web - Producing the Immersive – FACT 2024 Symposium
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Stories & Ideas

Tue 27 Feb 2024

Producing the Immersive – FACT 2024 Symposium

Exhibition Immersive technologies Industry
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Your museum of screen culture

Explore how storytelling, world-building and new technologies combine to create new opportunities and challenges for creators and makers.

'Immersive’ has become the descriptor-de-jour in the presentation of cultural experiences. Yet what it is applied to can range enormously: from a single linear large video screen to a live action role play experience, a theatre production, or VR headset experience, or just good storytelling that sees an audience lose track of time. In this session we get into the nuts and bolts of how storytelling, world-building and new technologies combine to create new opportunities – and a host of new challenges – for creators and makers.


Keri Elmsly (ACMI), Matthew Lutton (Malthouse Theatre), Trent Clews de Castella (PHORIA)

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Watch the video with graphic notations by Jessamy Gee

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All right, good morning everyone. Welcome to ACMI. My name is Keri Elmsly, I'm ACMI's Executive Director of Programming and I'm delighted to welcome you all to day two of the Future of Arts, Culture and Technology Symposium, also known as FACT 2024. I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land and waterways of Greater Melbourne, the people of the Kulin Nation and recognise that ACMI is located on the lands of the Wurundjeri people. I also pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging and warmly acknowledge any elders who have joined us here today. I'd also like to acknowledge the members of the ACMI Board in attendance and our Director and CEO Seb Chan who founded this symposium and the many of you, the leaders of the creative industries who are joining us here today and contributing your time and your energy towards what we're trying to explore here. We're really grateful to everyone who's been involved in the development and delivery of FACT 2024 and the symposium is presented with Creative Australia and proudly supported by Creative Victoria, Bloomberg, Monash University and RMIT University ACMI's major research partner. So yesterday was a vibe. I really felt a lot, you know, I really appreciate how everyone stayed in the room, stayed with the speakers and the conversations that came out of that day and it was good to see everyone just being together and convening. So thank you. You know, we began with Seb starting us with some provocations and then we moved on to, you know, the cogent discussion on the impact of artificial intelligence and what it's having on our creative industries but also you can't escape it day to day. It's in every newsfeed and every single question that sort of faces us now and with our kids too and our elders. We also looked at the role creative industries can play in helping communities adjust to a zero carbon culture and we talked about the innovative ways creative practitioners are using games to help us explore new ways of thinking. And what I took from that session is the borderless and boundary-ness nature of creative practice is the need to not be described as an artist or a game maker or a designer and that when we're working with practitioners that it's not on us to describe their role. Actually it's on them. And I think when we remove those boundaries sometimes we can really help bring more things together from other disciplines. We've discussed how institutions are using the same technologies in different ways to increase access to their collections and archives and we've reflected on some of the new cultural forms that could exist in the year 2050. So hopefully you were able to wrap your day with a visit to Marshmallow Laser Feast works of nature and hopefully a meditation in the cinema really worked for you. Thank you for doing that and joining us. And for the drinks at Cameo and all the connections and people you met during the afternoon. And we're going to have a party after party if you had one. So hopefully you're not feeling too terrible today. I am feeling great. We have a jam packed program on day two and we're really hoping that you're going to leave today with maybe a different ambition for yourselves than you arrived with or a different ambition for your organisation and that you don't feel alone in this curiosity and these challenges. So I hope you get a sense of how you might tackle the challenges ahead and feel more confident in doing so and know that the people in this room are a support network for those conversations and making that change. So please feel free to exchange details with people, be proactive about approaching people you think are awesome and keep this conversation going because we're going to keep it going but we can't keep it going without you and we need other people to step into that change together with us. Okay, housekeeping, this is the fun bit. Between 11 and 4 today in Cameo we really encourage you to visit the showcase which is located just on the right of the cafe. So if you're queuing for coffee or food just step in and go check it out. There are two QR codes appearing on our screens. One takes you to the live stream of the graphic recordings that the awesome Melbourne artist Jessamy Gee is making. Did you see them yesterday? Incredible how she can convert so much information into actually something quite articulate and succinct and beautiful. The other QR code connects you to the Slido platform where you can submit questions for our speakers and panelists today. And you can submit them anonymously if you like so be unafraid to say what you think. I guess comments maybe not but questions are always good if you know the difference. And don't forget to show your delegate pass at the ACMI Cafe where you receive a discount on food and drink. And I just want to remind us all that a museum is as Seb said a communication and translation medium and a place of trust. But a museum is about more than exhibitions. A museum is about a place of convening. A museum is about experimentation. A museum is about respect of knowledge and transmission of knowledge in a way that is both careful but also playful and exploratory. We are a museum of screen culture and with that it's important that we move at the pace of screen culture which is why it's so important we have a film program. It's why it's so important we have a creative residency and incubator space and we have such incredible practitioners in a sort of organically self-controlled knowledge exchange. And the people who are part of ACMI X are tremendous Victorian practitioners who constantly surprise me about how much they create and the ways they help each other without having to have a formal acceleration program. So I'm really proud of what ACMI X has achieved in the last few years. So I encourage us all to think about our organisations as a whole ecosystem and we have a tendency to focus on things that might be bigger or noisier but when we think about the whole picture we can probably tell a more compelling story to our audiences and to our stakeholders. I nearly said shareholders, I wish maybe we don't have those. So just think about the whole of what you are and who you're with because surely there's a lot more there than sometimes we end up focusing on. And with that, thank you for joining us today and I'd like to introduce our first session, Producing the Immersive, which has me in it. And we'll be examining how storytelling, world building and new technologies can be combined to create new opportunities. And I'd like to welcome my fellow speakers, artistic director and co-CEO of the Malthouse Theatre Matthew Lutton and co-founder and CEO of Phoria Trent Clews de Castella. Please give them a welcome. Hello. I already said hello but I hope you're feeling okay and really the biggest sort of thing we want to start off with is thank you for caring. Thank you for creating a caring environment for each other here and thank you for caring about culture and the arts because I've spent my career and my life being a fan of it and working in it and I really hope that we can continue with fortitude to keep it an important part of everyone's lives. So with that, I'm going to press the button and see if it works. Yay. All right. So this panel is called Producing the Immersive and I can, you feel free to eye roll. It's okay. The word is kind of hard for a lot of people but it's also everywhere and there's no really one clear descriptor. So what we're going to do today is use the experience of these wonderful humans who work around and within the word immersive in their practice and sort of set up how we might all embrace that this is a mainstream thing and audience love it but we don't really know what it is. So let's work on that. Okay. So we're going to think about where we are now and then we're going to talk about how this all comes together and has come together through your careers and practices and through the last two decades. We're going to think about how audiences behave and what audiences want and need. We're going to talk about some sacrifices because nothing good gets made without sacrifice. And then we're going to talk about the win-wins for everyone and we're really hoping that you can come away thinking about what those wins are for you. All right. So immersive is not new. This is an amphitheatre from the fifth century BC. This is a sphere. 