diametervision

CREATIVE COMPANY

The cultural convergence of humanizing technologies and multidimensional narratives in our physical space can add significance and inspire change rapidly, constantly and personally ←diametervision provides creative company and liaison for strategic interactive design foundations in challenging experiential exploration

Lara Sasaran provides Creative Company to a diverse set of clients on a wide spectrum of technically creative initiatives. While she has a reputation for being a connector and a passion for working in emerging technology within the entertainment industry, she loves getting approached for and seeking out non-profit gigs that allow personal growth, contribute to the progress of our human connection, and provide opportunity to diversify through cultural explorations. Testimonials

Lara is currently the Creative Director of the Alexa Engine Team at Amazon, establishing a design team to develop Alexa across platforms and lead the evolution of dialog interaction and fullfillment. She is excited to help Alexa become more "alive" by ensuring that users feel comfortable, recognized, and happy with every interaction, pushing Alexa to never stop her learning process and meet the expectations of each user by building trust, empathy, and establishing a social conscience.

Prior to Amazon, Lara was messing with reality as a Principal Creative Director for the HoloLens at Microsoft's Worldwide Holographic Studios. She shepherds and keeps a keen focus on deep versus shallow transformative experiences by clarifying, shaping, and pioneering the vision of Mixed Reality storytelling applications for Premier Enterprise Clients across the globe. Along with the greater creative leadership team, Lara aligns expectations and deliverables to position our studios as tastemakers of holographic experiences within the industry, creating precedent for this new interactive paradigm.

Diametervision client shout-outs: Sasaran was a Set Mentor for Ghetto Film School, LA students shooting viral content for Outcast, a new 2016 FOX series by Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead. She volunteered Creative Direction and UX studies for the The Disaster Accountability Project in Boston. Sasaran worked in the The Walt Disney Studios' Technology Strategy & Innovation team which was an R&D environment focusing on the future of film distributon technologies. Also for the Walt Disney Company, Sasaran curated and produced an event for Disney focusing on technology innovation across the Disney Studios and Companies. She identified topics and persons for panel discussions, identified technologies to be displayed in the exhibition space, and designed the branding, print material, and mobile accompaniment around the event. As a guest of the US Consulate in South Africa, she presented to students at Pretoria University's Mae Jemison Science Lab on science and technology's insurgence into creative media. The presentation included contributions of global influencers in the Design, Technology, Film, Broadcast, and Physics industries. Also while in Africa, Sasaran mentored to a group of film students from The Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking in Johannesburg on their final thesis, consulted to the US Embassy in Pretoria on social media and youth strategy in emerging markets, and assisted in formulating a lesson plan for an upcoming class with a local design professor in Pretoria on the connection between design, technology, and social techniques. In the winter of 2013, Sasaran worked as a creative technology volunteer in Argentina as well as accomplished a long-time personal goal by hiking the famous Torres Del Paine in Patagonia.

For ESPN, Sasaran led various teams that had executed editorial, original programming, music integration, dynamic fan applications, photography direction, sports marketing digital experiences, Insider, Premium Products, and Design Production. She produced digital integrations for some top tier brands such as all the Olympics packages, ESPN Films, 30 for 30, College GameDay, The ESPYS, EA Madden Cover Vote, Action Sports, Outside the Lines, E:60, ESPNW, Mayne Street, and Monday Night Football. She produced a short-form documentary with Iron Bound Films for the Beijing Olympic Games on coach James Li and his first return home since his departure during China's Cultural Revolution. Sasaran believes that the cultural convergence of merging technologies and narratives can influence and inspire people to change rapidly, constantly, and personally.

During her seven years at ESPN, she was invited to be a guest studio presenter and guest critic at the Rhode Island School of Design. Sasaran also presented an overview on ESPN's identity, culture, and programming at Walt Disney Animation Studios and produced, with Creative Executive Bryan Davidson, an associated daylong series of presentations and discussions with the heads of the studio to start a dialog for future collaboration. To curate events via a structured experience and to make connections that yield new ideas are of great interest to her. She partnered with the Walt Disney Imagineers Connected Experiences Team on a new gaming concept for parks focused on sport and fitness. Shortly after, she and a Disney colleague established an Emerging Technology Community, which partnered all the Disney Companies to help foster synergistic and collaborative opportunities while reducing redundant creative technology research. In 2013, Sasaran was a guest at CERN in Geneva Switzerland for their first Hangout of that year titled: Mouse Smashes Mammoth. This visit led to a partnership that resulted in collaborations across Disney and ESPN of CERN/ATLAS public outreach physicist, Steven Goldfarb.

