Source:  LSU Media Center

BATON ROUGE – LSU Center for Computation and Technology, or CCT, will host this year’s Red Stick International Digital Festival on April 27-30 at numerous venues around Baton Rouge. The festival brings out the exciting and fun side of technology.

“Technology is evolving in surprising and interesting directions. We don’t see it in the wild until creative people make things with it in useful and inspiring ways,” said Jesse Allison, LSU Experimental Music & Digital Media associate professor. “That is what Red Stick is all about, bringing creative-technologists out of their labs and companies and garages to showcase the kinds of digital culture we create right here in Louisiana.”

The festival has evolved since its inception as the Red Stick International Animation Festival in 2005, created by Stephen Beck and Stacey Simmons.

“CCT is at the forefront of technological applications in the arts, sciences and humanities. It’s a pleasure to convene this diverse and talented group of people to showcase our community,” said J. “Ram” Ramanujam, CCT director.

This year’s Red Stick International Digital Festival sponsors include Electronic Arts - Baton Rouge; The Advocate; East Baton Rouge Parish Library system; Louisiana Art & Science Museum; The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge; LSU Office of Research & Economic Development; NOVAC, or New Orleans Video Access Center; Foundation for East Baton Rouge School System; Louisiana Technology Park; Louisiana Entertainment; Baton Rouge Area Council, or BRAC; and Greater New Orleans, Inc., or GNO.

“We are very excited to be a continuing sponsor for the Red Stick International Digital Festival. The festival is always a great opportunity for EA to get out into the Baton Rouge community and talk to people about the exciting games we’re working on here locally,” said Patrick Lamont Sr., recruiter from Electronic Arts – Baton Rouge. “We are delighted to be partners with LSU and the other sponsors and stakeholders involved in the festival.”

On Friday, April 28, the Red Stick International Digital Festival will host the 2nd annual Video Game Symposium. This year promises to be bigger and better than the inaugural 2016 event.

“Virtual reality is a potential game changer and there are many new and interesting companies exploring this space,” said Marc Aubanel, director of the LSU Digital Media Art & Engineering program.

This year, the Red Stick International Digital Festival will include seven events over four days. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit redstickfestival.org.

Thursday, April 27 – LSU Digital Media Center, 340 E. Parker Blvd.

1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

MEDIA WORKS showcases students’ work from LSU’s Social Media Analysis and Creation, or SMAC lab. NOVAC will present documentary shorts from the BetteR Documentary series that chronicles the tumultuous events from last summer.

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

SESSIONWIRE Demonstration - Come see an alpha demonstration of the latest disruptive software meant to shake up the music industry. Robin Laboe and Rick Beaton will discuss the future for audio professionals and a toolset that will help them navigate the future.

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
MEGABYTE ME will showcase the works of a few aspiring artists in the Digital Arts program. Students showing work include Melinda Buckner, Micah Theriot, Jake Hamill, Terrin Sampey & Jacouree Bunn, Amanda Verastegui, Zachary Tullier, Batu Acar, Doris Xu and Wesley Schmidt. Refreshments will be served.  

Friday, April 28 – LSU Digital Media Center, 340 E. Parker Blvd.

10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
FutureFest showcases digital media work by students from the region.

LSU’s Video Game Symposium is a series of panels, group discussions and presentations with media leaders about the future of the game industry.

10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Local video game producers from around the state will demonstrate the vibrant video game development culture in the region.

1:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m.

Guest speakers who have worked on games such as “SSX,” “Star Wars,” “League of Legends” and “Need For Speed” will present. The guest speakers include:

Henry LeBounta - 25 years of entertainment experience in games, film visual effects, feature animation and television worked on “SSX3,” “Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit,” “Skate” and “NBA Street.”

Jeff Skelton – Works at EA Vancouver and has contributed as an engineer on “SSX,” “NBA Live” and “NHL” to name a few. Previously served as technical director on the Frostbite team, EA’s world-wide internal game engine. Now serves as the primary external contact for technology relations.

