UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Alumnus Dave Leopold, the senior director of content production technologies at Viacom, will make a public presentation titled “All Things Virtual” at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 in Foster Auditorium of Paterno Library.
The session is free and open to the public.
Leopold, a 2001 Penn State film-video graduate, has experience creating content across several mediums, including feature-length documentaries, television shows and virtual reality. He is currently testing storytelling strategies and mediums at Viacom.
“My function is to research, develop, innovate and educate when it comes to how our creatives work,” Leopold said. “So, I’m the guy who gets to test out all the new tools, new equipment, software, figure out better ways of using things, and I pass that information along to the people who are making the shows now.”
Leopold's talk will cover creativity in storytelling with immersive reality. He said the use of virtual reality and augmented reality is in such an early phase that everyone is just trying to figure out how to best use the new technologies to tell better stories.
“So, in this talk, part of it is just about how we approach storytelling,” Leopold said. “But then really how do we begin to play with this technology. What I think is really interesting right now is I get to be part of something that is going to help define the way this technology is used in the future.”
Leopold said his talk will cover some experimental techniques he has been exploring in the realm of immersive storytelling that he’s excited to share with Penn State students and faculty.
This will be the third time Leopold has visited the University Park campus, but the first time he is speaking specifically about the technologies he is working with in the storytelling realm.
“I’m always excited to talk to Penn State students, see what the curriculum is looking at, what the students are excited about,” Leopold said. “The students are really the next wave of creatives and storytellers that are going to be entering the industry. I like to get a sense of what’s changed, what the focuses are and, if I can share some information that might be helpful, I’m always looking to help.”