2023, Vegas, the largest immersive venue ever made actually modeled on Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and uncannily like the amphitheatre in Greece. So I think what I wanted to say is that this is not new. And I think we have always immersed ourselves. I would encourage us to think about immersive in the broadest possible sense for today. It's mainstream. And I really love the article, have we reached peak immersive? Well, no, because it won't go away. And what's even better for everybody else is that you can use the word liberally and it can mean pretty much any form of show making, art making, theatre making. And why not alter people's expectations beyond the rectangle? I mean, you can see that Sphere has become the latest because it's the biggest. It's made for 22,000 people. Full confession, I was the Senior Vice President of Sphere Studios before I joined ACME. Then of course, you look at the success of Meow Wolf in America and the incredible rise that they came, but that comes with a huge amount of capital. I mean, it's been published that the Sphere was built for over between two and three billion dollars and Meow Wolf were originally funded by one of the show runners of Game of Thrones. So they started out as a sort of squat punk collective in Santa Fe and they got given a defunct bowling alley and then they got a major investment. So it's art and capital that funded both of those sort of massive behemoths. But I think they're well worth keeping in mind because their success can be our success. And then there's immersive franchises. I'm sure you've all been to smush vests that are giant IP. So with the Van Gogh one, I'll just talk about it for an example. That's IP that's out of copyright, right? So in America, and I don't know how many here, but I'll use America, there's at least five Van Gogh immersive franchises and they don't have to pay. They just make the content and put it up on a wall and charge $30 for 30 minutes. It's a good model, but people get sick of it. Audiences are really sophisticated and they know when something hasn't been made with care. So something to write as a money grab really is when you start to see those headlines, you know in major newspapers, you know that the mainstream element of it doesn't remove the fact that it needs to be quality, good entertainment or art. And you know, it's quite hard to do and what was interesting is Pokemon Go is owned by Niantic and the success of Pokemon Go was a global phenomena, like nothing else anyone's ever seen in terms of bringing a technology like AR to the market and everyone loving it and going nuts for it. And Punch Drunk, iconic immersive promenade theatre makers and actually the people that I've heard in my career reference the most and they worked together for many, many years to develop a Punch Drunk augmented version of using the technology that Pokemon Go was built on and after nearly five years they just quietly stopped and nothing ever got out there. That was a significant amount of millions that was invested. VR, okay, I'm not a really big fan of VR, which is great because then when you don't like something and then you get convinced by a really compelling VR project, it's like, oh great, my mind can be changed but I just want to sort of emphasise here that the hype cycles that we go through with certain technologies are not new and a lot of times they don't deliver on the promise or the investment that they say they're going to. So that article, a billion dollars ten years ago, Magic Leap, God knows how many billions have gone into them and then they just got another 590 million and they're majorly owned by the Saudi Royal Family Investment Funding. And then the Apple Vision Pro that everyone's going nuts for, it still needs work to do even though Apple have spent a lot and the price point and the usage, it's getting there and we can talk about that as we go, right? But I think I want you to ask yourselves why this, why that and it doesn't have to be and I want you to think about like maybe we don't have to have 20 of them, maybe we don't have to have $20,000 for gear, maybe we just try it once. Anyway, I just think about how things peak and everyone, a bit like one of our speakers yesterday said, suddenly everyone has to do AI and then everyone gets on board and then, so just have a think but there's a lot of money gone in and not always the outcomes. But then sometimes things really hit like Pokemon Go in 2016 but it's still relevant and actually Pokemon Go in 2003, why its original format of trading cards, they achieve big story worlds with mass take up. So it can happen and it can happen in multiple forms. So just to remind everyone, if you haven't looked up Punch Drunk or Team Lab, please do because just about anyone who ever talks to you about this kind of thing will go, yeah, a bit like how Punch Drunk did it or, oh, have you seen Team Lab? Team Lab has over a thousand employees now, just think about that, started as an artist studio in 2001 and now has a thousand employees, is represented by Pace Gallery, has multiple venues all over the world and they still own themselves. And Felix, the artistic director of Punch Drunk, still owns Punch Drunk. They have an education wing, they've been through a lot of different permutations but they are still the preeminent immersive theatre company, I would argue. But to Australia, so hats off to Powerhouse, my word. They did the most tremendous show I've seen for a very long time that combined their collection, you know, because Rafael Lozano-Hemmer made this work in 2019 around an ode to Charles Babbage and it was presented in Manchester, I think it's part of Manchester International Festival. But it didn't have any collection objects, it didn't have historical context and when it went to Powerhouse, the curators there did an incredible job of bringing their collection into a dialogue with the large scale interactive and immersive works that really gave all of the audience such a strong and powerful historic context. So it can be done and we're doing it here in Australia. So with that, I'm just going to wrap up that little bit because I think it's a hard word. So we're going to go ahead on that. Okay, Convergence, over to you Matthew. Thank you. Oh, hello. So I just want to talk a little bit about Malthouse Theatre and we've made two immersive projects in the last four years, one called Because the Night, most recently, Our the Wolf, but we were only able to do that as a theatre company through a lot of disruption and that disruption was the pandemic. So I just want to talk about how important it's been to rethink the way we work as a theatre company if we want to embrace making immersive theatre. So just a little bit of context, Malthouse Theatre is a subsidised theatre company in Melbourne. It's a theatre in a brewery in South Bank and we tend to have a model where we premiere ten new works every year and each work would probably perform for about four weeks. We've always had an ambition to, well not always, I've always had an ambition to make an immersive work, very punch-drunk inspired, sandbox design, but more narrative based, not dance based, more using text and sort of horizontal storytelling and we could never work out how to do it. And then we had the pandemic and if you remember in Melbourne we had the four square metre rule, one person per four square metres, so our 500 seat theatre meant we could only fit 60 people in the theatre and that inspired us to think about instead of doing a show that would feel very much like a disappointing experience of having 60 people in an empty theatre, why not make a show that is designed for 60 people and makes that a virtue. It also inspired us to look at using our spaces differently, so we realised that we could join four of our spaces together and by doing that we had about 2,500 square metres of performance space which led us to start to dream up and create what we call Because the Night, which was a sort of Hamlet inspired, logging town, Twin Peaks sort of mash up, immersive work. But a lot of it was, as I said, us working with those restrictions, but also it really inspired a, for me in particular, a different way of thinking about space. I realised that a lot of the theatre that we make, we think about story and narrative as the starting point and that design builds out from that, but here I really realised that everything we were doing was responding to space, we had to look at the spaces we had available to us and that informed everything artistically. It informed how we divided the space up, determined what the story might be, the number of scenes there might be, the number of actors there might be and the number of audience that might attend. So there was a real sense that space was the dramaturgy, space was the thing that guided and inspired, but also a big learning curve was that anything in the projects we were making that we wanted to change meant we had to change our space. So there was this constant sort of fluidity between the two, meaning for