As technology continues to open up new possibilities for multi-sensory spectacles, more and more brands want to engage consumers with “immersive experiences.” That’s where META comes in: the “experience production company” represents an emerging group of creative technologists, or “experience directors,” who specialize in “the art of being there.”
It all began in 2005 when Justin Bolognino, META’s founder and CEO, was in Barcelona watching a video DJ act called Eclectic Method, who were DJing with DVD turntables. To Bolognino, this felt like the future, so he decided to represent Eclectic Method and introduce video DJing to brands in the United States.
The successful effort evolved into a promising business venture, and in 2011, Bolognino began signing other talent. In March 2016, Bolognino relaunched the evolved META with the talent as the engine. We spoke to him about META and the nature of experiences today and in the future.
The talent represented by META is unique. Could you explain how you decided to represent experiential directors?
We started off representing talents from beyond (META means beyond). The idea was that you’d never find our talent in house at an agency, you have to go beyond a typical agency to find talent that we would represent. The mission was to make stars out of creative technologists. My daughter isn’t going to grow up dreaming of being an electronic guitarist like I did, she’s going to grow up wanting to be a VR artist, or perhaps we can’t even conceive of the career what she’ll want.
The coolest artists in the world are the ones creating visual, interactive experiences, and we don’t have a name for them yet. There’s a huge industry out there to represent this space.
You’re essentially establishing new job roles within the world of creative technology—what’s to come?
My whole business model is about how I think there is a new rock star coming. Not yet, but coming. Chris Milk [founder of VR tech company Vrse] is teetering on it. But not many more. When my mum knows who Chris Milk is, that will be a defining moment.