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Jon Weinbren

Programme Director for Digital Media Arts
+44 (0)1483 684436
10A NC 01



I lead on the Digital Media Arts programme at the University of Surrey. Before this I setup and ran the Games Department at the National Film and Television School. My journey here has involved stints in both academia and industry, often simultaneously. I spent many years running my own independent studio and my experience covers film, broadcast television, animation, interactive/digital media, games, commercials, installation, performing arts and more. I've worked as a screenwriter, story editor, director/producer, animation and digital effects specialist, games designer/developer, performance director, copywriter, creative consultant, researcher and more.

My current areas of interest include: digital actor performance; emotion synthesis in computer animated characters; virtual cinematography; interactive narrative; digital and participatory theatre; and other spaces where the culture, practice and theory of film, animation, television, theatre, games and other artistic arenas collide and coalesce.

Research interests

Digital acting; emotion synthesis in animated characters; virtual cinematography; interactive cinema; emergent narrative; connectionism and interdisciplinarity.

Research collaborations

Currently working on Cinema/Plays/Games: an exploration of interdisciplinary practice within visual, performance and digital arts, with Dr Tim Marsh at Griffith University (Australia).


Visual Narrative Collaborations; Game Design; DMA Studio Project; DMA Final Major Project; PhD supervision in Digital Media Arts.

Departmental duties

Programme Director


Fellow of the Royals Society of Arts; Member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

My publications


• Weinbren J. 2017. Transience of Memory. Artist in Residence Workshop. Griffith Film School, Brisbane, Australia.• Weinbren J. 2016. Interplays and Mimetic Virtualities: Stage, Screen and Simulation.Joint Conference on Serious Games (JCSG 2016). Brisbane, Australia.• Marsh, T. & Weinbren J. 2018 (forthcoming). Cinema/Plays/Games. Ed Newton Lee. Springer.• Weinbren, J. 2015. An Avatar Prepares. In Current Challenges in Doctoral Theatre Research:7th International Conference of Doctoral Studies in Theatre Practice and Theory. Brno, Czech Republic.• Weinbren, J. 2015. Games with Meaning and Consequence. In: Digital Shoreditch 2015, London.• Metson, R & Weinbren J. 2014. Makes You Think: how games neglect to challenge social and political conventions. In The Computer Games Journal 3(2). Springer• Weinbren, J. 2012. Collisions and Confluences in Games, Cinema, Television and Beyond. In Brains Eden Conference at Anglia Ruskin University.• Weinbren J. 2012. Specialise or Generalise. In Develop Conference, Brighton.• Weinbren J. 2012. (Re)Coding: ICT in Schools. Panel Discussion Lead in BFI Media Conference: Creativity, Industry and Learning.• Weinbren J. 2010. Storytelling across platforms. Symposium keynote and breakout. Hosted in Bristol by South West Screen.• Weinbren J. 2008. This Time with Feeling. In AI and Non-Player Characters Symposium. EPSRC AI Games Network, University of Essex.• Weinbren J. 2007 (Curator/Convenor). Sense of Play 07. Conference on the Future of Games Design. Soho Theatre, London.• Weinbren J. 2006 (Curator/Convenor). Sense of Play 06. Conference on the Future of Games Design. Soho Theatre, London.• Weinbren J. 2006 (Curator/Convenor). Sense of Play 05. Conference on the Future of Games Design. Soho Theatre, London.• Weinbren, J. 2005. Snapshot: Gaming, Learning and Risky Challenges. In: 14-19: Transitions, Technology and Learning Conference Proceedings. Futurelab, Bristol.