Paisley Smith is a filmmaker and virtual reality creator from the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish First Nations, known as Vancouver, British Columbia.
Paisley received an MFA from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in Television and Film Production, and was awarded the Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation, the Tomlinson Holman Scholarship in Cinematic Arts from USC Lambda LGBT Association, and a Fulbright Scholarship. They are a Senior Civic Media Fellow at the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab.
Paisley began their career in innovation, worldbuilding, and virtual reality with Alex McDowell and Nonny de la Peña, pioneers of immersion and world design, respectively. Paisley is director of Unceded Territories with artist and activist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, and Homestay, produced by the National Film Board of Canada. Homestay is the recipient of 'Best XR' for Change at the Games for Change Festival 2019.
Paisley is certificatied as a digital well-being coach, which they are using to inform their work in immersive technologies. By combining their knowledge of digital well-being with their work in immersive technologies, Paisley directs more effective and responsible digital experiences for users.
Since 2020, Paisley has led the Unity for Humanity Program and community at Unity Technologies, focused on uplifting and supporting impact-driven creators. They lead a community of over 600 creators, which you can join here.
Recent Talks and Workshops:
Unity for Humanity Summit: "From imagining to creating better worlds in RT3D" with Kathryn Evans, Katerina Cizek, Binh Minh Herbst, Tony Patrick. Moderated by Paisley.
Unity for Humanity Summit: Art, activism, and RT3D for social justice with Tamara Shogaolu, Jonah Goldsaito, Katrina Goldsaito, and Meghna Singh. Moderated by Paisley.
MIT Open Documentary Lab "Hands on Story/UX Workshop by Paisley Smith" Nov. 11th 2022
XR Women: "Social Impact XR: Creation and Community" (Talk delivered in the Metaverse) May 25, 2022
Vancouver Mural Festival and Vancouver Public Library "Creating empathy in digital spaces (VR and more!)" Feb. 23rd 2022
Sundance Film Festival: Changing the World with Immersive Storytelling with Sparsh Ahuja Amelia Winger-Bearskin Antoine Cayrol, Jan. 27th 2022. Moderated by Paisley.
GoodCon LA: Purpose-Led Immersive with Tiffany Kieran and Christina Rosales and moderated by Bobby Jones, Dec. 16th 2022
GoodCon Australia: Masterclass on creating Immerisve work with Impact with Fuzzy Ghost (Pete Foley and Scott Ford) Oct. 6th 2022
SXSW: "Game Changers: Black & Indigenous Voices In Gaming" at SXSW with Erik Loyer Latoya Peterson Tanya DePass
Games for Change Unity for Humanity Changemakers Roundtable with Louis Weinstock, El Lim, and Paige Wood. Moderated by Paisley.
OpenCity Documentary Film Festival: "World Building for VR" September 13 2022