This Spring we’ll be staging Where There’s Smoke workshops at Columbia University’s IPE day in collaboration with the Narrative Medicine Program and the School of the Arts. The workshops are part of a design and ideation process to explore how projects like Where There’s Smoke can become prototypes for empathy healing spaces that harness story, design, play and emergent technology.
We’re fielding offers to mount the full installation in Los Angles, London and Amsterdam. If you’re interested in hosting the installation please let us know. hello@smokeproject.co
Where There’s Smoke is currently being developed as a browser-based experience that includes a tool kit for building immersive learning & healing spaces.
We’re working on an art book that will feature a collection of my Dad’s fire slides. Pulled from thousands of fire slides shot between 1968 and 1988.
In addition to the immersive documentary side of the project, we’re developing a fictional film/TV series and YA novel based on true events.

Where There’s Smoke mixes live documentary, immersive theatre and an escape room to create an experience that explores memory and loss. Set within the aftermath of a blaze, participants race to determine the cause of a tragic fire by sifting through the charred remains.

“In 1983 our van burst into flames on a family vacation. Eleven months later our house would burn to the ground. As I explore my past I find mysterious connections to these blazes and come face to face with a closet full of skeletons. Inspired by true events in my life, Where There’s Smoke details the connections between two mysterious fires and my father’s battle with cancer.” – writer/director Lance Weiler

Where There’s Smoke named one of “Top 35 XR Installations Of 2019”

Where fine art has a longstanding ecosystem for critical discourse and exhibition and entertainment formats live on in easily accessible consumption pipelines, XR installations are both hard to produce and hard to communicate with audiences about. And yet—for those very reasons—this is arguably the category above all others that advances the creative language of the medium. XR installations redefine how we think about space, narrative, technology, and the relationship between creator and audience.”  – Forbes

Click here to see the full list.

Where There’s Smoke named one of “Best Shows & Experiences of 2019”

“It’s one thing to step into a typical fictional escape room about a heist or jailbreak, it’s another thing to step into an emotional escape room based upon someone’s actual life. Using real objects that survived a fire from his childhood (imbued with IoT tech), Lance Weiler’s Where There’s Smoke takes us into his personal history and the secrets his now-deceased father may have kept from the rest of the family. Was his father also an arsonist? Did he set fire to their childhood home? Deeply affecting and incredibly well-crafted, this powerful documentary-meets-installation interactive experience leaves a lasting mark.”

No Proscenium, Executive Editor: Kathyrn Yu

Where There’s Smoke staged its World Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival


“Over 100 movies screened at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, but one of its best offerings lets you walk inside the frame and experience a story from the inside out.” – IndieWire

“Yes, there’s technology — at the piece’s heart is Internet of Things tech — but the tech is sublimated here in service to Weiler’s very personal chronicling of his father’s life and the nature of their relationship. It’s a lovely piece and another must see.” – Filmmaker Magazine

Deeply affecting and incredibly well-crafted, this powerful documentary-meets-installation interactive experience leaves a lasting mark.…” – No Proscenium

“Absolute can’t-miss…” – Backstage 

“Tribeca Immersive 2019 Awesome List” – Forbes


Past work-in-progress installation




Where There’s Smoke is one of five finalists for the Future of Storytelling prize within the Innovation in Storytelling category.

Special work-in-progress installation Oct 3rd & Oct 4th – READ MORE

For over 20 years my father was a volunteer firefighter and amateur fire scene photographer. Where There's Smoke makes use of thousands of fire slides shot between 1968 and 1988.

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