Audiovisual Cultures episode 87 – The Secret Library automated transcript of full live recording

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okay a very warm welcome to another episode of audio visual cultures i am very excited to have several guests today it’s been a while since we had a panel and i’m joined by some folks who are involved with otto t’s entertainment i hope i’m saying that right i’m sure i’ll be corrected in a moment if i’m not um and they faced a really massive shift like so many of us and how they’ve had to operate due to the pandemic and they moved from a wide range of live events onto online productions including virtual escape rooms which i’m very excited to hear all about and so um let’s first of all get all the voices attached to names so i’m gonna start with todd and we’ll go around everybody and do some introductions so um beginning with you todd if i could please ask you to tell us your name and your role in the company and it’d be good to hear where everybody is in the world as well if that’s all right that sounds great uh thanks so much for having us here on the podcast my name is todd zimmerman and i’m the producer of oddities entertainment and um i’m excited to share what we’ve been doing online because i think for your listeners your viewers they have an opportunity for um a chance to experience that so we’ll be talking quite heavily i think today about the secret library and uh the many iterations that are coming from that so we’re looking forward to this conversation

brilliant thank you todd and katrina could i come to you next absolutely um my name’s katrina michaels uh i’m an actor based in new york city although originally from london and i’m one of the performers in the secret library brill thank you and deborah what about you sure um i’m deborah bearsley i’m also in orlando um close to todd um and i am the project manager for the secret library and i work for for oddities um so i have a lot of i’ve been involved with a lot of kind of the design elements behind the scenes and things so excited to share that process because it’s it’s all new when we go virtual okay that’s brilliant that sets us up for quite a lot of stuff to get through um so i think it might be good to begin with we’ll come to the virtual side of things in a moment but it’d be great to hear more about how all of you were having to work before all of the world ended and things so the world didn’t end it just

changed so who was it jeff goldblum he says nature finds a way right and uh and so that’s what we’re doing um so for our company and myself included before the the world changed and adapted we were producing a lot of live shows for theme parks across the united states as well as performing arts centers we have all kinds of different shows that that we’ve been doing and we keep about 100 to 150 performers working throughout the year live in all of those different venues so it was quite a shock to us of course when when everything shut down and continues to be shut down for live performances for much of the world so we’ve been trying to find a way to to obviously bring those online but uh it was we were enjoying ourselves and for us it’s it’s about a paycheck just like it is for everybody else but it’s more than that because when you’re interacting with the audience or you hear the applause you hear the laughter it really feeds our soul so and we we’re lucky enough that it that it feeds our pocketbook as well uh that we’re you know able to make our living as performers but but it’s also because i might even say a little bit ego that uh that we just like to hear hey you’re doing a great job

brilliant thanks um katrina what were you working on before um so i come from a in person live theater background um i work predominantly on the regional scenes while i’m based in new york i love the auditions are in new york and then you’ll do a contract in colorado for five months or you’ll go to rhode island for two months and uh i do an eclectic mix of uh i trained in musical theater but i do love shakespeare as well i love like contemporary gritty dramas um weirdly actually when the pandemic hit my next play was a dystopian medical drama um and it was like life imitating art in the worst possible way uh for a while i was like well at least i’m doing some great background research uh for when the show happens uh sally got delayed for air got postponed for a year and just officially got cancelled for next summer um so for me um the thing i love about theater is that it is such a collaboration with an audience and that you kind of you tell a story together there’s that direct feedback um and that was something i was really craving how do i still connect and share in stories i’ve been doing a lot of voice over a lot of audio books but that’s me sitting in a booth and i was fortunate even though i’m i’m based in new york city i’ve worked in orlando orlando shakespeare and i know a lot of people in that environment and so this audition popped up and the fact that there is this kind of immersive element that we get to i get to see the audience you know when i’m singing i play several instruments in the show and i get to kind of have the space where i get to share in song and story with an audience right there and that was an element that was really exciting to me that in a world that has kind of an element of disconnect you know with your fellow human being that this show can inspire that human connection oh that sounds brilliant thank you and uh deborah what were you working on before everything sure so immediately before this i was um doing theater administration at a local community theater um here in central florida um it was a 500 seat theater it is a 500 seat theater it’s still there and you know obviously they’ve been impacted greatly by the pandemic just with all of the capacity limitations and things um so i ended up kind of refining my love for immersive theater um i actually was in new york city for about six years and i worked with an immersive theater company up there and it’s always been a passion of mine to to look into different ways of storytelling you know the world right now wants to be involved and have um you know make a decision about everything something as simple as like american idol you can vote from your phone you know and who’s the next winner like everybody wants to be involved um so finding new ways to tell stories and bring people into that um i thought was always a really cool concept so um you know i came when i came down to new york i actually started an escape room because i wanted to be able to integrate theater actors into that and kind of an element of storytelling into a game play um you know for reasons of being a small business mom and pop shop you know that ended up running its its uh course um but the love is still there so during the pandemic you know we had so much time for reflection i was like you know what i i would love to do something like this and that’s when literally todd called me and said hey i want to do something online and and this was born so fantastic well so i’m hearing a lot about immersive theater and i think you’ve set us up really beautifully there deborah to then talk a bit about the secret library and um explore that a little bit and see right what were the origins of that where did that come from and how do you reproduce that immersive experience for an audience in an online setting so todd would you like to take us through right how did that begin right so again everything shut down and we took a few weeks to decompress and then said you know what we’ve always wanted to do is an immersive experience and it’s very cost prohibitive and obviously i always come back to the cost of being the producer but it’s it’s hard to spend the money to you know build out a building or an outdoor facility that that really makes you feel like you’re immersed into something and so we said well if we we can’t do that physically how can we do that virtually and it you know it’s i just actually gave a speech on this the other day to uh to a conference about um immersive experiences online and it really is virtually impossible because when you are performing to a camera people may feel that they’re coming into your world but you’re sitting there and everything that’s facing back at you right so you have a computer screen facing back at you you have i’m sitting in my office so i have stacks of paperwork in front of me my dog’s at my ankle right now so we we were having a challenge trying to create that immersive uh feel so as we took a look at the secret library what we wanted to do is find something that could be accessed from anywhere in the world you know that that did have a mysticism to it but we had to set it in reality because to make you immersed into something you had to feel uh like those those surroundings were natural uh wherever you were so for us it was you know we talked about how do we do this do we do we do something cool and like oh we’re gonna do a wild west show or or because we’re using computers let’s go and set it in the future and maybe we’re you know going through space and this is the only way we can communicate is through through these tv screens and then we said you know what that’s not going to feel immersive what can we do that is um going to speak to people on that personal level that’s going to put them in a situation where we can talk about their actual lives right now and then twist it to take them into that mysticism and that’s where the secret library was born something that is what we say is the the archive that holds all the records of humanity kind of like the akashic record if you look into some of the new age um wisdom where where all of those stories of humanity are there and that way we could tell different stories to touch on what katrina said we are storytellers so we can tell different stories because a library contains all of this knowledge we can go in in multiple different directions and um you know we’ll talk about this in just a little bit but we have had you know sequels and now we’re working on a prequel and and different iterations that come from that with all kinds of different formats so we’re able to appeal to a wide audience well is that the secret library behind you and your backdrop a library a library the library

