December 8, 2021

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The travel folks

Curiouser and curiouser; The Curious Case of the Missing Peranakan Treasure returns for its second run proving that digital productions really do have legs

6 min read

NOT new tech but new wondering. In the fourth episode of our Virtual Knowledge Makers series with GEVME, we converse to actor Hossan Leong and Derrick Chew, govt producer at Sight Lines Entertainment, and go driving the scenes of the creating of The Curious Case of the Lacking Peranakan Treasure, a virtual interactive play that is returning for its 2nd operate today.

The initially paradigm shift,
Leong tells us, was his readiness to take into account virtual situations. Remaining an actor,
comic, and all-all-around entertainer, he life for are living gatherings, but just after
Nationwide Day 2020, an occasion he hosted, he uncovered himself staring into a upcoming
that was devoid of are living demonstrates.

He arrived at out to Chew,
who had earlier lifted the notion of building virtual functions working with 360-diploma
immersive technological know-how, and together they made the decision they would make it transpire.

WiT founder Yeoh Siew Hoon speaks to Hossan Leong and Derrick Chew about their practical experience creating an interactive enjoy working with 360-degree immersive tech.

It is stated that the
Universe likes speed, and after Chew and Leong dedicated to the undertaking, things
occurred, seemingly, with some serendipity.

Provided the immersive nature of the knowledge, the venue decision was paramount. Leong tells us that as soon as they decided on a Whodunnit secret, he asked himself “Where do I established it in? In which would it be wonderful for folks to [say] ‘I want to be there. I want to observe it’. And I considered Raffles Resort Singapore simply because absolutely everyone knows that brand.”

So, he came up with a synopsis, and introduced it to Raffles, and as it transpired, Raffles experienced a writer-in-residence performing a murder mystery at the exact same time and was satisfied to occur on board if they could secure NAC funding to support the undertaking, which they ended up ready to do beneath the NAC Digital Presentation Grant.

With that in place, the
artistic function took off.

A display cap from the function of Audrey Luo and Dwayne Lau singing “I’ll See You Again”, the unique song that was published for the generation in a working day.

The 1st draft of the
script was prepared in a fortnight, and the original song I’ll See You All over again,
was written in a mere 24 several hours.

Shot in just 5-6 times on
site, Leong credits the professionalism of the cast and crew for the truth
that filming went so nicely despite the learning curve necessary to integrate the
immersive know-how.

Old technology, current
capabilities, new programs

Stressing that 360-diploma
know-how isn’t definitely “new” tech any longer, Chew believes the problem lies in
“how we blend these different items to build or help us to facilitate what
we want to accomplish.”

Describing the approach as
“putting collectively a blend of theatre creatives and some of my film contacts, you
know, like the seem recordist, you know, the audio poles, engineers. And also,
the artistic technologists”, Chew believes part of his position was bringing
together people today who previously experienced the ideal skillsets, who then experienced to discover how
to “collaborate and work together” with the new dynamics termed for in the
creation of a quite unique merchandise.

Even while both of those guys are expert
in theatre and film, submit-manufacturing took on a wholly different indicating in
this case mainly because the course of action is much more difficult (involving animators,
artistic technologists, etc.) and timelines are interwoven.

Cutting a scene for illustration
or producing a minimal tweak can consequence in a two-day hold off when the total scene is
re-rendered.

A display screen cap from the function. Intensive write-up-creation function goes into interweaving the various things of an interactive perform collectively.

Despite the complexity,
the men think the approach performs, just that a lesson for potential productions
would be to give by themselves considerably far more time in submit-pro.

It is a sentiment that
comes by regularly for Leong and Chew, the “pivot” to digital was truly
about reframing thoughts, instead than necessarily introducing completely new tips
(while they did a good deal of all those way too!).

In marketing for illustration,
properly achieving out to audiences is still about knowing what
motivates them and then framing a message that resonates with them. But supplied
that the target viewers for this virtual whodunnit was unique from the
common theatre going group, that message had to be tailored to them.

Marketers require to harmony
expenditures with the frequency of messaging and are also mindful not to generate
message fatigue. All this retains real whilst advertising a digital function way too,
apart from that a virtual function has a extended marketing runway, so these issues
play out more than time.

Whether are living, filmed, or
virtual, productions have to also make money feeling, and with so considerably cost-free
content previously online, can digital productions ever contend?

Chew strategies the situation
as a producer, contacting it advertising and marketing 101.

“I look at every single venture
and question myself, does it tick the promoting boxes? And by that, I mean… Who is
this product? For? Who is my concentrate on audience? And what are they wanting out
for? What excites them? what interests them? What enjoyment are they
exploring for? And if we can respond to that, and we can develop a information to match
the marketplace, then the adoption fee will be greater,” he tells us.

Of course, he admits, it
assists that the generation was novel, and they experienced powerhouse actors and their
partnership with Raffles to incorporate to the charm.

Importantly, digital
merchandise vary from actual physical exhibits in that as soon as the manufacturing costs
breakeven, scaling is exponentially worthwhile, compared with in the circumstance of extending
a theatre operate in which location, cast, and crew prices proceed to add-up.

A different benefit of
executing electronic situations is that the info they gather could alter the activity in
assisting them far better fully grasp their audience’s use patterns and
preferences. A thing that Leong jokes could not be replicated at stay reveals
mainly because only about 10 persons would at any time fill in their responses sorts.

Have digital, will journey

Our company evidently
appreciated creating The Curious Circumstance, but never know if digital and hybrid will
forever turn out to be a section of the theatre practical experience.

Leong suggests he “can’t
truly explain to at the second mainly because individuals are dying to go back to theatre, which
is fantastic. You know, but with the decreased capability in the audience, the theatre
producers are not building income. It’s so tricky, [so] I feel for us, we’re gonna
stick with likely type of digital hybrid for now. And see how items pan out.”
Adding that he expects “we’ll continue to keep experimenting with it. Improving the
merchandise, and probably the hybrid product will perhaps operate [even] as points of interest
are opening up as very well.”

For now, they are
launching what they simply call The Curious Circumstance 1.5, which is a virtual treasure hunt
to obtain a missing kerosang (Peranakan brooch) and tease a 2. model that they
are presently conceptualising which aims to be certainly hybrid, combining a digital
encounter with an onsite 1 probably employing live actors, or having self-guided
excursions working with AR.

At the close of the enjoy, the cast assembles and viewers are questioned to select out whodunnit.

It is a model that feels like it has nearly limitless possibility, but Chew would like to continue to keep factors actual, indicating that whether or not IRL, virtual, or a mix of each, it goes back to the essential command to have an understanding of your viewers. “I feel it is the interactivity and engagement… when they are associated in carrying out some thing – resolving a criminal offense and secret, or when there are stakes included, and they are enjoying it and staying in it. I assume that is the place they completely are engaged.”

If engagement is what
they are just after, and acquiring professional The Curious Situation myself, I have to say that
this time close to, mission completed. Now to seem for that lacking kerosang.

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