Lance Weiler — Igniting the Imagination of Many
After the birth of his son a few years ago, Lance Weiler had an epiphany. "I did a full 180," he says. "Seeing how imaginative my son was started to affect the way I designed and told stories. Maybe I don't have to be confined by the three-act structure or a 120-page script." Informed by code writing, game mechanics, and other aspects of next-generation storytelling, Weiler began a journey, charted in this film, into an entirely different kind of content creation. He expanded his creative palette, transforming himself from a screenwriter/director who told stories through a linear progression of scripted moving images into a designer and architect of living, changing storyworlds. In the vast, amorphous group of people formerly known as the "audience," Weiler sees thousands of imaginations waiting to be ignited, thousands of potential collaborators in a story that, unlike a conventional film or work of fiction, has no "perfect" finished state, only iterations. Weiler gives the example of Laika, his experimental participatory learning project, which enlists school kids in Los Angeles and Montreal to help drive the filmed real-world journey of a namesake extraterrestrial as she travels North America in search of solutions to her planet's environmental degradation, and that of our own. Laika, among a number of Weiler's current projects that merge social advocacy with multiplatform storytelling, illustrates his belief that a key to global resource scarcity is taking advantage of the abundance of our digital worlds.