i don’t think there’s enough magic going on behind me for it to be the secret library but we’ve got to change the green screen effects guess what i know right

fantastic and katrina how has it been for you um trying to be a performer in immersive theater and then moving into a space and um was that the sort of thing you were doing before were you were ever acting in game spaces as well as deborah was saying and then are you or is that something you’ve moved into now um so i have some background in immersive theater i did i did a show it was a show for children in which the idea behind it was that it was the the kind of brain child of both an educational space but also a kind of choose your own adventure and that they can kind of take ownership over it and so and with kids you really learn to think on your feet especially in a domain that gives them that permission and you know there were certain lines that triggered certain tech and set and lighting and certain projections and puppeteering entrances but then the in-between was often very fluid because you’re basing off what they’re giving you and so in the same way in the secret library we have there is this theater element and that you know we rehearse scenes and we have set characters but everything shifts based on the audience you’re interacting with and how they want to you know they kind of take ownership of what the experience is um and so getting to respond to that and like having feeling solid enough in like what is the world of the story we’re telling was about my character what are the options available to me but how can i go down a different route because that’s the route they want to go down um and that’s the cool thing it’s almost like you’re giving the joystick to the um to the audience um and like that kind of there’s a level of trust and the level and play in that which i think is so unique to immersive theater to games of that it really lets the audience be in control of the experience and so as an actor that’s so exciting because it i mean it fundamentally means every single show is going to be completely different and they’re going to keep you on your toes um we’ve been doing you know the first incarnation of the secret library since we start rehearsing end of august um and you know opened in september so we’ve been doing this together for a while and every single show is different um and that i think is the real magic there katrina you said something about um you know the audience has a choice and and i think not to jump and interrupt but but um i’d like to hear your perspective on a couple of things let me preface it with when we created this to to really give it that immersive experience we asked all of our performers to not only um you know bring their characters to life but but bring their characters to reality in the fact that we asked for um you know facebook pages to be created or instagram accounts or uh linkedin or you know we wanted to give them an online presence that our audience could go and find these characters in the real world each of their characters has a website that is dedicated to their their character’s profession or backstory and so for those audience members that want to really kind of go down the rabbit hole or really explore there are opportunities to find um hints of of these characters living in the on the internet um so and i know katrina you’ve got some fun stories of of guests that have reached out to you but i want you to speak if you can on the creation process of of trying to help build this character not just you know when you are on stage for that hour and a half but but that lives in the real world sure um i mean it was a fascinating experience for me because i’m used to the reverse of i you know constructing my character based on the clues and the text and tailoring that to the text well in this case i’m creating the text the text is mirroring it’s it’s very it’s a flip of that kind of process um but the exciting thing about being engaged in that creation is that you know the materials so well you know i can my character works at a bar and i can rattle off the drinks menu and like you know when in doubt it gives extra fodder to rely on um and i had a lot of fun uh my bar is a literary themed bar so i got to come up with the most terribly punny names um such as a george r.r martini or a pitch of dorian grosgoose um frankenstein um oh terrible and i have so much fun um and so then i can make a game throughout the show of like kind of assigning a signature cocktail to a guest and you know that material at hand to kind of go back to is fun and it’s it is interesting having you know this online presence with the character of i’ve had people reach out to me through my character maggie’s instagram and i they genuinely like they think i am maggie and there are elements of me and maggie um but i i’m not a bartender musician on the lonely side i know but it’s if it is really like someone was asking where my next gig was and i was like i mean i’m performing virtually from my apartment that’s that’s my gig um but it’s so it is funny how it’s it’s fabulous it states like how much they invested and believed in the world and i think having those tie-ins to you know we had like we’re all so connected on social media and things and having this character have those elements as well grounds them as a human um and like they can i’ve had conversation one of the videos on my uh character’s instagram is me playing accordion and i’ve had you know people reach out to me asking about the accordion which i will always happily talk about so you know it’s a great way to connect and a fun like added it creates another layer of kind of immersion of that it integrates in that technology even beyond the show