example in our The Wolf, our most recent show, we conceived the work and we had a very confronting moment where we realised we wanted an extra 30 people to see the show per night, which doesn't sound like much, but it meant we had to go back and redesign all the rooms to different sizes and to redesign all the rooms meant we had to rewrite the narrative and to rewrite the narrative we needed an extra actor and it had this massive domino effect of everything, the architecture was our primary source of creating. Good morning everyone. Thanks for that Matthew. Great. So in terms of maybe starting on the word immersive, I bought my little nephew a squeezy ball for Christmas and the labelling was immersive and I was like it's a squeezy ball, but maybe there's elements around the fact it's sensory, right, like you may be having an interactive experience with something, you know, it's more maybe than just like being passive and watching it, but yeah, I will admit it's definitely used in an overabundance in the current times that we're living in. And so we actually as a studio at Phoria, we are an immersive technology studio and so to dive in deeper there, we call it Extended Reality or XR and so really it's a spectrum of these more embodied technologies is the way that we think about it, right, so as we know today we're looking at the Vision Pro from Apple, a spatial computer, which is really a virtual reality headset that has what's known as mixed reality pass through so we can see through the headset into our environment and now really that's technically augmented reality, so we're overlaying content in our world and then there's some magic in how we can kind of bring these worlds together and so we for a long time have been experimenting across this whole spectrum of tools and mediums and media and thinking about how we can use it in wonderful ways and one of the first projects that really flicked the switch for us was actually a project called Rewire back in 2019 and we were approached by Netflix and Google and WWF and they're working on a new TV series with David Attenborough called Our Planet and they wanted to look at how they could use augmented reality but specifically social AR, so groups of people together in a space to then have an experience that breaks off the screen ultimately and so it was really, this is just a little demo here but this is just running on like a Pixel 2, so a pretty old smartphone at that point in time but what we were playing with was how we can basically blend 2D content, 3D content and then physical human interaction so how you can actually work together to regenerate these ecosystems and at that point in time we saw this convergence in a way where Google's coming with social AR and they're testing how these tools are actually now embodied in physical spaces that can bring us together, Netflix is thinking about how they can extend beyond the screen and activate it in some really interesting ways and then WWF were actually like how do we use this to drive key messages around say deforestation or overfishing and it was amazing to see when it was actually delivered they had these ambassadors that were actually running it in a way and I can talk about it a bit later but it was really cool to see this convergence of a pretty broad spectrum of organisations all thinking about how these tools can support some of their efforts and so then after Rewild we actually went on with the same partners so we worked with WWF and then the 2D production studio called Silverback Films in Bristol, an amazing natural history production unit and then we created a VR series called Ecosphere and so this is really wonderful because we could take people to some of the most amazing places in the world and then show them really positive stories of actually regeneration and try and paint a picture of this sort of sense of hope where people can actually come together to rewild these ecosystems and so we managed to continue that on subsequently with the United Nations and we created a whole VR series with them and it kind of got us thinking going from augmented reality and Rewild to virtual reality is we're kind of playing with these spectrums of media or assets or content and so we talk about it as spatial storytelling right we live in a time now where these tools kind of break off being a rectangular screen and we can actually blend 2D content with 3D content and 360 media as well and so I can come back to this later but we've been working on a new series that is mixed media or trans media and we're looking at how all these wonderful ingredients can come together in a really delicious soup and then one example of that which is really exciting in terms of the time that we're living in right now is using AI to actually democratise the ability to create immersive content and so these are called nerfs or Gaussian splats and so using just a video and AI post-production we can now create these volumetric 3D scenes and so I saw before some footage of Iceland and I uploaded some past drone videos of a holiday seven years ago and all of a sudden had the 3D recreation of my holiday as a memory and so I definitely see these types of content being more immersive and more democratised which is the time that we're living in and then what we're looking at now is obviously yeah tinkering and developing for the Vision Pro and then seeing what's afforded in this sort of spatial computer paradigm at the moment so yeah there's more to explore in that space. That's pretty inspiring so when I thought about convergence I thought about how over time the ability to make things has evolved so I kind of ended up scanning YouTube for all the projects I've made for a really long time. Lucky you I haven't gone back to the 90s because that's grim but so it is grim you don't want to see what we did in the 90s but actually the 90s is where you could start building your own computer and that's where my engagement with technology started is I learnt to build a computer and I learnt to VJ and obviously I was not good at it and I'm not an artist so I ended up producing with really quite incredible artists and we started doing projection mapping as early as 2005 on this project with D-Fuse where it was we really didn't have money so I think the point I'm showing you these is to sort of say you don't need a lot of money honestly but what you do need is a really brilliant idea and Mike the artist behind D-Fuse wanted to explore rare earth mining and tantalite which is the metal that goes in your chip in your cell phone and this was in 2005 by the way and he had a technique and an aesthetic that was about layering sharks tooth gauzes so that it looked and then setting them up in a square so that it looked like and you could walk between them so the projections cast over you and really created a really sort of I'm going to say immersive sorry an immersive effect and then from there we went on to do well have I pressed the button nope I'm going backwards that's why it's my fault sorry and because of that we sort of ended up you know working with the London Symphony Orchestra and the questions you have to ask yourself is are the audience ready for this and luckily for us the London Symphony Orchestra leader was the person who invited us to interpret Steve Wright's desert music and so again taking that early practice of cut-ups and mash-ups and creating a live performance we did with the orchestra in the Barbican in 2006 which luckily sounded amazing and you know what an honour to work with them but then from there inevitably or maybe not we got invited to work with Beck for his Guero world tour which was a whole different ballgame. The reason I talk about show design I'm bringing it up here is because there's an entire world and entertainment that does technology and immersion and has done forever and that's theatre and concerts and their adoption of techniques depends it's largely driven by the artist so for example we first built low-res LED stages with UVA with massive attack in the early 2000s we did that also with you too on that giant big claw stage and with Jay-Z we did low-res sort of cityscape and low-res LED in I think 2007 so what we got to do by working in show design is to learn the sort of rigor of how to make stuff travelable and that really is you know you get all excited you make something and then you realise that someone else wants it and then you're like oh that's cool and then you realise you've designed something that can't fit on a truck or it can't fit under a bridge I have done that it's really bad don't do it so always check your truck pack and the other lesson from this particular show is I'd never worked on a world tour I didn't know how the rules were and turns out your artist is not allowed on the stage during production rehearsals don't do that either so a lot of learning for me as a producer but also again transferring really simple techniques and technology into something that's scaled at world tour level and then what do we do after that no she's still going backwards great you can see how good I am at this oh yeah but then we talk about performative interaction that was really big in the mid 2000s right everyone was like it's the performer and the audience's performer and then the audience's observer and then the audience is joining in with each other