Pilot Theatre in Second Life told from the inside.

I was so delighted when SL-Newspaper.com ‘s reporter Nazz Lane contacted me in Second Life and showed such interest in Pilot Theatre. This is his article. The SL Newspaper writes prolifically about the arts in Second Life. A must read for any creatives curious about Second Life. Nazz also writes a blog called Lane’s List. If you are curious to know about the real characters in Second Life make this your next click. (After reading the article of course!)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Pilot Theatre Establishes an SL Presence

By Nazz Lane

Pilot Theatre, the innovative theatre company from England, has established a presence in Second Life. Pilot Theatre is an award winning National Touring Theatre Company and is currently in residence at York Theatre Royal in the United Kingdom. Pilot’s Second Life representative, Katie Reve, and I met for an introductory chat and she was most gracious in allowing me this interview.

“Hello, Katie, welcome to my home and sometime office,” I greeted her as she arrived and then continued: “It’s nice that we finally meet AV to AV.” Smiling, she replied: “So very nice to see you as well, Nazz. So this is home?” I replied that, indeed, it was and took her on a brief tour. “I love it. SL never ceases to amaze me. My place is so small. The theatre is a bigger space. My SL home is a little girlie hideaway, a skypod, on a bit of First Land I inherited from a friend. Living at the theatre would be too much like RL!” she said and then laughed.

NL: What do you do for Pilot Theatre in SL?

KR: Mostly, I liaise with the RL Pilot team creatives who are using SL to realize the creative dreams they see in this world. I work closely with technical teams… great skill. It’s great to see their imaginations come up with scenarios. They tell me what they want to do and ask me if it’s possible. I work with the Artistic Director and the writer; the office has four permanent staff and each show has a team. As each show is cast, a technical team is assigned to it. Usually there is a production manager, stage manager, deputy and assistant, and light and sound, depending on the complexity of the show. This has been a huge learning curve for me, too. A fantastic opportunity, I hadn’t even IMed before joining SL.

NL: How is Pilot using its presence in SL?

KR: Pilot Theatre is about RL. SL is an audience space. We might stream the RL show in but never have AVs perform. At the moment, SL is about the SL users and informing them about Pilot in the real world. We are in our early days. We promote the SL space on the website and Facebook group and use the SL space in presentations. I collect the visitor names and message to the group news and reviews about the show.

NL: How successful has Pilot’s presence in SL been?

KR: Well, we have two major SL projects in the pipeline, plus a potential simulcast. Pilot performs for audiences 13 and upwards so we get a lot of schools seeing the shows. SL is an adult venture, a playground for the director, writer and me, really, to develop creative technology. Obviously, we can’t encourage the kids to join SL! But, yes, eventually we want to be in the teen grid, too.

NL: How else is Pilot using SL and the internet?

KR: My Space was a big part of the current show. The script was developed on My Space for people to comment and review. I was web designing for theatre companies and creatives in RL and wanting to stay with theatre but being drawn in to technology; it’s all so exciting, the driving innovation in IT. Pilot has been a golden opportunity. The use of a 3D remote environment is the other pull to SL for us. Building theatre sets for a production team to see before it’s built in RL and for the actors to see. In RL, a model is made of the set design. The designer then travels to a meeting and presents the model. What we want to do is build that in here so the production team doesn’t have to travel every time for a meeting. The actors don’t rehearse on the set but on a version marked out on the floor. Having the set available in SL means the company can see the set. Making it interactive means each scene can be rezzed to see the scene changes. Then it becomes an accessible archive piece for audiences to explore in SL. We’ve come across the Holodeck apps in SL. They are perfect for what we want to do. As we build up an archive, we can simply rezz each set and pack it away to utilize space really efficiently and save on the prim counts.

~ by pcmcreative on February 2, 2008.

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