For three years at Lockheed Martin, Sasaran was the Multimedia Art Director for IS&S and a Multimedia Design Engineer for the Visualization and Simulation team at Aeronautics' Skunk Works. These both allowed her experience in thriving, think-tank types of environments where 3D product innovation, script/storyboard development, design, SFX/rendering techniques, experimental film production, virtual worlds, exhibit design, business, and science all merge. Consideration of our physical space and multidimensional axes have always been a common theme of approach to her work.

Ghetto Film School Mentor
diametervision

On-set mentor to GFS LA students shooting viral content for a new 2016 FOX series by Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead.

Best of Disney Event
diametervision, Walt Disney

Curated content for and produced a corporate-wide event showcasing the 'Best of Disney Innovation' within all of our companies including Walt Disney Studios, ESPN, ABC, Animation Studios, Pixar, ILM, Marvel, Parks and Resorts, Imagineering, Disney Research, Disney Technology Services, Music across the companies, educational innovation, and our innovative outreach into the world of preservation of art in connection with the Getty. Event included an exhibition and multiple panels throughout the day on the diversity of forms innovation can be sought. Reviews

CERN Partnership
ESPN

Host to CERN at ESPN and invited guest at CERN in Geneva and guest on a "Hangout" with CERN. Produced series of talks to various technology groups as well as liaised multiple partnerships between various Disney organizations and CERN.

Emerging Technology Community
ESPN, diametervision, Walt Disney Studios

Established an Emerging Technology Community to help foster synergistic and collaborative opportunities, knowledge sharing, and technologies of possible interest to the various R&D teams across all the Disney Companies and Studios.

Walt Disney Animation Studios Partnership
ESPN, Walt Disney Animation

Interactive and Beyond, Part I: Animation's Creative Storytelling Process by Bryan Davidson, Creative Executive presented at ESPN. Interactive and Beyond, Part II: The ESPN Creative Storytelling Process presented at Animation Studios.

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
Guest Critic

Interactive Text - Digital Media Final Presentations invited by Professor Oren Sherman

Guest Critic

Personality Disorders and the Artists - Illustration Midterm Presentations invited by Professor Rafael Attias

RISD + ESPN Corporate Studio Partnership
Partnership Co-Lecturer

Original Content and the Creative Process - Presented to an interdisciplinary studio class with Bryan Davidson, Creative Executive from Disney Feature Animation

Partnership Critic

The ESPN+RISD multidisciplinary studio class final presentations to ESPN business products

Partnership Leader

Established a multidisciplinary studio class with other ESPN design leaders and RISD partners investigating and redefining the concept of "Fandom".

Title IX 40th Anniversary
ESPN, ESPNW

Provided Creative Direction, UX Direction/Development, and cross-platform branding solutions for the 40th anniversary of Title IX in conjunction with ESPNW.

Stanford University Hack Day for Women
ESPNW

An event for women who code! Held at Stanford University's Thomas F. Peterson Engineering Lab: ESPN Design/UX Mentor and Lab Assistant to all the competing teams of developers and designers. Judged by editorial/product development leaders from ESPN as well as female technology leads from Facebook, Twitter, and Stanford University.

Walt Disney Imagineering
ESPN, diametervision, Walt Disney Imagineering

Guest to Imagineers within the R&D's Connected Experiences Team on a new mobile fitness gaming concept for Disney parks.

30 for 30 Documentary Series
ESPN

Produced the digital and branded integration for the first, second, and third packages of the award-winning 30 for 30 documentary film series. Worked closely with Executive Producers and all Directors to extend storytelling into digital space.

Levo League
diametervision, Levo League

Guest writer.

TEDWomen Event
ESPN

Organized and hosted the webcast at ESPN for the first-ever TEDWomen event in 2010.

Mayne Street
ESPN

Branded, Scripted, and directed, on set with P3 Entertainment, ESPN's Mayne Street talent for interactive digital SFX: Kenny Mayne, Alison Becker, Jon Glaser, Christopher Smith.

College GameDay
ESPN

Scripted and directed, on location with Radical Media, ESPN talent for interactive digital SFX: Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, and Desmond Howard. Led creative innovation for over four years of this brand.

Olympic Games Coverage Innovation for 7 Years
ESPN

Provided creative leadership/pushed interactive boundaries for all Olympics packages. Produced a documentary with Iron Bound Films for the 2008 Beijing games on Coach James Li and his first return home to China since the Cultural Revolution.

