Chief Creative Officer, Virtual Reality Creator, VR Pioneer

By: Columbia College Chicago Online News

MovieMaker Magazine recently called Dekker a “VR Pioneer”

Welcome back to Monday Hustle! This week features Dekker Dreyer, course author of Producing Augmented and Virtual Reality Experiences. When asked to describe what he does in three words, Dekker said “Create new worlds.”

Here’s what Dekker said when asked what he needs to start his Mondays off right:

“I’m not sure that my work week ever really stops, so Mondays always feel like the day that I start talking to other artists and collaborators again. It’s very cliche, but I need coffee to do that. I need at least two cups of very dark coffee to change my mindset from pure creativity, which is very introverted, to a collaborative mindset. I need that extra energy to be able to articulate myself to others.”

What is the last thing that inspired you?

I’m constantly inspired, but I was most recently inspired here in Los Angeles. I’m a night owl and I walk and several times a week I’ll drive around the city somewhere between midnight and five in the morning. It’s been colder than usual and there was a fog hanging over Hollywood. The way that it made the neon lights glow was mesmerizing.

What advice do you have for people pursuing a similar career?

Take in the details. Everything. Be meticulous in how you remember the kinds of plants you see growing on a hill or the shapes that form when sand is carved away by the sea. Think about the color of the light on the faces of strangers at a restaurant. Emotions are painted by the details of life. Learn to paint with those details.

What was your first “industry” job?

My first somewhat creative job was as a DJ, but the first job that I had that is directly applicable to what I’m doing now was as a photographer. I used to shoot touring bands for a variety of print and digital magazines.

When did your career start to seem possible?

I’m not sure that it does yet. The job market for artists and craftspeople is always in a state of flux. Even if you’re using technology and you’ve made a name for yourself you’re constantly in a process of reinvention. That’s why I’m a voracious learner. I never want a new medium or tool to pass me by so I’m always experimenting and getting that new work out to the public. In the world that we live in you have to be a life-long learner who loves what you’re doing.

When did you think, “ok I’m doing this.” What is your ultimate career aspiration?

It was 2001 and through a friend I’d been asked to direct a digital short to accompany the film Naqoyqatsi, the third film in the trilogy by Godfrey Reggio and Philip Glass. It was when digital content was something brand new and I was excited that Miramax had given me free reign to create something unique. That was when things changed for me. As for my ultimate aspiration, I don’t like to think in those terms. The world is changing, media is changing and I like to be able to change with it. Holding on to the idea of a specific title or role just doesn’t make sense. Instead I like to think in terms of what it is that I really do and how I can keep the spirit of that going. I use audio-visual language to convey complex emotional stories. Whether that’s VR, AR, television, gaming or something that hasn’t been invented yet I know that I’ll always be doing that.
To read more about Dekker Dreyer, check out his website.