Not long ago we were spectators, passive consumers of mass media. Now, on YouTube, blogs, Facebook and Twitter, we are media. While we watch more television than ever before, how we watch it is changing in ways we have barely slowed down to register. No longer content in our traditional role as couch potatoes, we approach television shows, films, even advertising as invitations to participate-as experiences to immerse ourselves in at will. In this field guide to the visionaries-and the fans-who are reinventing the art of storytelling, Frank Rose introduces us to people like Will Wright (The Sims), James Cameron (Avatar), Damon Lindelof (Lost) and dozens of others whose ideas are changing how we play, how we relax and even how we think. The Art of Immersion is an eye-opening look at the shifting shape of entertainment today.
Frank Rose is the author most recently of The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Tell Stories, published earlier this year in the U.S. and the U.K. by W.W. Norton. As a contributing editor at Wired, he has written extensively about the impact of technology on media and entertainment, covering such topics as the making of Avatar, the Year Zero alternate reality game, and the posthumous career of Philip K. Dick in Hollywood. He also contributes to Wired's Epicenter blog, the Tribeca Film Festival's Future of Film blog, and his own Deep Media blog. He has been a featured speaker at conferences ranging from the Guardian's Changing Media Summit in London to TEDx Transmedia in Rome, and he has participated in debates about the future of media at South by Southwest, the Cannes Film Festival, the Ars Electronica festival, and numerous other venues. He has lectured at several universities, including the Columbia Business School, the Columbia Journalism School, the NYU Graduate School of Journalism, and the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Before joining Wired in 1999, Frank worked as a contributing writer at Fortune, where he focused on the rise and fall of global media conglomerates like Disney, Time Warner, and Vivendi. As a contributing editor at Esquire in the '80s, he documented the tribal rites of subcultures ranging from New Wave in New York to entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, New York magazine, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and the Village Voice, where he got his start covering the punk scene at CBGB in the 70s. His 1989 best-seller West of Eden, about the ouster of Steve Jobs from Apple, was named one of the ten best business books of the year by BusinessWeek and has recently been republished in an updated edition. He is also the author of The Agency, an unauthorized history of the oldest and at one time most successful talent agency in Hollywood.