so that was what we learned when we built volume in 2006 with the United Visual Artists and the school was by massive attract so again continuing their collaboration and so I guess the thing to take from this is we hand built all of this we had to borrow the LED we had to learn how to cast aluminium but more importantly our coders who built the show system disguise which is now a global show control system they wrote an early set of code for human blob detection and we had to use industrial infrared lights and actually we took this work to Federation Square I think in 2008 and that's how I met Vince hi Vince and also the square is really hard to build on because it's not level just saying but we did it and it was a really magnificent to bring the work to five different countries but I think the thing I learned from that and I want to share with you is that the products exist to make the things you want to make and you might not have to invent it all yourself and you might not have to spend a lot of money and you know what we built with early blob detection and infrared is now like off the shelf camera right it's an off the shelf thing you can just buy for very few hundreds of dollars so we spent thousands and thousands we used to have to use military grade cameras to do slow-mo and that you know that's how fast it changes so don't have to spend a lot of money to make good work oh she's gone forward back okay this one should go right no oh yeah hey and I'll wrap up just to say the site that you put work in and the rituals that you lean into can really make a huge difference so when people say site specific actually they're really just taking a work and just plonking it somewhere that makes it even better so it can feel new and it can create a whole different context when you think about where you put it in this case it was Durham Cathedral which is a World Heritage Site so it came with its own challenges and learning how to do kinetic sculptures I would advise you to have a really good structural engineer yeah so those I just wanted to sort of take us on that journey through that because you know we did a motion capture piece in 2013 with Universal Everything and again what's now something you can do for hundreds of dollars we had to borrow Andy circus's motion capture studio and like I had to do a lot of begging but that's how things got done then but we're going to jump on to our audience and I think what we want to talk about is what are the audience expectations you come up up come across and what are like behaviors do you get from them and I really would like you to sort of talk about how you build audiences and think about how you compare Australia to maybe your international work and also please tell us what didn't work I think I'm first up I just want to share some reflections on what we learned about audiences at the Malthouse Theatre from the last two immersive shows and one of the first big things that we learned was that there was a huge appetite for this immersive work we had an incredible attendance we in that first show because the night 71% of the people that attended were the first time at our theatre and from a different demographic they came from much further out of Melbourne we had about 16,000 people through over nine months in the show it's only 60 people could come a night but it was one there was a huge appetite to see that work and I think we were unpacking why and I think there was a sense that firstly the ability to have choice for that's not a passive experience but something that was active that the I think the audience were very much attracted to that this was a theatre experience where they were able to have agency they were able to move they have choice they'll have touch they're tactile also I think there was a perception that theatre often and when you're sitting down and watching a show is one where you're is an experience where perhaps you're being lectured to or an experience that maybe is perceived as intellectual as opposed to I think this audience was seeing this experience as playful that this was one that they were invited in to play and I think that's really broken down a lot of barriers to attending live performance we found with our works also there was something very new that we learned making immersive theatres that we actually had to help and communicate rules that because essentially just like games for our audience to find great pleasure in the show they needed to know how to play and the needs they'll play they needed to have rules so we were doing a lot of learning of how to teach those rules and something that we constantly some things that didn't work was realising like often we would use a rule of three and you know the rules would be in the voiceover in the foyer and then they'd be printed somewhere and then they'd also be spoken by the usher and still at the end of the show would ask did you know the rules and they'll say no so you know there was still a sense that even if we used various communication methods often our audience had just had so much adrenaline before the show they were so excited that they weren't going to listen to anything that was happening or being told to them and of course other people did take the rules very seriously but and also people wanted to break the rules that's why they listened to them we'll talk about those audience members shortly but it was a new thing to us to constantly evaluate those rules and learning that we also can't have a hundred percent success rate and it was also really interesting talking with audience members about how they would learn the rules themselves in the first fifteen minutes of the show and how they sort of self learn the other thing that was interesting was that we had to learn that our audiences were going to have come with a lot of different expectations and have a lot of we have to learn that we can't create a singular experience meaning that audiences were coming some for a linear storytelling experience some for a nonlinear storytelling experience some for the design some to play the puzzles some to just be disruptors and fuck up our show some to just be spoil sports like they all those people came with different intentions at different percentages and we needed to not judge any of those audiences that all of those were part of the world that we were offering that to be no hierarchy of which type of audience members we prefer and also as a company it was really challenging to learn how to receive feedback because you would go and receive feedback from one particular type of audience member which was opposite to another audience member someone saying I didn't I needed more controls I needed more rules I didn't know what to do and the other person said you over gave me way too much information I felt slammed over the head with rules and information so it was for it was a learning that in the theatre world often we're trying to cultivate a very singular experience and this is one where we had about five or six or seven happening simultaneously and how we embraced all of that was a new area for us. Great I wish we had more time to talk about audiences definitely my favourite space yeah this I've got a few references so this is actually something from Apple they released a whole bunch of developer resources to help frame up how creators should be thinking about these things right and so this is how they're talking about designing immersive experiences and so when we think of audience and we look at Apple's communication fundamentally there's something really wrong here and naturally you're alone right like you're not in a shared environment you're not kind of participating and having an experience where that happiness is ultimately shared and so when we think of audiences we think of them as recipients in a way that they're able to perceive things that might be more interactive with agency as Matthew was speaking to in a way that isn't just a viewer or a user someone that's more passive right and so that's definitely the way that we're going about it and so when we were working on our most recent project Jalimba our first thought is how do we put ourselves in the shoes of the viewer or the recipient in this instance and so we've been framing up this idea where when you have multiple formats of content the way that you present it changes the environment that you're in actually like completely presents these new variables around how that content is perceived and engaged and so what we're working at the moment is trying to understand how the content can kind of come in and support the context that that that recipient is in at that point in time and so for Jalimba current project we've been looking at some of these really wonderful interactions and so as all of you have done works of nature downstairs would know how powerful and transformative the meditation is is like a grounding in like a liminal way to transition between the real world into this immersive space and so for Jalimba up the top left there we wanted to recreate what the indigenous elders of the Eastern Guilinji people up in the Daintree rainforest showed and shared with us when we would have a welcome to country and so one of the simplest and most powerful things is just a smoking ceremony and so we've been exploring how we can bring that in in a way where