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  • Writer's pictureStory Xperiential

X in a Box Launches Story Xperiential, the First in a New Series of Project-Based Virtual Apprentice

Thousands of Participants Around the Globe Completed the Story Xperiential Pilot Program and Created Story Reels Using the Pixar Approach

BERKELEY, CA – March 6, 2023 – X in a Box, the experiential learning company that prepares learners for the careers of tomorrow, today announced the official launch of Story Xperiential, a project-based virtual apprenticeship where experts from studios like Pixar and Netflix share their insights on the art of storytelling. Story Xperiential is the first in a series of programs that leverages a unique combination of industry professional instructors, peer feedback, and on-demand flexibility to guide participants through a project from start to finish. The content and format for Story Xperiential were created by Elyse Klaidman, Tony DeRose, and Brit Cruise, who founded Pixar in a Box. All three have extensive experience in film and education; Klaidman and DeRose each spent more than twenty years at Pixar, and Cruise developed award-winning content at Khan Academy.

“For a long time, we’ve known that education has fallen short in preparing students for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Elyse Klaidman, Co-founder and CEO of X in a Box. “With college tuition and loans becoming more unattainable for many families, students are turning to alternative programs to launch their careers. That means demand for high quality, affordable, project-based virtual apprenticeships is at an all-time high. In the time that Story Xperiential has been available to adult learners, we’ve seen doors open for participants who have completed our course and developed a portfolio piece. And while the program has obvious advantages for students, companies will be the ultimate beneficiaries of exceptional, well-prepared talent.”

Story Xperiential’s pilot with Pixar launched in 2021, and thousands of youth and adult learners in 51 countries have since completed the program. Story Xperiential consists of eight self-paced steps that take about 40 hours to complete. Industry experts who have worked at leading film studios including Pixar, Blue Sky Studios, Dreamworks, Netflix, Baobab Studios, and Locksmith Animation host weekly live-streamed sessions where they introduce new material and share insights into their profession and career path. Students then complete the assignment at their own pace, uploading it to the portal in order to receive feedback from their peers. At the end of the project, completed story reels are showcased in an online exhibition that is made available to the public.

“When we created Pixar in a Box in collaboration with Khan Academy back in 2015, our goal was to give students a window into the world of Pixar animation,” said Brit Cruise, co-founder of X in a Box. “With Story Xperiential, we now have a program that gives anyone, from anywhere, the opportunity to ‘walk through the door’ and learn from the best storytellers in the business. That accessibility is truly a game-changer for our participants, and that’s why we see our model as akin to a virtual apprenticeship.”

“Story Xperiential is the next evolution of online learning,” said Tony DeRose, co-founder of X in a Box. “We’ve built a platform that teaches the art of storytelling – at scale – in a hands-on, collaborative way. By placing the cohort at the center of the experience and harnessing the power of peer feedback, participants reap the benefits of a vibrant and supportive community of learners. This is what sets Story Xperiential apart, and it’s led to our 85% completion rate over the past year.”

Story Xperiential is currently accepting both youth (13-18 years old) and adult (18+ years old) participants for its Spring 2023 cohorts. No application or previous experience is required, and the program can be completed from anywhere. To join, please visit

About X in a Box

X in a Box uses experiential learning to provide students with practical, real-world knowledge and connect their interests to potential careers – while ensuring that companies have the talent to carry them into the future. Founded by former Pixar and Khan Academy employees, X in a Box hosts a project-based virtual apprenticeship, Story Xperiential, and provides consulting services to major brands including Adobe and Epic Games. X in a Box is committed to educational equity and makes its content accessible to students from all economic backgrounds. To learn more, visit


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