, France, you get public funding, it's great, but no one has that elsewhere. And that's wrong, because I found that Germany has, not a lot, but they get public funding as well. I found information about UK-based funding. Switzerland, Belgium and South Korea, Taiwan and things like that. So my main difficulties and job is trying to find the information. The rest is pretty simple. We add in the database the days and the name of the funding they got. Not the amount. We're not yet trying to go too precise on that because I know it's sensitive information. That gives you a way to know where the project comes from, how the co-production can work, and yes, the other thing is, we found out that the market, the part of every festival with a market is very important to professionals, because as we speak, we're surrounded with one-to-one meetings in Venice, and that's a precise moment where producers meet with, I don't know, curators, funding, and et cetera, and that's how they build the project. And that will be, at some point, the main focus for me will be to track markets, maybe more than festival, because festival is, as you said before, it's very expensive to go there. I'm very lucky in Europe, we have a few, so I can follow the speed of the industry. But yeah, the whole development phase is very interesting for me, and again, that's where we can work with researcher and universities, because they are looking for that kind of information. You know that when you are within the industry. I will be really interested at some point to get more information into the VR gaming industry because that's way more expensive project, there are not that much public funding but it could be interesting as well to composite both gaming and independent VR scene to understand better.

[00:26:09.315] Kent Bye: Yeah, I'd say most of the stuff that's released on the distribution on the Quest is more gaming-centric, and yeah, there's a lot more private information in terms of how that's getting funded. So, a lot more included than, say, the immersive storytelling that has a lot more public funding. So, yeah, it's a huge service to be able to track those main funders, and you start to recognize some logos as you see enough of the immersive experiences and see the big entities that are really supporting this as a movement. Yeah, I guess as we move forward, do you foresee yourself getting into the actual production side? But since you are so well versed into where the money is coming from, do you feel like you're going to start to actually produce stuff? Or do you feel like you're going to just observe and you're more focused on the writing and the marketing and providing a service to the industry rather than actually making experiences yourself?

[00:26:55.920] Mathieu Gayet: Yeah, when I worked for the cinema industry 10 years ago, I tried to produce a few short films and things like that, but I'm not that passionate. I think producing is a hard work, it's a long, long time, and even VR pieces, in fact, you spend many years on them before you can show that to a public. So I'm really glad today I found a way to be a bridge between producers and, I would say, an audience, in a way. For now, it's really B2B, but I would love to reach again the main audience. I'm really focused today to find features that could be interesting for Exarmus and that could bring projects to have more visibility. That could be, at some point, to broadcast some immersive projects directly into the platform, but that requires a lot of technical development that I will do the day I have some funding for that. But I would be really interested, like, I can directly put a 360 video on YouTube, I can already put that on the website, I would love to find ways to be like an independent distribution platform could be a nice way to develop the service, keeping also the media alive, like still publishing interviews and articles, but to find ways to push forward projects. Mubi platform is doing that for the cinema, they're very editorial in a way and they have a very strict selection of project but I would love to do that kind of things for VR. But that's not ready yet because we're still developing the first phase of the project which is still working on the metadata and we have a huge work in the next months to gather the information in the right way for the new website. But yeah, yeah, I would be more interested to find ways to distribute or to highlight projects. Production is something, for now, I would love to stay apart.

[00:28:44.447] Kent Bye: Yeah, you're in the process of relaunching your website and leading up to Venice this year I spent three weeks of migrating my website and updating it and starting to think about the future of how do I translate my website into more of a spatialized experience because I have all these interviews with these creators about the experiences and so for me it makes sense to try to like spatial experience where you can discover some of these experiences and watch those experiences and then come out and listen to the interview to kind of learn about it. So for me, I'm really interested in the experiential design and the philosophy of immersive storytelling and trying to like break down and understand the different dimensions and that the really best way to do that is to see the experience first and and then to listen to the creator and to kind of understand the different mechanics and the process of how they created it. But the challenge has been that you have to actually a lot of times come to these festivals to see the experiences. So it's that full loop of being able to watch the experience and then listen to it kind of gets broken. So people often will have to maybe listen to something before they've had a chance to see it just to kind of get a sense to keep up with the industry. But For me, I'd love to imagine a future where those distribution challenges get solved so that it is easier for people to see this stuff that is produced here, and that it becomes more equitable, and you don't have to have the means and resources to come to a place like this to see it, but that it can be more of an opportunity to build those markets out into the wide world. Because for me, this is probably one of the more interesting aspects of the VR, is what is happening in the immersive stories. Yeah, as you're relaunching your website and I'm relaunching mine, I'm sort of trying to close the loop of pointing people towards these experiences to see them and then come back and to break it down. And for you, just to kind of trace the history and evolution of those projects and the funding and everything else, and to also aggregate conversations like I have. And so there's similar aspects of what we're doing, but certainly separate. But yeah, it's just interesting as we're in this moment in time, both thinking about the future of how we're presenting all this information to the same communities.