yeah you literally smoke yourself in virtually and we managed to bring in all these elements where you could use your body and hand tracking and the content responds to your presence in a way that ideally just does justice to what that lived experience is for that audience there's a whole bunch more here but I'll kind of come back to that later stage and then yeah what we've also been looking at is just how we present it and so at the moment we we know basically when we're delivering these types of experiences when you think of virtual reality you kind of go somewhere you sit somewhere and you look around whereas we want to have more discoverable forms of interaction and so for instance you maybe walk up to a wall and a portal opens and you can see through that wall into another environment or you're hearing a story about a totem and we one of our writers was talking about the idea of how embodied and representative totems are to the actual individuals themselves so we were showing some of the community a cassowary and a butterfly and a kukubara, kuktu and they're like oh that's my totem I'm in this experience and so we went down this pathway of thinking about how the audience can actually really step in the shoes of an indigenous first people's perspective and then feel that connection to the tree when they're touching it how it responds and comes to life and then the relationship that the community have with these trees that aren't just resources they're actually their elders they have these birthing trees that actually represent you know their grandfather or grandmother and so the sense of loss that you might feel when that tree is cut down right and so this is something really exciting that we've been looking at and so what we've been working on most recently is how do we deliver this at scale we know VR is challenging it's a really interesting time actually so the quest headset from Meto is selling more than an Xbox and so it doesn't necessarily need to be a product for everyone at all I think having it available on spaces that people can go and try something is an amazing example there but then there's a good example we're seeing gaming is now actually kind of shifting to some of these new devices and so we put this to the test last year at COP so we made a whole bunch of different immersive experiences for a few different partners and so we went to COP and wanted to see if we could deliver something hand it over and then actually have it sort of deployed being hands-off and then how many people we could get through in the shortest amount of time and so we actually over the 12 days of COP with 12 VR headsets managed to get 15,000 people through virtual reality experiences which is really cool in a way that a lot of the staff running it facilitating it had never even touched a VR headset before and then all of a sudden yeah they're seeing the responses of people going through these experiences and designing and implementing really simple onboarding for that audience inside the headset that is more intuitive and I'm really excited around how the audience of the future in these new mediums is really like a more natural interaction right like we're all familiar with how we engage on a computer and our smartphones but then when we're using our eyes and our voice and our hands and gestures that is just the way that we communicate and interact and so I'm excited to kind of break out of the screen and go into a space where these types of more theatrical shared experiences that you get you know in a theatre context can then now come into these more immersive paradigms. Hey Trent I wanted to ask you were talking about COP 28 I presume that's not in Australia and I think have you worked internationally a lot do you feel like you've had opportunities differently outside of Australia and what can you talk a little bit about that? Yeah absolutely most of our work comes from the US at the moment it's pretty pretty hard to be honest in terms of the appetite and market and investments and especially the government support in Australia like Vix Green are amazing apart from that it's hard to sort of bootstrap just about anything so yeah COP was in Dubai it was funded by a partner for COP in the UAE but yeah working with the likes of Meta and Netflix in the UN yeah I think that's where these types of investments sit and the opportunities in this space I'll never forget after we ran rewild we ran the Minister for Innovation and Tourism through rewild in Singapore in the Science Museum and then he's like he reached out and he's like come let's catch up in Melbourne let's see how we can help and so I'm sitting down the Minister for Innovation I just showed him an experience about rewilding ecosystems and he's like how good would this be for mining and he's just like did you miss the memo in terms of the content that you just saw and so I think and that you know maybe to the next discussion in terms of maybe the sacrifices that you have to make but we're fortunate to live in this you know digitally distributed time where we can do our work from anywhere in the world which is really amazing but yeah I think there's so much more potential in terms of the appetite and support here in Australia. Well I think that's something we can think about is like what does starting something far away but what can you bring home or and vice versa because I think the goal to you know distribute work and it just it just honestly depends on the funding models right a lot of it's about having the startup money to get a big lift and then moving on from that but I'm just going to share with you a little finale because one of the things to think about is again show craft but whatever format you're working in people love a finale and you have to really design a finale into something and what you're seeing on the I don't know if it's left or right but one side is the visualisation so some of the tools that are going to help you and your teams is to have a really good pre-visualisation tool so you're not wasting time in the production and with UVA and disguise we developed a really really strong visualisation tool that enabled you to make an entire show without having to actually test it because a lot of the time your limited access to site this was by the way at Coachella in 2011 and the vice commissioned us to build a sculpture on the main stage none of the main stage acts were very happy about that and that's the other thing that you have to deal with is often times you'll get an invite to try something new somewhere and it doesn't mean everyone else thinks it's a good idea so you just have to show up and make a really strong finale and you know the audience cheer at the end that's the other bit you need to remember is try and make people feel something but when it comes to audiences I think my horrible list but good story is you can make the most beautiful interactive thing you could put lots of care and attention into it you can test it you can build it again and then you take it to a different place and the audience do something completely different so this is a piece called origin which we actually built out of the Coachella stage because reuse right and adaptation and we brought it to Brooklyn in New York under Dumbo Bridge and it had I don't know 40,000 people in 10 days and we were like this is going to be great this this piece is about you know the Mecca towards technology and the sort of ever-seeing control and we're like yeah and people are gonna really flow through it it's gonna be really awesome everyone lay down and just stayed still and that was it nothing else happened then we had to ask hundreds of people to please stand up and move on and it was just like it's the biggest lesson and you think you know what you're gonna figure out and you're wrong luckily it worked out okay but again when you're planning interactivity even with the best intention and the best testing people are gonna do what they do which is kind of like really interesting to hear your comment Matthew around how you actually had to adjust yourselves not to have the hierarchy and that your actors and performers had to kind of get over themselves and so that change must have been maybe one of the hardest for your team to kind of go it's okay with that people think that yeah yeah it was it was a big thing of particularly performers wanting to judge the audience and going you're being disrespectful you're going around you're walking into a scene and then just walking out of the room and I feel very offended by that you know you're playing a puzzle in the middle of my monologue I'm offended by that but it took a long time to go no this is actually you're experiencing people being playful and engaging with the world that you've created and you we actually and also how to judge of course we had systems in place going if someone was being inappropriate how to deal with that but how to distinguish what's inappropriate versus enthusiastic play yeah I think that's a good point so I skipped over the piece we did with universally everything in 2013 but that was like in a period when everyone was like make everything interactive we were like okay and so we did this piece around drawing and the audience could draw and it would live translate the drawings into the piece and everyone's like well what if they write