Next, all the action was performed across a large theatrical stage that had been configured as a sound stage. Each storyline had a separate physical set, in some cases two, with a corresponding AR set to allow different timelines to be shown to audiences in the same space without people seeing and hearing the same thing.The live-to-tape approach meant that scenes didn’t run them concurrently, but the intent was to use standard installation and theatrical techniques to provide sound isolation, moving the audience through interlude scenes in which they could make choices about where to re-enter the story.


In the end, the show’s audience consisted of people who knew the show by virtue of being in its COVID bubble and guests who had no knowledge of the piece but came to participate in the live-to-tape process. “One consistent takeaway was that the live experience was really appealing and very difficult to convey in recording, even as much as we tried,” adds Burke.

Despite this admission, Burke also acknowledges that the mandatory distance between the real-life and AR performances added a compelling emotional layer to the show, with the feeling of two separate worlds proving to be a nice thematic fit. Of course, delivering a great show wasn’t the team’s only goal. They also wanted to find out how integrating AR into a story would impact the creative process and audience experience. They emerged with three key findings.

First, it’s clear that AR can be effectively integrated into immersive performance and provide a new and interesting approach for engaging audiences. The technology seems within reach to offer commercial experiences within a few years. Secondly, REMAP found that the results of the work and many conversations with those involved in the project validated the benefit of having the technology exist in some form within the fictional world as well as within the real world. This made it central to the drama, relevant to the characters, and more than just a gimmick.

Source: Unreal Engine Blog

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