Elijah Allan-Blitz is a next-level immersive storyteller, VR director, musician, and actor.
In The News
When Amelie Diamant-Holmstrom watched the virtual-reality piece for the first time, this summer, she had no idea what to expect, says Elijah Allan-Blitz. Her reaction, as can be seen in the video here, was one of awe. And that kind of reaction, he adds, is “what this [VR] stuff was meant for.”
“I’m interested in using VR to educate, to raise awareness, to use this incredibly powerful technology as a force for good.”
“You hear the survivors’ real voices recalling the experience … as you go through the VR experience with them”
“We have this technology, so why don’t we use it to help as many people as possible, at as grand a scale as possible?”
More About Elijah
Elijah is one of the first virtual reality (VR) directors for TIME. His debut is a moving VR experience about the holocaust, created as a companion piece for the Ken Burns PBS documentary, Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War. The Burns film premiered on PBS on September 20, 2016, and Elijah’s VR experience debuted simultaneously with the launch of Time’s new platform, LIFE VR, and was also promoted through PBS.
Through the creative use of immersive VR technology in Defying the Nazis VR, Elijah recreated the sea voyage from Portugal to the United States in 1940 where 27 children left their parents, fleeing from the Nazis. Through VR, viewers actually feel the emotion of coming into New York harbor and seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time. The experience is narrated by the actual survivors, audio taken from the Burns film. Defying the Nazis VR was produced in association with VR Playhouse.
Elijah has also worked on VR projects with other news outlets, and is currently producing a VR project that explores the injustice of the U.S. prison system.
Elijah is not new to the world of storytelling and entertainment. After catching the acting and directing bug at the tender age of five, appearing on stage in school plays and directing and writing music for homemade films with his brothers, Elijah landed his first television role at age 15, then decided to challenge himself in other ways.
Upon leaving school, Elijah spent several years teaching children in kindergarten, first grade and junior high, before exploring a new medium for storytelling–music. He travelled around the globe, touring in Japan and Europe before returning to the U.S., drawn back to his first love, acting, and the satisfaction he received from playing different roles and becoming new characters. In a few short years, Elijah amassed a handful of credits in indie films and a television role, but as is his nature, he soon set off to find another way to share stories with his audience.
“To me, the director is the ultimate storyteller. We now have the power to completely immerse audiences in an experience and digitally stir emotions, why not choose empathy, compassion, understanding or love?” Elijah shares. “Our tools are evolving exponentially but our minds are on a linear trajectory, so it seems an important next step to digitize our awareness and use technology to elevate our consciousness.”
Elijah is 29 years old and lives in Los Angeles.