f-words and draw dicks and we're like okay now we have to do a live piece of set a piece of live censorship code and and Raphael is on a hammer interesting has taken a position where he refuses to to do that he would lie I if you want me to do something interact or I refuse to write any kind of censorship code so you actually have to take a position with interaction now we're going to talk about sacrifice I think I know we just walked through all of that I was sharing actually the things around audience but never mind I think we're at the sacrifice part yes we are there you go so the reason we want to talk about sacrifice is I kind of a lot of you are part of big organisations or you're here to represent yourselves but you're also part of a bigger thing and when you're making something like that is bigger or harder or got more technology it really requires long-term commitment versus project commitment and we've been talking to you about projects but actually you know this is your lifespan as your artistic director this is your entire world as the CEO of Phoria and what I've been walking through is my entire career of working with artists who make this kind of work and also at the museum like here at ACMI we've committed to the infrastructure and the tools that we need and the change management that we need to do in order to work in these worlds so the thing I think we should just share a little bit about is how what kind of sacrifices you have to make in order to just stay the course so with that I'm going to ask Matthew to tell us about that. Yeah I think as - Certainly when we've been making our immersive works there's been realising like we're talking about hierarchy before there's just different yeah we have to in some ways sacrifice part of our instincts for more traditional theatre making so in many ways where we will be wanting certain things to be planned we want a certain narrative to be our focus we have to realise we have to sort of sacrifice that instinct and go there's other parts of storytelling that we need to prioritise but the big thing for me and our company was learning how to change our relationship to time and how long projects take to develop or how fast they can move. One of the biggest things we realised was that we didn't know how long most of the things we were doing would take to be made we just were in completely different territory we didn't know when we were doing a show that had 32 different locations how long it would take to take a location because we've never done it before so we couldn't plan the time we didn't know we had to build two and a half or three kilometres of scenery and we've never built that much quantity before so a lot of our research was in and asking a lot of advice of people that have been working in these areas about how much time is required. It also had a completely different development process for us I think in the past we often work where we try to capture the whole theatre show like the pre-visualisations you're seeing at Coachella try and imagine it in its closest reality to what it's going to be and we couldn't do that with these immersive works well we couldn't find a way to do it so we had to take a lot of inspiration from more game design where it's still like taking a slice looking at one small mechanic just looking at one small part of the puzzle of how a puzzle operates one small rule for the way an audience interacts and doing that over nine months and that was a completely different way that created a lot of nervousness because everyone at the company wasn't able to see the end product. Yeah would you like the board and funders and money did you have to do a lot of convincing or was the pandemic sort of all bets are off? Well the pandemic was it's all bets are off and also it was we restructured the whole company for a year to achieve this show. Have you changed the structure back that's what I'm really interested in. Halfway so it sort of was like it was a big swing one way to make sure that everyone was employed at the company during the pandemic we everyone worked on because of the night so it meant that even the set builders then became ushers bar staff were sourcing props so it meant we get everyone employed and we're not a big company we have 40 full-time staff but now and that's because we were making one show for one year as opposed to 10 shows so now we've slid back and last year was our big challenge because we tried to make an immersive show amongst our normal year and so that's the halfway mark and sort of trying to integrate it into the sort of institutional rhythm. Has the sacrifice paid off? It has paid off I mean it has paid off in that we it's opening doors to audience experiences it's been a really like we're getting an amazing sense of new people coming to our theatre and then those new people not just being addicted to the immersive work but then following through to the other theatre work we have on offer. Yeah to your earlier point I think yeah sacrifice is really what you need to let go of to achieve your dreams or goals in a way like for instance this project we've got up here on the screen Jalaymba when we started the creative thinking ultimately where we wanted to end up is down the bottom right here which is an immersive space where we can have blended mixed reality content in a shared environment that people can engage with the content together but to get there is a pretty long and arduous path and to bootstrap it right so this has actually been our first original first self-funded production to date and even you know as a creative project the first thing we had to let go of was control you know this isn't our story to tell we had to be given permission working with you know our First Nations creative team around you know how ultimately we could almost be like a gramophone for their messages and stories and so it's been wonderful to kind of see relinquishing a little bit of the creative control in a way that then creates the spaciousness for other ideas to emerge and some really wonderful things to happen and then at the same time really what we're working towards is these sort of incremental steps because yeah ultimately where we will arrive at is you know as we've all kind of discovered we're working in these new grounds we're sort of pioneering into the unknown and the first foray is ten times the effort and lift and we're working on technology that is isn't really built yet and a lot of our early work in augmented reality we were using the first devices from Google that now are just like sort of the standard sensors on an iPhone but at that point in time Google would be pushing updates up and everything would break overnight and so you sort of behold them to yeah the powers that be and doing your best to navigate this space. Another example we've been having a really wonderful just creative collaboration with a wonderful artist Rowan hopefully many of you know his work we've been actually scanning his works since his very first live show at the old Lyric Theatre on Johnson Street and speaking of sacrifice like Rowan's work is so ephemeral and fleeting right like it kind of exists for one point in time and then he tears it down and it's literally never seen again and so we started scanning his work and thinking about how we could kind of breathe it back into life so he keeps some of the objects from the show so you can see here his last show which is in the Flinders Street station ballroom and blending basically a mixed reality over the top of a physical object and so the idea is you can go up and trigger something and you know reimagine it and so it's been a fun kind of creative space that we're sort of just doing in parallel as a bit of a side hustle and then since the pandemic the I guess the notion of an office has changed right like we've kind of had this hybrid form where we had to redesign the way that the team and organisation run and now we have this space which was sort of wondering you know we maybe sacrificed the office environment but now it creates an opportunity to try something new and so what we are going to be doing is more of this kind of experimental kind of premise of how we can create you know an immersive exhibition as like a lab and a proving ground to go and collaborate with things that haven't been done but I have this slide as an example because really these sort of three phases where you have you know this immersive content but then you need a software system to deploy it and then you also need a space to house it and also a staff and team and all the multi sensors in the environment to run it and so already that is like three kind of businesses and teams in and of itself and so you know as a studio we've got to question what we really want to focus on and what we need to let go of and you know first and foremost it is looking at that content and so hopefully I invite all of you here to join me but in June it's going to be 10 years of this crazy journey for Phoria. When we started you know we had the first Oculus DK1 and we were like virtual reality is amazing we are going to go build these virtual experiences and then what the market was ready for was us to scan houses and use it for real estate like that's ultimately how we had to make ends meet and you know fund the dreams in a very kind of slow join out