Eric R. Williams
Eric R. Williams is a professor and new media storyteller. He is known for developing alternative ways to conceptualize and practice narrative and documentary techniques in the modern digital age.
Williams co-developed the concept of PRE-ality while working with emergency room doctors and physical therapists. PRE-ality (a portmanteau combining “prepare” and “reality”) uses virtual reality cinema to evoke an erroneous sense of déjà vu in the viewer to better prepare them for a reality they have yet to visit. This discovery led to the implementation of a first-of-its-kind virtual reality training experience for healthcare education.
Williams' narrative research emphasizes collaboration between storytellers and their audience. Williams developed two unique concepts – the triangle of knowledge and the screenwriters taxonomy – over the course of ten years, publishing books about both in 2017. The following year, Williams co-wrote and co-directed a feature-length narrative virtual reality project. The project has since been proven to increase cultural self-efficacy in the audience. Williams subsequently co-wrote a book explaining ways to use virtual reality cinema (cine-VR) to engage and influence the audience.
Williams earned his MFA in Film from Columbia University, directing the feature film Snakes and Arrows as his thesis. He later wrote a Columbo made-for-TV movie for Universal Studios and developed a pilot program for American Movie Classics called Don’t Try This At Home. By 2010, Williams had co-directed and co-produced two documentary television series (Redefining Appalachia and Guyana Pepperpot) as well as the documentary Breaking News (featuring Dianne Rehm, Walter Cronkite and Terry Anderson).
Starting in 2016, Williams began developing his virtual reality cinema techniques working at Ohio University’s Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) Lab, where he continues to collaborate on a wide variety to non-fiction and narrative-based projects.
Williams has written four books and three audiobooks on both traditional and new media storytelling: