Creator and Director: Daniele Bartolini, Produced by Daniele Bartolini, DopoLavor Teatrale (DLT), Stazione Utopia
Presented Sep 15 - 21, 2020 Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Summary of Project:
Single audience immersive theatre experience. VR prelude to evoke the “near sleep” state of mind followed by the audience member being cast as the director on a film shoot working with two actors and an intimacy coordinator and PA.
Description of User Experience:
The audience member starts out invited to sit in a chair and wear the VR headset. The VR segment provides prologue information to establish the user’s connection to the director character they will be playing in the rest of the piece.
The participant is instructed to remove the VR headset, and they are presented with a set full of actors who present what they have been directed to do by the participant.
How Traditional Theatre Techniques Have Been Incorporated:
The VR headset was used as a kind of theatrical curtain. Actors came into the live space while the participant was wearing the headset and viewing the VR content, and when the participant took the headset off, a new theatrical world was activated.
Identified “Best Practices” for Mixed Reality Production:
- Third-party applications are often much cheaper than developing new bespoke apps, but using them means you are at the mercy of the companies who are developing them.
- When dealing with third-party content management applications, many of the preferred companies pivoted in such a way that made their products unusable for the needs of this project. Vimeo, for example, no longer supported the Occulus Go. Pixvana was no longer available at all. Expo Player helped solve the challenge of moving video content between Toronto and Italy from recording, editing and installation onto VR headsets.
- It is recommended that artists do not accept work on site-specific shows when they do not have access to the site. Site-specific work requires a level of collaboration and intimacy with the environment that requires collaborators to be in the site together.
Tips & Tricks:
- Downloading the videos onto the headsets rather than streaming them addressed concerns over the strength of the wi-fi at the chosen location for this site-specific work.
- Six headsets were rotated, charged, and cleaned using CleanBox between guests, so as to abide by COVID-19 safety regulations.