Scott McPherson, Amoeba - Specializing in non-traditional utilization of games engine-based VR, McPherson will include examples and stories of recent VR installations in art galleries, VR theater tours, and the new mixed media project from the amoeba studio: a VR/TV/AR crossover project [The Illuminatus! Trilogy], based on the novels by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea.

Mike Swanson - Currently works at Nvidia as a senior producer on top tier game titles and has more than 25 years of experience in developing games, from touch-screen laserdisc golf in the late ‘80s to the latest VR content and everything in-between.

Cathy Twigg and Pete Blumel from The Rogue Initiative – A full spectrum production studio specializing in cinematic, interactive virtual reality, film, television, and games. They will be showing their latest game “CROWE: THE DROWNED ARMORY."

Chris Taylor - Has worked on “Total Annihilation,” “Dungeon Siege” series and for founding Gas Powered Games. Most recently he helped develop “Supreme Commander” and “Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance.”

Tad Leckman - Credits include “Star Trek First Contact,” “Men in Black,” “Space Cowboys,” “Galaxy Quest,” Tim Burton’s “Planet of the Apes,” “Terminator 3,” “World of Warcraft” and “Overwatch.” Leckman is currently a research fellow for the U.C. Santa Cruz Division of Arts.

Robin Laboe & Rick Beaton - With more than 35 years of experience as a musician, composer, producer, programmer, product developer and entrepreneur, Sessionwire Communications Inc. President and CEO Robin Leboe has deep ties with the music and recording industry. Rick Beaton is the chief technology officer at Sessionwire.

Come see what the cutting edge of development looks like and take a glimpse into the future. If you’re interested at all in the gaming industry, you should not miss this event.    

Saturday, April 29 – East Baton Rouge Parish Central Library, 7711 Goodwood Blvd.

10:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. 

KIDS DEV WORKSHOP activities include booths by NASA/Stennis, activity exhibit by STEMup BR/Foundation for EBRSSE Museum and LSU Experimental Music & Digital Media called Sonic Explorer Studio, Arduino workshops and DIY VR Headset workshop in Conference Room A. Sign-up onsite.

10:00 -11:30 a.m. and 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Arduino workshops invite up to seven students. Sign-up by the door at Conference Room A. These workshops are open to anyone age 11 and up. Minors will require a parent or guardian to be present. Arduino is an electronics kit that anyone can use. This workshop will teach the basics of Arduino. No previous knowledge is needed. Kits are provided for use during the program. 

1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
DIY VR Headset workshop invites up to seven students. Sign-up by the door at Conference Room A. Virtual Reality headsets are more accessible than you think!  Virtual Reality headsets are more accessible than you think! The workshop will help you build a VR Headset from super-simple cardboard pieces. All tools will be provided for use during the program. The only thing you need to bring is a smartphone!

1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
MAKING EXPO features interactive demos by Electronic Arts, LSU Digital Media Arts & Engineering program and makers from around the area.

Sunday, April 30 - The Louisiana Art & Science Museum, 100 River Road South

5:00 p.m.
HIGH VOLTAGE: A multimedia concert and light show is a highly charged concert of Experimental Music and Digital Media. Trans-media works delve into the intersection of technology and culture mixing live performers, interactive video and electronics, acoustic & electroacoustic instruments and technology – amplified to a higher plane featuring:

Griff Campbell performing the premier of “Lights Starkly Different” by composer Robin Heifetz featuring sonic artists Edgar Berdahl, Jesse Allison, Danny Holmes, Eric Sheffield, Anthony Marasco and Michael Blandino. 

Excite the SupraSpatializer, Grass-Electro, virtual doom and drone metal, an IR-Light-Read Record player and The Virtual Krewe of Vaporwave presenting Dick Joskey, Robot DJ.

To learn more about the Red Stick International Digital Festival, visit redstickfestival.org or follow the festival on Facebook and on Twitter at @RedStickFest.

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