sorry i hijacked that a little bit deb uh because i know that you wanted to talk about immersive too and the fact that oh please that uh what what you brought to the table from your time uh in new york and the escape room i think are are really important so i just jumped in but i was like oh katrina said something let me hear about it no no i i’m fascinated actually that this was actually one of the things is being able to talk to the performers too because you know we we had a really robust uh writing team when we were first coming up with this i mean we all kind of sat around a table or sat in zoom meetings you know just trying to like nail down the concept nailed down the story you know we had 30 plot points that came and went you know like and then the amount of research we have an entire tome that you know talks about all of these uh libraries these historical libraries that are actual actual places you know that had actual significance in history and we had to pull all of that material just so that we could give that tone to the performers so that way they had that fodder to keep pulling from as well but like we didn’t just create you know todd and i we we didn’t just create this it was such a collaborative effort we were getting materials every day i remember you know we had um you know our writing team would send us a draft of one scene while at the same time somebody would send me a draft a character you know like katrina would send me a the the the bar menu you know and then the next day somebody else would send me a song i think katrina even wrote an entire song

which it like it had a clue it fell by the wayside as we changed the gameplay in rehearsal but i once won with that and then there’s another song my character was linked to another one who’s a history teacher and i made a ditty that was a mnemonic device about the ptolemaic empire which i mean it’s


you know and during the pandemic which has been such a time of like you know we’ve all had to go inside of our bubble right um a lot of us were missing that creative outlet so i think that pulling in all of these performers and whatnot too and allowed everybody to kind of find a quick creative outlet you know in a time where we’re all very frustrated because we can’t live our not our lives as normally as we want right so you know i don’t even think we tasked people with some of the stuff that got created you know i just said hey could you write you know could you have a little ditty because i think that maggie you know i think katrina your character and this other character they know each other and they went to school together or something you know and next day i have a you know page long you know 12 verses of the ptolemaic empire you know so like it really gave us all a chance to be really creative you know and kind of push the boundaries of how can we keep telling stories in a new and imaginative way and just make everybody laugh because everything is so 2020 right now

um so just giving everybody that outlet that opportunity has been you know has been wonderful and and you know you both hit on something and and paul i’m just completely hijacking this whole conversation todd you’re making my job so easy i don’t mind at all you know as a as a producer and director i get accused of of monopolizing the time quite often so i’m good i’m just gonna you know lean into it anyhow deb you kind of mentioned you know having that outlet uh for people where they you know were stuck in their own bubble and and katrina talked about the autonomy for our guests and our audience members but that was also a part of the immersive process was you know we looked at what platform to use and zoom’s a wonderful platform to connect with people but you as a participant have very little purchase on what you can do and so um deb in particular went and found a great platform that we’re using it’s a conferencing style platform but it gives the participant quite a bit of choice in where they go and who they talk to and how they interact with the space so it’s not just one of us putting someone into like a breakout room or something but rather allowing them to to make this journey on their own which is going to make it a unique experience for each audience member and in turn for our performers because it is that different story every time we needed something when we were like first searching for this software we needed something that would universally uh translate because we had you know during this time so much new technology has been thrown at us you know everybody’s had to get used to using uh zoom and stream yard and all these things uh you know we just needed to find something that universally could be understood but we knew that we didn’t just want zoom because it didn’t give people you know the the autonomy to do what they want we had to assign people to break rooms we had to uh like curate their path you know and if they uh katrina’s character is the bartender if they didn’t want to talk to the bartender and they wanted to go talk to somebody else

it never happens her room is always full to be fair but let’s say that did happen we didn’t want to force somebody in there you know they can go enjoy and they can move on so the software that we found is actually a software that we’ve had to kind of hijack just a little bit um i mean it’s kind of the best way to explain it because it was not designed for our use at all um but that’s what we do we think outside the box so um this software was originally designed for like trade shows so you have a two-dimensional map you can invite your guests in and then each room or each booth as it were you know if you were doing a trade show each little booth on the map can fit a certain number of people so they’re automatically like little mini breakout rooms you just have a map that allows you to move through it right so when we looked at that i i’m like an avid um board game player i have an entire wall an entire shelf of board games you know and when todd mentioned we kept going down this path of it’s almost like a clue board kind of thing so that’s kind of where we developed that everybody instantaneously everybody has played clue you know in their childhood at some point or seen it or seen the movie or something they understand the concept of i’m looking at like this mansion and i can all the rooms are labeled and i can move around all the different rooms so it helped the education factor uh which helped them feel more comfortable immersing themselves they know that they have the ability to move from one room to the other whenever they want and now they’re in control you know so now it’s one step deeper than just a video conference and it’s a beautiful map we worked with the graphic designer to come up you know with exactly what we were looking for and since then deb in all of her talent has taken on kind of our map building for some of the further games and we’ve had such a hit within the the conferencing platform that we’ve been working with that they are now coming to uh to us but to dev more specifically to help build some of that richness into their uh layouts as well so it was all part of that immersion to make sure people were really feeling like they were being sucked into it and i think we’ve done a really good job i’m proud of us team where you go

