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Dr Gianluca Balla

Dr Gianluca Balla
Senior Lecturer in Games Design (Art)


Gianluca Balla is an academic in Games Art, Animation and Visual Effects, and a transmedia content producer and writer. He is an expert in producing entertainment in different media and connecting them to build up engaging narratives. His experience in various roles and media gave him confidence in intellectualising how to create impactful storytelling for different audiences.

Gianluca completed a Ph.D. in film directing and visual effects at the University of York and he is the founder of the production companies Whip Ma Whop Ma Film and Transmedia Tale. He wrote, produced, and directed several shorts which have been screened in various International Film Festivals around the world. His comics are distributed by ComiXology.

In 2018, the film 'Shelf Life' which he directed was shortlisted for the AHRC Research in Film Awards at BAFTA for its use of binaural audio which allows to identify the positions of characters and objects in space. The film was designed for a visually impaired audience and involved innovative sound design techniques and a first-person narration for accessibility. Gianluca has been a member of the selection committee for the Fiction category of The Globe International Silent Film Festival 2017.

Gianluca is currently producing web-series, games, and comics for the 'A Monster Lass' project and writing his first novel. In November 2021, he started The Drawnbridge, a YouTube and Twitch channel on Game Art. In his spare time, Gianluca enjoys composing ambient music and producing concept art and digital paintings. He also provides consultancy for the creative industries.


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, PgCAP - Brunel University London
  • Ph.D. in Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media: Film Production Technology and Practice - University of York
  • Architectural Engineering, BA and MA combined - Università di Roma Tor Vergata
  • Erasmus programme, Architecture and Art - École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture Paris, La Villette


Investigation Officer for Academic Misconduct

Newest selected publications

Balla, G. (2020) 'Produzione, finanziamento e distribuzione del videogioco in Italia: lo stato dell'industria nel quinquennio 2015-2019', in Carbone, MB. and Fassone, R. (eds.) Il Videogioco in Italia: Storie, Rappresentazioni, Contesti. Sesto San Giovanni : Mimesis. ISBN 10: 8857552225. ISBN 13: 978-8857552224.

Book chapter

Lopez, M., Kearney, G., Hofstädter, K. and Balla, G. (2020) 'Enhancing audio description: accessible filmmaking, sound design and the importance of educating filmmakers'. Media Practice and Education, 21 (4). pp. 289 - 304. ISSN: 2574-1136

Journal article
More publications(2)