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Dr Gianluca Balla
Senior Lecturer in Games Design (Art)


Dr Gianluca Balla is a Senior Lecturer in Game Art, Animation and Visual Effects at Brunel University London. With a background in Engineering (BA, MA) and extensive experience as a filmmaker, content producer and scriptwriter, he completed a Ph.D. in Production Technology and Practice at the University of York and founded two production companies. Balla wrote, produced, and directed several shorts which have been screened in international film festivals around the world. His digital works have been exhibited in London.

In 2018, the film 'Shelf Life' (commissioned by the EAD and financed by the AHRC) that Balla directed was shortlisted for the AHRC Research in Film Awards (RIFA) at BAFTA for its use of binaural audio and innovative sound design which allowed a visually impaired audience to identify the positions of characters and objects in space. In 2017, he was nominated as a member of the selection committee for the Fiction category of The Globe International Silent Film Festival.

Balla is proficient in various graphics software, programming languages and cloud technologies, and regularly provides consultancy sessions for universities, professionals, and companies in the creative industry. His commitment is in enhancing student employability in the technical field through inclusive teaching methods shaped by academic and industrial practice. Balla is engaged in interdisciplinary research at the intersection of Humanities and STEM.

The updated list of publications is on ORCID: 0000-0002-0954-8051


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, PgCAP - Brunel University London.
  • Ph.D. in Production Technology and Practice - University of York.
  • Architectural Engineering, BA and MA - Università di Roma Tor Vergata.
  • Erasmus programme, Architecture and Art - École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture Paris, La Villette.
  • AWS certified.
  • Italian Accredited Engineer.


Investigating Officer for Academic Misconduct.

Newest selected publications

Balla, G. (2023) 'Adapting visual references in concept art for films and video games in design uncanny monsters'. Journal of Adaptation in Film & Performance, 16 (1). pp. 133 - 145. ISSN: 1753-6421

Journal article

'The Digital Painting Time Lapse Video as a Digital Performance (Artwork)'. (2022) Stanley Picker Gallery.


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 Open Access Link

Journal article

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

Balla, G. (2018) 'The Director’s Method in Contemporary Visual Effects Film: The Influence of Digital Effects on Film Directing'. PhD Thesis.

Thesis dissertation
More publications(11)