i thought we’d like to hear i’d love to hear people going you know what we did good that’s great i love it it’s we need that positivity that’s fantastic um so i mean i i take it you’ve been getting feedback from users of this and um what what sorts of things are you all hearing from them so far so we’ve had some of that interactivity that katrina has had um and i suppose they’re believing it it’s plausible that these people are real which is fascinating um but are you hearing anything else from people who’ve given it a try you know before you just said it’s great to hear positivity before we go down that road of positivity let’s just go to the dark place when we started this we we you know came out of the gate and we had had you know two or three months of development you know a writing team of 12 to 15 people all the new technology um our performers we have um what do we have we have double performers so eighteen twenty performers uh that were part of this because we were double cast so we had this this pretty massive team heading into it and we were so proud of what we developed and we got out there and the response was um and and that was such a learning experience for us because we had taken all of our passions and we had poured them into this but we didn’t have a clear direction of who our audience was i think right off the bat we wanted to um hit on escape room players because we had these incredible puzzles that were put together and each uh performer had their own puzzle to lead the the group through and we had similar to a buzzfeed quiz that when you before the game even started you could go and find out you know what kind of adventure you were and what library you were associated with and then that led you for us that that was kind of a litmus test of how puzzly they were because some puzzles were more difficult than the others so it would help place them in the right areas of the game so they could start with a harder puzzle if they were gamers uh and then we had the second half of the the performance now and even then there was a bit of a murder mystery element to it without the murder uh let’s keep it positive but they um had this performance opportunity to also be a part of it and decide you know who was the nefarious bad guy and and what we want found out is that theatergoers who are coming for that side of things were very frustrated with the games and escape room players were frustrated that they had to suddenly interact with performers and and so our audience was giving us these really mixed uh reviews of of the game so of course we were like oh no and and that’s i think where deb was talking about the the many iterations and the different things we went through to get it to where it is now and part of that was just focusing in on on our audience and we’ve done that and since then one of the the reviews that i heard that i was so excited to hear was um i really enjoyed myself but moreover i’ve forgotten how much i missed human interaction and and to have that be something that they pulled out of the experience that meant that that our characters were real that our storyline was engaging and they took that 90 minutes and really were immersed which was what our goal was they were really uh were immersed in this experience to the point where they felt they had made friends through the characters and they felt like they had made a genuine human connection through a virtual medium so i was excited to hear that the creation of the you know we did have so many escape room players interested in the concept because the escape room community has just kind of blown up with with virtual ideas you know with virtual concepts a lot of the brick and mortar escape rooms have pivoted to the gopro style where you have you know their attendant their employee wearing a gopro and streaming live and they go through and the players just have to tell them okay pick this up and now do this and now unlock this you know so you have to act through a medium um there are other escape rooms where you know it’s kind of gone point-and-click where it’s almost all video game the vr space obviously is is really turning up the heat right now because more people are starting to get vr but that’s still probably you know a few years away before it’s real commonplace um so you know we wanted to try to make something as well knowing that we had this audience that have now come through and tried this and not quite had a a perfect experience in the first iteration right because it was too immersive theory right it was too dramatic it was too much conversation for them so that’s kind of why we decided to now create an escape room as well so we you know the secret library like todd said it gives us the opportunity to tell so many stories so there’s always another story to tell right so we are doing the next one it’s called escape atlantis and it’s actually a prequel to the the original experience but it’s very escape room it’s 60 minutes it’s you and your team of up to eight people and there is one attendant one character that’s there with you but they are not intrusive at all they will send you some hints when they think you need it and that’s about it they otherwise will leave you alone and maybe run some some technical components you know run a video here or there um so yeah we’re hoping we’re actually launching that this weekend so we’re actually hoping that that appeases the escape room community a little bit more not just the pieces we want to excite them and that’s what we’re doing there we go see this is why he’s the producer and i just whatever

but the but the great thing about the escape room um being a prequel is for those that did want a few more puzzles and and did enjoy the original experience they can go and they can see how it ties into the the show um and on on the back end for us the the performer that is going to be running the game by and large are performers that are doing the other experience so they also have that rich backstory of of the secret library and of we have a shell company called delfix solutions that is the um corporation that is that is funding the the research for the secret library so they have this whole history of delphic solutions as well the play off of and they’re going to be able to then infuse that into the clue giving and and bring those performances through the the escape route without being heavy-handed with it well okay and katrina how is this for you as a performer these um interactions with people and keeping up with the knowledge that you must have to have of the games and things i mean do you find it it must be quite tiring to have this online presence that’s not you but you’re maintaining it as well as maybe your own like uh painting is a generous one okay it’s an other layer if someone wanted to explore it but usually you know it stays within the experience itself um it’s just you know kind of a little easter egg in a way if someone happened to look it up um but it’s not you know i’m not suddenly a social media manager or anything in that level um as for i mean i find it there’s something like very invigorating about like being kept on your toes and it’s that while yes we have this kind of treasure trove of knowledge and backstory you kind of just get to say yes and in the moment it’s very improv and whatever is kind of given to you is like it’s a gift that then you’re gonna run with that um there was one show this was right before christmas and i always i sing a couple songs in the intermission and um or the interval and um someone one of the other characters in the chat i was singing what are you doing what are you doing new year’s eve and one of the other characters who is uh in the story frequents the bar a lot he was like oh i don’t have plans and so then i decided to seize upon that and yes and that and then formally ask him out and then nothing even one more story for like that we got to filter in and there’s another character that day who’s playing my half brother and so he got to jump in the overprotective half brother and so there’s something like so exciting and thrilling a little bit terrifying like where is this going we don’t know um but there’s the wonderful thing is you know i fundamentally trust everyone i work with it’s a really talented really supportive team so you know that like no matter what avenue you go down they’re gonna be there like not only like supporting you but having the merriest time too and so there’s something really gratifying in that um which kind of keeps each performance very much alive and of that moment too because it is while it is you know paying homage to everything that was created before there’s new creation happening in that moment and i think katrina you are uh i i hope that you can see or hear the personality and the charm that she always brings to her character through what she’s saying today but she really is a fan favorite and we get so much positive feedback about her her singing uh of course but also they just they really connect to to katrina’s character maggie um on a on a different level than they do for many of the other performers so when you asked about feedback there’s a lot of great positive feedback about katrina in particular

oh fantastic and um

so do you think this has um broadened out your audience because i mean you were with what you were doing before you seem to be us wide but this must be global why are you getting people from all over the place it is we we’ve gotten people from all over the globe literally we did a a 7 a.m performance on our time for a group that had um people in in hong kong was it down um so we are reaching parts of the the globe that you know we normally wouldn’t be able to our challenges and is is trying to keep enough performance times available for people to to join us from other places quite frankly because it is a it is a game that is is social it’s an experience that’s meant to be with a good number of people and while you get a very personal experience if there’s only three people there for the show that night it also can be a bit overwhelming when there are more performers than there are audience members so for us you know a really great number is between you know 30 and 40 people in the game it uh provides a lot of avenue for what katrina’s been talking about which is that changing directions and unique experience for our guests but it’s hard to have a you know a european time slot that’s enjoyable at 8pm um and then we’re having to do a a matinee and so we’ll get a few people from over there and maybe a couple from here but but we’re trying to find those times to concentrate the guests so that it’s a better experience for them yeah and earlier debra mentioned board gaming and um i’m a real lover of cooperative board games and so i was wondering is the is the escape room online is the secret library is it the sort of thing where everybody has to cooperate and you all lose or you all win or is it just everybody for themselves how does it work yeah so um it is a collaborative experience um it’s a minimum of four people is what we suggest and you can have up to eight people um so far in our early testing of it everybody seems to kind of stay together um and ever you know all four to eight people attack one puzzle at a time collaboratively um it is designed so that way you can split up you know we had one escape room player uh come in the other day and she’s she manages a an escape room in new york city and she came in and she was like okay i want to divide and conquer let’s have you two go here you two go here but everybody else was just a little too nervous um and they didn’t all know each other very closely so they all stuck together and she kind of guided them through it um but i think that when you get a real you know passionate team that has done this many times that you know when i owned my escape room there were some groups i i kind of my brick and mortar was at the beginning of the escape room phenomenon you know back in like 2014 um and only towards the tail end did i start seeing like avid players who have done every single one in town they travel nationally they always have to do them and they know how to do it and they go in there and everybody has a plan you know if my husband and i were kind of the same way i would go in he’d go in and search for everything and bring all the the pieces to me and then i would sit there and just analyze every single piece and then it’s like you’ve got a plan right so i it can be done you know broken up like that but ultimately it is a simultaneous or a collaborative experience um we have been talking about actually you know for some groups that are bigger than eight um we can kind of do a competitive side where we have two games running at one time and it’s a race the clock kind of competition um but we haven’t yet played with that but it is always an option we’re we’re staffing up and and getting ready to do it so we’re excited for the first group that actually wants to compete cool great stuff and um do you ever do any of the characters mislead anybody are there any sort of plants or are they just purely good information are there any plants in there that might be a bit misleading like do you make it hard for people do you have different difficulty levels for people is it difficulty or is it playing with them i think that’s the the real question right so general oh god no i was just gonna say yeah i think we have some red herrings built in but but this is where and i i’m gonna dab not to catch up but i do want to hear katrina’s aspect now i know that i’ve had to sit and i i’ve played multiple characters now as kind of the understudy for the show um but but i don’t i don’t live and breed them as well as some that are more dedicated to their their performance but i know that there are nights that a performer will come in and say i want them all to suspect me tonight so i’m going to do everything i can to be suspected or tonight i’m going to send them all to this person it’s not the right person but i’m going to send them all to this person and really cast a shadow of doubt on them so i think there’s a little bit of that that um ribbing between the performers uh that also keeps it fresh for them but katrina katrina have you ever been suspected i mean uh your character um the funny thing is often my character gets suspected because she’s quite optimistic and naive in a way and so then i get people who are like she’s too nice she’s too optimistic um but then i also uh one of the other actors who i actually uh she was my music director once in a show in orlando um so we’ve known each other for years but she decided to make me the top suspect and her life she was like i don’t even think that’s her real accent i think she’s faking it i don’t have people who would come into my room and this guy remember

um like so there is like fun lines of and so and that you know we all know kind of where the story is going but we can take a little detour and encourage guests to take a detour along the way um and because we have this kind of sense of play and trust with each other we can definitely go down that route um but the man who popped in said spell color

captain um but yeah so we can kind of it’s like a it’s a helpful you can nudge people in a certain way and especially like uh like any and it can help with like the pacing as well as you’re like judging you know how kind of how clued in they are and kind of experience they are trying to gather you can shift them this way and that so that they are going to maximize their time and kind of keep things fresh and enjoyable and to that end dev you also uh while you’re running things behind the scenes for each game you have the opportunity to interact with the guests and and she’s a bit mischievous herself uh so oftentimes she will help guide things just in the in the chat interactions between the other um performers or the the audience so it’s it’s it’s always a new experience but yeah there’s definitely some some leading misleading

i mean there are sometimes too that you know um not only are the character you know our actors creating and we’re creating on the fly but the the participants and this is exactly what we hope for the participants are creating on the fly we have heard some outlandish conspiracy theories like during the intermission when um you know katrina’s character is is playing sometimes they’ll have the opportunity to just chat with each other and be like well i think this is about to happen and you’re like what what did that have to do with anything you get that from but the fun part about it is you yes and it right so one of the characters will pick up on and be like oh that’s a really good idea you might be onto something come find me later and we’ll explore that you know so it just keeps giving us the opportunity to for everybody to kind of have fun with it you know and we have modes of um we separate all of the performers and the technicians for the show we have a feed where we can talk to each other privately so it’s almost like a backstage area so you can be like hey heads up this guest is going down this direction like lean into that and so that you know we can keep each other on board as we do this or sometimes it’s even i just move it can also be like hey i just made a backstory you know like uh this character suddenly decided that she you know played chess with this other character whatever you know and you’re like i don’t i i don’t know where it came from and now suddenly you need to make sure the other performer is aware that you have this relationship in case the act the participants go over there and ask her about it and that’s something that i had a friend who came over and watched as we were running the backstage side of things or the the back end side of things and they were like this is almost as exciting almost as interesting as watching the experience itself because he said i i had no idea first of all that the performers who i i keep talking about how great they are but they really are because they are multitasking like you can’t believe they are running first of all they’re acting like that’s their first job but then they’re running uh puzzles and helping to guide guests they’re having to think on the fly as the guests change things they’re having to run their own technical elements which is in and of itself sometimes a challenge but they’re also keeping this conversation going in the the channel behind the scenes and so they are just killing it but as as he’s watching them roll with the punches and us change out different um technical aspects throughout the game and talking about it and then just our own frustrations as humans when something doesn’t go right and you’re like no no we’re you know he was like this is amazing you should celebrate to watch the backstage is there an avenue then for a behind-the-scenes experience for people who’ve completed it at some point i don’t know put your producer hat on we’ll figure that out

yeah maybe we could live stream something that would be fun oh that could be fun

i feel like we would still end up with like two chats going on there’s like you know

the public behind the scenes and the private behind the scenes well it’s even reality tv is not reality right so you can create another whole experience i don’t know there’s a lot of work there

so um so like point people towards if anybody’s listening and they fancy having a go at this point them towards where should they go to sign up to do paula first of all you say if anybody’s listening they they better be listening come on you’re going to do this for yourself right this is my family’s podcast i this is how we communicate during quarantine

um so they can come and find out about the experience at uh secret library dot io that’s dot and um there’s an opportunity there to take a look at all the different experiences that we have we did have one for christmas where we dealt with uh krampus and the the lore of that with the secret library it was a super fun show and i’m so sorry that it’s seasonal because it was uh it was a lot of fun every night even for us to to watch what was happening because it forced us to really create new new experiences each night you know sometimes as much as we say the audiences can change the story sometimes they do sit back and watch and so oftentimes we have to to really drive their participation if they’re not being particularly interactive but with that one we had uh the opportunity to really delve into some improvisational chops um and then we have a couple with the new escape room that comes out uh next week and then we have a couple of new other experiences on the horizon they can find all of that at secret library.yeah thank deborah were you going to say something there no um i was going to jump in real quick about the um about krampus um that show it it’s amazing kind of we went through such a learning curve with the original experience right we we went through and now that we’ve done it and everybody is so comfortable with it you know with running it like we keep kind of driving home that we keep finding new things and that has now informed the subsequent games so like for for instance um there there is an ability in the in the platform you know you’re looking at a clue board right and you’re looking at all these little pieces on the board all these little avatars that are your character and all the performers and everybody right well you can watch them kind of jump around right you go into this room and then you jump over to this room and then you jump to that room right well we realized that people kind of that was very intuitive and there was something kind of fun about watching people kind of chase each other a little bit you know everybody trying to i really want to track down katrina because she has some important information oh wait he went to this room go get her you know so there’s like this chase element that we were actually able to integrate as a a real chase where you had to chase down krampus we said okay krampus had just got here you have one minute everybody bounce around go get him you have to corner him you know and it ended up being one of the most like adrenaline-filled kind of minutes for a virtual game you know like we’re all just sit everybody that does this you’re generally sitting back in your office or your living room or something maybe a glass of wine but now you’re like clicking around and all of a sudden you’re really really excited right and we’re really you know trying to keep an eye on those things that people really enjoy because we can exploit them a little bit and kind of integrate them into future experiences which i i’m really excited for you know like we thought we had had covered everything with the original experience but it feels like there’s just always more you know it’s so untapped it’s great and it’s funny we keep talking a little bit like a politician where we we’re talking about this thing that we love so much but we have to keep skirting the issue because there is mystery involved and because there are puzzle elements that we don’t want to give away the the endings to and so i’m listening to us talk and i know exactly what we’re talking about but i’m sure to the listeners it sounds a little bit like we’re avoiding answers um or or not giving you the full story and we’re not because because we want to keep it a mysterious element and um so i do apologize for the double speak or the confusing it all makes sense in our brains but it may not come across in it vocally right now

great and so um is there is there anything else that we haven’t covered yet today is there anything anybody wants to say i mean you’re all working your socks off by the signs of it on this but you sign like you’re having a blast which is really positive here but is there anything else you want to put out there for people

it’s always it’s like having a menu that’s just so big like what do i say now what’s really important

um i mean i think that as a producer i have to say please come and experience this for yourself and and that is to keep our performers working because they are the top in in the biz and they are just working so hard having a great time but but we’d love to have the opportunity for um for them to continue but more importantly we really do believe that we’ve hit on something that is universally enjoyable and an opportunity for some escapism and a date night or whatever else a good way to see family that you can’t be with um and we’re so proud of it and we really enjoy what we do so much we want to share that with everybody so please please please check it out yeah boss man summed it up pretty well

yeah i feel like this is the sort of thing that over the coming years researchers new academics and things are going to look at this kind of innovation and how people like you have have just taken this by the horns and just done something with it you know and created out of you know something really quite dark and difficult for the world and um so it’s an amazing achievement so well done and i’m really looking forward to giving it go myself it sounds really hilarious fun exciting you know brilliant thank you all so very much thank you for that thank you and let us know when you’re coming because we’re uh we’re excited to show you absolutely

yeah and i suppose if there’s an opportunity if anybody is anybody listening to this does give it a go just make sure you let somebody know because that would be lovely to to know about thoughts what do you say deb should we set up a discount for listeners i was just thinking that too all right so kind thank you absolutely so we’ll we’ll send you over a special code just for your listeners and and you can include that in your your byline so that they uh they have a chance to experience it for a discount that’s so generous thank you all so much that’s wonderful yeah hopefully it would be good if we it’d be great if we could get a little audio visual cultures team together

so todd zimmerman katrina michaels and deborah beard say thank you all so so much for joining me today it’s been a blast thank you thanks for having us thank you so much


