1 University College London
2 University of Barcelona
3 Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa Italy
This paper presents experience of using our multimodal mixed reality telecommunication system to support remote acting rehearsal. The rehearsals involved two actors located in London and Barcelona, and a director in another location in London. This triadic audiovisual telecommunication was performed in a spatial and multimodal collaborative mixed reality environment based on the "destination-visitor" paradigm, which we define and motivate. We detail our heterogeneous system architecture, which spans over the three distributed and technologically-asymmetric sites, and features a range of capture, display, and transmission technologies. The actors’ and director’s experience of rehearsing a scene via the system are then discussed, exploring successes and failures of this heterogeneous form of telecollaboration. Overall, the common spatial frame of reference presented by the system to all parties was highly conducive to theatrical acting and directing, allowing blocking, gross gesture, and unambiguous instruction to be issued. The relative inexpressivity of the actors’ embodiments was identified as the central limitation of the telecommunication, meaning that moments relying on performing and reacting to consequential facial expression and subtle gesture were less successful.
William Steptoe, Jean-Marie Normand, Oyewole Oyekoya, Fabrizio Pece, Elias Giannopoulos, Franco Tecchia, Anthony Steed, Tim Weyrich, Jan Kautz, Mel Slater.
PRESENCE: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 21(4), pp. 406–422, 2012.William Steptoe, Jean-Marie Normand, Oyewole Oyekoya, Fabrizio Pece, Elias Giannopoulos, Franco Tecchia, Anthony Steed, Tim Weyrich, Jan Kautz, and Mel Slater. Acting rehearsal in collaborative multimodal mixed reality environments. 21(4):406–422, 2012.Steptoe, W., Normand, J.-M., Oyekoya, O., Pece, F., Giannopoulos, E., Tecchia, F., Steed, A., Weyrich, T., Kautz, J., and Slater, M. 2012. Acting rehearsal in collaborative multimodal mixed reality environments. 406–422.W. Steptoe, J.-M. Normand, O. Oyekoya, F. Pece, E. Giannopoulos, F. Tecchia, A. Steed, T. Weyrich, J. Kautz, and M. Slater, “Acting rehearsal in collaborative multimodal mixed reality environments,” vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 406–422, 2012.
We would like to thank our actors Jannik Kuczynski and Jasmina Zuazaga, our director Morgan Rhys, and the Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art Edward Kemp and his colleagues. This work is part of the BEAMING project supported by the European Commission under the EU FP7 ICT Work Programme.