[00:30:37.219] Mathieu Gayet: Yeah, I guess we are. The industry is growing, is expanding. You've got some projects that are starting to gather thousands of people like The Infinite or Eternia Notre Dame. So we find ways to present projects to a better audience and to find business models as well. But I'm not in a hurry. I'm trying to follow the rhythm of the industry. For now, we can manage to discuss with the entire producers and creators. At some point maybe I won't, there will be too many people and it will be too competitive and etc, etc. But it's really nice and I'm lucky enough to have opportunities in France to work and to be paid for that, so it's not a visible part of my iceberg. But following what you do, what No Procedium and even the MIT Immerse team, because they're doing kind of the same thing, listing some experience and having metadata and stuff like that. The last year I was really thinking about getting closer to the research part of things because the media itself, I would love to find ways to be visible on other media and if they can use my information to be more precisely accurate it could be fine but I was surprised that running a media is not about publishing every day, every news. It's more about working on the right information and that's why maybe being in a big festival such as South by Venice Sundance, it's gathering information and I could spend the next two or three months just working on that. And so that's why I'm here and I will be in major events or small events as well to follow the markets and the project. Yeah, yeah, it's interesting time and very interesting way of things that our little community is manageable in a way that I can track and follow everyone.

[00:32:23.462] Kent Bye: Awesome. And finally, what do you think the ultimate potential of virtual reality and XR and immersive storytelling might be and what it might be able to enable?

[00:32:35.286] Mathieu Gayet: Yeah, if we are here, the thing is coming from flat industry in a way. It's VR, XR, etc. It's how to engage the user, the spectator. That's why I'm really trying on my own to take a step back and to say, yeah, VR is good, but there is not only VR, there is mapping, there is outside events, there is a lot of ways that digital can engage the user. And the storytelling part is me watching a lot of movies and seeing a few video games and TV shows and stuff like that, or even books or whatever. It's hard to tell a good story. And Exarmus is dedicated to storytelling first, and maybe in a few years we will talk about other kind of media or medium. But this is a story first for me and what I seen in Venice in example is a wide range of project from Peaky Blinders to small theatres, live theatres project and so that's kind of amazingly rich industry but very small. I will try to find writers that can write about theatre in Taiwan, about gaming in the UK, etc. Because we need more experts to tell what's going on in the industry. For me, the story will always be first. So what I see here is very impressive because every project is highly interesting. And I think the curators from big festivals sometimes are lighting the way. They're curating so much that we can have the best of the industry. And that's a good way to start. Next step will be to present that to a million audience and to understand that kind of story can reach a broader audience.

[00:34:16.175] Kent Bye: Is there anything else that's left unsaid that you'd like to say to the broader immersive community?

[00:34:21.116] Mathieu Gayet: Yeah. Final word will be that if you are a professional in VR or a writer or journalist, reach to us to participate. It's a paid job as well and we'd love to gather more opinion on what's going on from all over the world.

[00:34:36.048] Kent Bye: Thank you. Awesome. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for joining me today. Thanks.

[00:34:40.070] Mathieu Gayet: Thank you.

[00:34:41.410] Kent Bye: So that was Matthew Kaye. He's the founder of XR Must, which is a part database tracking immersive stories, as well as a online magazine that's following the structures and forms of immersive storytelling. So I really enjoy what Matthew's doing there with XR must and lots of different other interviews and similar vein that what I'm doing although That's a lot of written interviews and other coverage and so if you want to know about the latest deadlines and keep track of different interviews with festival creators, and he's covering a lot of the European scene I'd say and It's great to see other folks that are focusing in on this part of the XR industry of immersive storytelling. And so I highly recommend checking out XR Must. You may have already come across it as you're Googling around. But doing lots of great work there and is on the process of doing a relaunch here at some point. But yeah, doing this part database and startup as well as the online journalism and just kind of tracking the industry. So, that's all I have for today, and I just wanted to thank you for listening to the Voices of VR podcast. And if you enjoy the podcast, then please do spread the word, tell your friends, and consider becoming a member of the Patreon. This is a listener-supported podcast, and so I do rely upon donations from people like yourself in order to continue to bring you this coverage. So you could become a member and donate today at patreon.com slash voicesofvr. Thanks for listening.

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