process but without a doubt especially since the pandemic there's been a digital awakening you know everyone's thinking outside the box now we've let go of a lot of these fundamental things that we held so tightly in sacred and then it's creating this amazing space for like collaboration and trying things and being weird and breaking stuff and yeah such a wonderful space and so in June we're going to be opening up our office as a bit of a lab and then eventually we want to kind of carve out our own space here in Melbourne to do something yeah really wonderful. I'm going to talk about courage because I want to this project required an incredible amount of courage it's with the artist Mira Calix she's not with us anymore and it's such a loss I think for the world for her music and her vision but the commitment to something big and grand when an artist has it is something that really deserves your commitment to no matter what it takes in this case this was three miles of hand folded paper with 86 channels of audio a collaboration with Sydney Dance Company carrying the music on their bodies and hundreds of paper speakers embedded into that folded paper and then we had to figure out how to make a copper based ball that disintegrated over the 10 day run we had I put that chalk on the floor myself but we had to make sure we didn't poison babies we had to figure out how to cast a two metre wide ceramic bowl to hold the melted powder of copper and we didn't have the money to do the show and it took three years of work and I was in debt for a really long time afterwards but you know thousands of people came that was her magnum opus of her career really and to see the audience play in that space and surrender their behaviour into the way the poetry and the way the instructions like you said the instructions was really quite something to behold and I just want you know these projects only come along every now and then and you have to hold fast to them and you have to give yourself the operations and the infrastructure to support them we had one really big mishap with this show which was to do with operations and infrastructure is the air conditioning failed at carriage works all the paper fell down and I had to mop up the artist and she had to mop up the paper and it took us days you know and risk is a requirement for these kind of things so again somebody decides to do something world first in this case it was Liam Young deciding to do the world's first drone orchestra flown inside a theatre over the audience's heads great idea and John Cale and Liam Young got together so it was drone on drone so how could you refuse the founder of the Velvet Underground and then Liam was all about at the time when drones were everywhere just like VR was everywhere at the moment drones were going to change our world he wanted to think about drones as a cultural object and so we decided to make every drone as a character and then every drone flew one of the instruments in John's music so John went into the studio for six months and re-scored his music to be flown we did that show live for two days in the Barbican Theatre we had never flown the show before we went live it was the most horrendous experience of my life and of Liam's no one got hurt no one ever did it again but I will say in that process in that three months we committed everything we built a tracking system that failed in the Barbican because it's concrete who knew we built a tracking system for DJ drones before DJI released their own tracking system we convinced DJI to give us all of the drones for free I convinced all the pilots to come and fly indoors questionable but they did it anyway and I just want to like thank the Barbican for taking that incredible leap of believing in what John and Liam could do and trusting me to pull it off and the audience to still live at the end and they did so yeah commit commit please commit to the big ideas because you won't ever regret it and it changes how these things get done now we're going to talk about winning hopefully we're at the end if you can still bear with us so I really want to think about how everyone can take a step into this reality maybe talk about some of the finances or just I don't know what how can people here embrace the experience that you've all had yeah maybe just share a little bit about that I just want to talk about a project we've got in development at the moment which is coming about through a partnership with Deakin University it's a production of Under the Skin which is an adaptation of the Mikhail Faber novel which you might know the Scarlett Johansson film it's essentially about a you meet a woman who's picking up men hitchhiking through Scotland and you might initially think that she is under threat or victim and you realise that she's actually an alien apex predator in the skies and is hunting these men and taking them back to an underground farm where they're being processed in a very inhumane way into a gourmet meat that's sent back to a home planet and one of the challenges of this piece is that it requires two species on stage so it requires humans and then they're called Vodsals and so what we've been the sort of crazy idea was what if we could build first of all a concave performance space so like we've been calling it the egg which is a space that has completely sort of compound curves there's nothing regular about it it's an organic space and that actors can have a digital form of puppetry I hate the word puppetry but that's as much as that's what it is and have a second skin that wraps around them so we've teamed up with Deakin University who are using the OptiTrack system who would then live motion track for performers projecting a digital avatar over the top of them that allows us to create this other species on stage it's in testing phase at the moment and it's throwing up all sorts of incredible discoveries about how to how to often shift the skeleton of the avatar so that they can interact on stage because there's a challenge of an actor is having tactile interaction but the avatar is not so how to create this sort of relationship on stage is a challenge and the other big fun part of the show is that the main character is traveling around Scotland a lot of the time and we want to position the whole show from her point of view so we've got a film team in Scotland that are driving around capturing the footage and the OptiTrack system will display that in our concave space but then be moving with the performer it's essentially where the performance gaze shifts is where the footage shifts as she performs so it's in it's an exploration of how to shift the idea of body and gaze using technology. And so does your partnership with Deakin mean you can do more and like you've been able to stretch your budget? We could never do this without Deakin. So the research and the tech is additive. Absolutely like it's come out of as a theatre company that this technology for us is beyond our budget absolutely as also is the time to test and prototype but when we discovered working with a research institution this is also turned into one of the students PhD projects at Deakin and that's what's allowed us access to this technology. It provides challenges it's a piece that's co-produced with various producers in the UK so then we have to take that technology over to the UK we have to work out everything how to like putting it into shipping containers it's all those challenges but this is me really advocating for the idea of partnerships and that we can we can explore these technologies one by working with other experts this is an area that these that institutions are experts in leading the research and as a theatre company working in collaboration we're able to actually realise very ambitious ideas. So you don't have to be the expert yourself? Absolutely I'm not no no no. Cool yeah I think in terms of some of the language that we're talking about like collaboration right like there's definitely working in the space of technology it's it's amazing some people you come across that have you know their ownership control and their IP I've got this amazing idea but I can't tell you about it and I think fundamentally that's the probably the first thing people need to sacrifice in order to achieve a win-win right like a symbiogenesis of sorts of minds coming together and it's just so natural in the art space where yeah they're all ingredients in a big immersive soup coming together to create something new collectively I think is yeah such a wonderful you know space to be playing in and so with what we do as a studio like we as I mentioned earlier think about it as we're a vessel for other people's potential stories and we want to help amplify you know whatever it is maybe that they want to achieve and I think that collaboration is is really key at the heart there and so a good example is actually when we did Rewild we took it to Singapore to New York and to Bristol in the UK and each space was facilitated by a different team and so in Singapore it was run by WWF ambassadors and so right there you would see the language and how the facilitator speaking in more of an inquisitive way with the participants around maybe some what are some of the actions that you might want to change and we could see instantly like the level of engagement and how people