Jon Weinbren

Jon Weinbren

Programme Director for Film, Animation and Digital Arts
+44 (0)1483 684436
10A NC 01

Academic and research departments

Digital media arts research.



I am the founder and director of the Centre for Creative Arts and Technologies and work with the Digital Media Arts team here 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).


Programme Director, MA Film, Animation and Digital Arts; Visual Narrative Collaborations; Game Design; DMA Studio Project; DMA Final Major Project; PhD supervision in Digital Media Arts.

Departmental duties

Programme Director, MA Film, Animation and Digital Arts


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


  • Weinbren, J. (2020) ‘(Re)Animating Stanislavsky: realizing aliveness in the virtual actor’, Stanislavski Studies, 8(1), pp. 123–142.
  • Fish, E., Weinbren, J. and Gilbert, A. (2020) ‘Rethinking movie genre classification with fine-grained semantic clustering’, ArXiv 
  • 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.