Special Investigatory Journalism Innovation for 7 Years
ESPN

Provided creative leadership to special projects originally known as ESPN online E-Tickets, now known as the brand Outside the Lines and its broadcast partner, E:60. I was the first creative to have a winning Sports Emmy in 2007 for any online package at ESPN. I went on to win three and to be nominated for five Emmys over the span of only six years. Before our third win, I was affectionately introduced as the "Emmy-Whisperer".

Voice and Other Direction
Lockheed Martin, ESPN

I have scripted and directed, in sound and live-set studio environments, many actors and voice actors for animated characters as well as narrated voiceovers for many products. I also have experience directing in post-production and SFX environments for non-feature length pieces.

Exhibit Design and Experiential Interaction
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

I led multiple tradeshow designs for Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works. Some include AUVSI, Shepards, and Blackhat Reviews. In addition to most of the designed pieces, I created the architecture for the space itself using illustrator and then detailed in 3D. Then I worked with our production designers to produce the pieces by creating mock spaces in our air hangars. Our team then designed integrated interactive pieces and projections that we planned in the space as well as printed artwork to immerse our visitors in the Skunk Work's world.

Sports EMMY Awards
Wins (3)

2009 - ESPN Original Digital: Superbowl MVPs
2007 - ESPN E-Ticket: Death Race - Flash
2006 - ESPN E-Ticket: The Real Frozen Tundra

Nominations (6)

2009 - ESPN Outside the Lines: Sincerely Lou
2008 - ESPN Outside the Lines: YouTube Baby
2008 - ESPN Original Digital: Mayne Street
2007 - ESPN E-Ticket: An UnAmerican Tragedy
2007 - ESPN E-Ticket: Don't be like Mike
2006 - ESPN E-Ticket: Love at First BEEP

WEBBY Awards
Wins (2)

2009, 2012 - ESPN.com: Best Sports Website

Nomination (1)

2015 - Walt Disney Studios: Disneymoviesanywhere.com

People's Voice Awards (4)

2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 - ESPN.com: Best Sports Website

Award Honoree (1)

2009 - ESPN Original Digital: Mayne Street

New York Press Photographers Association Award
Sports Picture Story of the Year:

2007 - ESPN E-Ticket: Haunted by the Horns

Military Reporters and Editors Annual Journalism Award
First Place in Online Category for Multimedia Presentation:

2007 - ESPN E-Ticket: An Un-American Tragedy

Silver Mark Award
Best Program Promotion and Tune-in Website:

2009 - ESPN Collegegameday.com

Lockheed Martin Awards
Spot Awards (4)

2003, 2004, 2005 - Leadership
2004 - Creative Leadership in Exhibition Design

Special Recognition Awards (2)

2003, 2005 - Team Accomplishment

Sasaran began in the International Relations Honors Department at Drexel University in which she studied philosophy, ethics, literature, and politics. Her electives soon had the themes of journalsim and mass media in which she discovered the musicality of language poetry and literary approaches of Gonzo journalism. Engaged and awoken with the editorial imagery of Ralph Steadman, the visual musicality of Darren Aronofsky's film Pi, and the biased words of Hunter S. Thompson - the final tuning came as she focused on Visual Communication - studying deisgn, interactivity, physical and virtual 3D space, and film production. In 2010, ESPN sent her to UCLA's Professional Program in Producing as she started to realize a passion for sheltering and grooming the creative integrity of a story in all its designed releases.

Producers Program (Cert.)
UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television

2010 - Professional Producers Program

Visual Communications (B.S.) and Interactive Digital Media (Minor)
Drexel University

2002 - Majored in Visual Communications with an emphasis on Mass Media and minored in Interactive Digital Media with an emphasis on the 3D space and interactive programming.

Independent Coursework via Coursera
University of San Diego

2015/6 - User Experience: Research & Prototyping

University of California, Irvine

2015 - Essentials of Entrepreneurship: Thinking & Action

University of Pennsylvania

2014 - Gamification

Stanford University

2012 - Game Theory
2014 - Human-Computer Interaction

University of Michigan

2012 - Complex Systems: Model Thinking
2013 - Fantasy and Science Fiction
2015/6 - Programming, Python

Languages
Conversational German

Studied German for over 10 years and an AFS Honors Exchange student abroad in Hoechstadt, Germany.

Interactive Computer Languages

HTML(+), CSS(+), XML, JQuery, JavaScript, ActionScript, mobile/responsive/app development, dynamic applications, etc...

VFX, Video, Imaging Languages

Flash, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Final Cut, Premier, Pro Tools, MAYA, 3DMax, Cult3D, Flame, InDesign, etc...

Currently Playing with:

Unity, Python