connected with the audience then and there to then sort of spark some ideas rather than just watching something walking out being like that was cool actually how you drive that call it a flash in the pan experience is something that could kind of shift towards more behavioural change and then after that we went to New York where it was run in Dolby Soho this crazy immersive spatial audio environment and the staff running it there were actually a whole bunch of like part-time Broadway actors and so they just had this amazing performative you know energy that I would bring the way they're engaging with kids was profound and it was just so cool to sit back and watch this same experience sort of be reimagined in a completely different way purely just by the facilitators running it and that win-win scenario is a really cool example there and then at the very end we took it to Bristol to a really cool like science works style space called We the Curious and then in there it was run by science educators and instantly they were like wow this is the next tool that we can use to inspire the next generation around some of the science concepts that we talk about on a daily basis and so they saw it as this instrument in a way that yeah it could just sort of unlock some of the ideas and messages that they're wanting to share with the world and so in a way I feel like the best ideas are the ones that proliferate and in order to do that you need to let go and share them openly and so what we really hope is like yeah we're living in this amazing time right now it's been a weird couple years post pandemic I don't doubt that for a second but it's so easy to get involved in this space I think firstly in our XR environment it's a really level playing field right like there's not some sort of standard this is how things are done around here it's much more kind of open and inviting to new ideas and you realise like you're working in a way that there's just no chance you could do it alone and succeed and so with that in mind like it's who are those partners that you can bring into the fold and kind of you know shape and create something together and so for us more of an invitation for anyone here what we really specialise in and if we can help any of you in any way is these two ingredients right so we do a lot in spatial storytelling or trans media or mixed media this kind of blended soup of content and we want to explore how we can just push the envelope in a way where even 2D in an immersive format can still be very profound when delivered in the right way and then we live in a time right now where actually we've been making these VR films for a decade and you know typically they're very costly the hardware is really complex the post production is really painful but all that's been sort of resolved in a way that you can buy really affordable devices and then create something really compelling for under you know a thousand dollars and all of a sudden you can be making VR films and documentaries in a really impactful way and so the last piece is I'm really excited by what's happening with Apple is actually that they're showing up with a commitment to content you know people are saying what's the killer app for the vision pro there isn't one it's content and so I'd invite any of you to think about the content and media that maybe you make in your own fields it easily can translate into this new paradigm and there's going to be a growing market for that and we're seeing it firsthand play out with the work that we do. Thank you Trent. Okay I'm just going to read a slide how about how I hope that's not too boring I was thinking about how to wrap this up and I just wanted to hopefully give us some ways to take away like collaboration is messy and necessary like it's just a fact and it takes a while to on-ramp but you can make partnerships and collaborations that last for longer than the project itself so think about the long tails it really is cheaper than you think and a lot of the people the creative people you're working with they'll probably have their own gear and their own solutions and you might have to like change your organisation to work with that but actually the change that it can bring is going to benefit your organisation. Remind yourself none of this is new right this is just a continuum from where we began many thousands of years ago so I think sometimes we get caught up in thinking that all this the word technology it's actually just techniques to make experiences and shows and art and yeah sometimes when you just remove the new and the technology from the thinking it becomes a lot easier for people to grip on to the idea itself. I really think that the funding models need to be challenged at source we touched on this and I think it's a theme that's going to come out of today and I mean I've recently moved to Australia a year ago and there is abundance here there's abundance of organizations and abundance of funding and an abundance of artists and makers and but sometimes it feels like it isn't always set up for that sharing or that you know iterate and distribute versus oh we just got to make this new thing and we've got to premiere it and it's got to be only ours so it's a question not a statement really for like thinking about how we can leverage the opportunities we have better and it's a shared responsibility of us but also our relation the way that funding gets structured and yeah it don't be above begging it's okay just ask you might get it like a lot of bigger companies or organizations might have a bunch of gear in their warehouse or in their thing that if you don't ask you won't get so it's not embarrassing to ask and I think the biggest thing is this is mainstream and this is what audiences expect and we want to benefit from those audience expect sophisticated audience expectations and you can be the early word bird that gets the worm and you know you can be the first but being the first doesn't always make you the most prolific so you might dedicate a lot to innovation but the pick up on that will be small and slower but if you don't do it it's necessary work we need early birds but the second mouse man they make all the things they get a lot of cheese and it's okay to be a second mouse too and with that I hope we've taken you on a good journey to sort of move you from eye rolling at the word immersive and to thinking about it for yourselves in a different way I'm just going to check if we've got questions we've gone on a little bit we've got three minutes hooray no questions hey that me oh no lots of them oh they were just loaded okay oh okay this is a good one anonymous I love that that's anonymous as well in the context of failed van Gogh experiences audience evolving expectations and literacy with immersive what are we moving away from and what are we moving towards go yeah I think the van Gogh I think framework at looms pretty pretty interesting because it's very passive it's a really good example of a business model where you can just pipe people in they can walk around you don't have to do anything there's low staff involvement and so I think validating some of these models is really good whether or not they're sort of using other people's creative IP is pretty interesting what we hope we're moving towards is yeah more interactive embodied experiences you know being less of a passive viewer and actually having more of a role to play in the experience which you know is the first thing to dawn on me when you do sleep no more as an experience right like you kind of flip it on its head I've got one for you Matthew did Malthouse engage external digital or game designs experts to assist in the creation of your shows and how inspired by the structure of gaming were you we did but only in the second show so the first show we stumbled through the dark by ourselves and actually we developed a partnership with Deakin quite late in the game because they came to 3d capture the performance and that's when we started that relationship but this after the first show we realised that game design was had obvious links to how to construct the show and that's when we worked with another student actually he was doing their PhD in the relation between interactive theatre immersive theatre and game design and he became our dramaturg and sort of guru on all things game design so yes we did I'm gonna take the lot what there's a few questions about you know debating me saying it doesn't cost that much really and also labor yes there is a lot of labor that goes into this but I really want to encourage reuse and adaptation because there's a ton of labor and innovation and equipment that goes into projects that you know you've seen people share today how you know one of the ways to make it cheaper is to maybe reboot something that's already been done ask a fellow you know a fellow organisation hey that project you did with motion capture how did you where can we borrow the tech can we look at the code so I think I don't have a perfect answer for that but I just encourage you to if you see a project that's out there that code and that labor has been done so what part of it do you not have to do again and to back to the sharing point is that openness to share is okay thank you for giving us 75 minutes of your time I really appreciate it and I hope you enjoyed it