Elijah Allan-Blitz, Californian VR pioneer
Having pursued teaching, acting, and touring the globe, this Santa Barbara native and Surf Air Member has become a prolific and innovative filmmaker in the emerging medium of VR. Here’s a brief take on his work and travels from the man himself.
How would you describe what you do?
The simplest way I’ve been able to describe it is that I direct virtual reality, create different pieces of content for different companies, mostly around mindfulness and trying to expand consciousness in some capacity.
How did you get into VR?
Once I started directing shorts, trailers, and teasers, and I got a job to work on a VR project in Haiti. I was helping to produce and direct it with a very small crew, and it had a snowball effect that really took off. It’s such a small field that one project leads to another, and once that started happening it led me into some very interesting places. Some of my projects are live action, some are animated incorporating motion capture, tackling subjects from poverty in America to making enlightenment scalable to the masses—that’s really the goal, to make experiences that uplift people.
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?”
What’s your preferred destination and why?
I grew up in Santa Barbara so I’ll always have a deep connection to it, but my favorite Surf Air city has to be Monterey. I love that I have access to Big Sur, and the fact that you can get there from LA in two hours? That’s incredible. In Monterey, I love everything from the little shops and restaurants to the ocean, the history, the freshness of the city that makes it feels like a little village—there’s so much magic.
But, I’m also starting to work with more and more people in Silicon Valley, and being able to meet people face to face for projects and come back the same day is key. It allows for this incredible cross-pollination that’s accelerating more and more.
What’s your favorite spot in California?
Of all the incredible, beautiful views and spots? I would say, the top of Gibraltar Rd. in Santa Barbara. You have this patch of pine trees where nothing else is growing, and you can look out over the whole city.
What does an average day travel day look like for you?
The real answer is that there’s no such thing. Every day is so different, and it’s all happening by the minute. So that’s something that Surf Air really allows for, to have such a fluid schedule and book 30 minutes in advance.
For instance, last week I went up to San Carlos for a meeting and heard about this incredible place in Los Gatos. I ended up going to this 3-Michelin star restaurant, staying the night, meeting up with a really close friend in San Francisco, and joining my mom who was in town for a dance competition. It was just this synchronistic two days where I could take advantage of the opportunities that arose and not say, “no, my flight takes off at X.”