By Eric Howard and Stan Okumura

Hello! We are Stan and Eric, and we were Storytellers in Residence at McClatchy’s New Ventures Lab in Sacramento where we produced serialized, nonfiction stories using 3D AR for mobile.

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Eric Howard, center, and Stan Okumura, right, walk in St. Paul’s Little Africa alongside community leader Gene Gelgelu.

In our experience American Food, available on Actual Reality for Android, foodies can explore the cuisine and culture of four ethnic enclaves across the United States: Little Saigon in Sacramento, Little Arabia in Orange County, Little Africa in St. Paul and Little Haiti in Miami. During our travels, we unpacked the question: What does a nonfiction story in AR look like? …

By Cassandra Herrman and Nani Sahra Walker

Cassandra Herrman and Nani Sahra Walker are the producers of What They Carried, which tells the story of migrants crossing the Mexico-U.S. border through the personal belongings they choose to carry with them. They were part of the first McClatchy New Ventures Lab Storytellers in Residence cohort. Download Actual Reality for Android to experience the augmented reality series.

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What are you working on now?” As independent filmmakers and journalists, we’re asked that question constantly. Over the past several months, answering has been akin to a game of charades, mixing pop culture references with pantomime. “Do you know Pokémon GO? …

You asked, we answered!

We’ve heard from lots of curious creators in response to our AR Storytellers in residence program. Thanks for reaching out! Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions, as well as some things you might be wondering but didn’t have a chance to ask.

Apply on or before April 1 to have the best chance at being a part of our first cohort focused on augmented reality.

Has McClatchy ever produced immersive media before?

Yes, indeed. In fact, we’ve won awards (including the 2017 Digiday Publishing Award for Best Use of AR/VR) for a 360 branded content experience we created for Save Mart Supermarkets in Northern California. The experience puts viewers in the driver’s seat for a race around the winding track at Sonoma Raceway in a gigantic motorized shopping cart called Big Red (which actually exists). McClatchy newsrooms across the country have produced numerous 360 videos.

Exploring the future of visual storytelling

If you follow us on social media, you’ve probably noticed that we’re hiring! (A 3D artist, a full stack developer and AR Storytellers in Residence.) What you might not know is that we’ve already put together an all-star team led by Meghan Sims, McClatchy’s director of Strategic Video Initiatives. Learn more about each of us below.

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Julian Rojas, Meghan Sims, Jayson Chesler, Theresa Poulson, Ben Connors and Connie Hyberg pose for a photo in Sacramento with a picture of Andrew Polino (back row, center), who is based in D.C. (Photo by Eric Brandner, Creative Lab at McClatchy)

Jayson Chesler, Experience Producer

The basic bio: I operate cameras and sensors, and generally keep things moving forward on content being produced in the field or in the lab. The sub-100 temperatures of Sacramento have been a nice change of pace — I came here from Phoenix, where I launched a VR production company and taught immersive media at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. …

From in-depth panels with industry influencers, to groundbreaking experiences at Journalism 360’s Immersive Storytelling Festival and the great conversations and valued time with peers and colleagues, the Online News Association conference of 2017 was one to remember.

Here’s a recap of our favorite moments from the conference:

Video Lab West was thrilled to debut a room-scale VR game that took attendees through an experience of our future office space in Sacramento. Viewers were placed in the unfinished space, and through a video game-like experience, were able to tour what the lab will look like when construction is complete. …


McClatchy New Ventures Lab

Where creators come together to advance nonfiction storytelling. Building our team to create new immersive experiences with 360, VR, AR and MR. By @McClatchy

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