Audiovisual Cultures episode 9 – Ready Player One automated transcript

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welcome to edition nine of audio visual cultures this week Andriy Shayla night indulge in some post hearing nursery after saying ready player one as well as gushing over nineteen eighties nostalgia we worked through some of the issues that the film presents we're beginning to make recordings with casts and there's an open invitation for you to get in touch if you'd like to use the podcast is a platform for your work or interests somewhere in the region of audio and a word visual cultures in the broadest possible sentence even if you're a fan and you don't think you're particularly an expert I still want to hear from you email audio visual cultures and that's all one word all lower case at G. mail dot com or you can tweet me out P. E. A. R. that's pretty much my handle for all the internet so for now I enjoy the utter geek fast that's to follow I ready so playable at words and stuff hi dean or the third I think it's important to point out that morning knock on Ajay the film just stuff the D. V. D. with an entire day to watch and rewatch slowly posing it frame by frame would be the absolute minimum and eight in order to be able to do that stuff I love that I love anything that fat reference chokes him from a very referential culture and I love adaptation in all its forms I really enjoy all that sort of stuff because I really like the idea as of year getting a lot of pleasure but if noticing and getting a lot of references and I know life on the cough fraction of them from ready player one even though I call those of them it's one of those tax issues she hi culturally literate he might be and there's a lot of pleasure to be drawn from as I was coming out of the screen we were of course in the last two people come out of the screen and as a matter of pride that I was coming out of the screen I thought what if we just spent the last two wish I was doing because okay that's always what we spent the last two years I was doing is following the story but there are lots of other activities they're involved in watching film some more than others with different sounds than different combinations and one of those activities is getting references to extricity matic knowledge or least getting references to noise from outside that specific film whether controllers and directivity was something that was possible somebody with that knowledge to be participating in quite intensively throughout the film now of course it's impossible to follow the narrative to enjoy this from quite empty even if you had never encountered any of those real world films video games TV series comic books yeah the card is already five one related to that was something we mentioned earlier on today after saying it says that there were a lot of references are already held your hand through them and it was very exposition a liver clunky parts of the dialogue I felt where it explained the plot to use pretty obviously and that was totally unnecessary but and unlike ways fashion it would expand references there is a part where they were who can straight off the figures and somebody lifted up a little robot figuring and then they mention this is such and such from silent running and I have heard a lot about that film but I've never seen it so I wouldn't necessarily recognize and I just know a lot of the robots that have been influenced by that so the likes of Wally and Johnny five from short circuit that's a good thing have been influenced by the robots and that creations and sign a running but I've never actually seen not found so I wouldn't have known not so that there's lots of things like that for anybody who doesn't casts the reference and you can call in sick at all right then there's lots of other ones where it was a lot more supple than that and I felt like there were times when I was the only person in the whole auditorium that was gay because I can't something I was right there next to you I was impressed anything sometimes you're not it can go together on the spectrum of how many people we want to get the rest as far as the average month the population goes %HESITATION above average either that or they just were not showing their cards other than the usual festering and crunching going on it was a pretty quiet spot is nothing you have ever there to save more %HESITATION Florida I was expecting for I just saw some parts of it were hilarious and just the references to stuff no ma'am very strict very code violations and send my viewing but other times and I think %HESITATION and I can stop myself from reacting this is like only other times and I just wanted to call you and say oh it's fine I couldn't remember what those things are and I thought oh no I need I don't think I should have got my new brick and then writing in the dark server reporter but you know I know that we can resist it because it's not back to the future special moments and this is the phone that way you're very much bonded over as you mentioned there's the spectrum of one aspect of those references where attention is specifically called to a reference is being made and then the other end of the spectrum is very resourceful I think we were quite somewhere along that because sorry the holy hunger names there's no no one says that from a Monty Python and the cemex issue which is S. G. Q. please explain the Silvestri twinkle at cemex the tour it does little twinkle and the music is really high up on the notes and it's one of the magical finding tiny whiny things are happening it's also at the point when something joins us now it's a science fiction thing so it's why science fiction it's science but it's really cool so it seems much the main character the Holloway it's Hey it's cold Parsifal and see quite a lot of the time the vehicle that he's kind of built up to where it says fake of choice is the DMC trials a sick joke to Laurie and from back to the future SSR is because him posted back to the future franchise and and then %HESITATION we assess virtual world that's created those are both creations of this Frankenstein's creature of a car that it physically could never have dreamt just because it was night mereka Kearns of the banks the feature on the ready player one version of the character during the car as it is the dream of policy academy of the American dream car it says amalgamation of all these different supercars including the lotus is spirit and is a car with big dreams spa in reality it was a disaster it's fictional grilling can go well as race he has great handling great celebration different types of tires right now it's the clunky awkward today Katie breaking down all the time crock of a car this is a comma which also I think people expect to see with a lot stuff both of them to reference them retrofitted stuff over and just one thing which I have to say I have to put this out we don't let stuff bolted onto it in when you buy one it would do exactly what it needed to do for weight yeah because there's not a time driving car and the games so one more thing because it has to be the cultural reference thing is that's not become what did or is it like this all that stuff all the time but did you notice as well the red lights going back and forth that was resting cactus night writer well I suppose because that's the place on the durian which says DMC and so the logo been replaced following another reference as if there is a problem for another I didn't quite catch number pay because doesn't say at a time but I think it says cars of and there's all these things back because it's so referential and because of Simon Pegg it's going to keep going back to spaced I find so one of the other thank you know high so that is but it's certainly a clear visual reference but you have to know the phone so it's E. H. for Helen yes we find Dave her real name is but the character of the Taurus H. she has developed the iron giant capital R. and is that and the final back but has become a bridge for the others to capital for then it's sinking into the lava and there's the hands and the phone going up I'm not super stand of terminator two judgment day that's also in an effort it's reference to spaced in a way I don't know how familiar Spielberg with faith but he's cast Simon Pegg so I don't know that there's a patent on the apps it's a space where tens having an emotional moment he's going he knows a clear determination you would so he makes a verbal reference to that exact moments they've made a purely visual reference another thing to come by on Fuhrman is that %HESITATION to backstory characters in this film on both played by English actor is pretending to be American of course not runs does a better job at that von Simon Pegg that first okay Simon Pegg there because he sent pagan he's become that guy he's become the cake he is now part of cake co chair he's creating it rather than referencing if you cross over that specially in the program like stay on the topic of geek culture this from a virtually and repeatedly champions geeks because there is a motif in this about playing for the love of playing rather than playing full games for the motif about not having the confidence to go out on a date which involves actually touching someone's social awkwardness the social anxiety of being not entered as and then there's the geek value of having specialist behind the scenes knowledge about really obscure Republicans are items and the absolute climactic moment is about knowing about the very first time that an Easter egg was ever included in a console computer game from this thing seventy nine I think the fed and adventure yeah service pro geek logic throughout the game movie but then at the end there's a I think we should be a bit less geeky because doing stuff in the real world which involves international contact can be rewarding it was one of those compromise solutions that focus to get caught up in films which extol of certain virtues as far as what it was doing was it was championing both of these things over the monopoly capitalism that was exemplified by the fire line corporation I mean because I Y. this is speech one one it's instinctual from one to one so there's another set of references I love to financial aid options so very much but of course there is the other problem with it two point night saying I thought I really missed a trick in terms of a but listen I felt like everybody have to be able bodied to be part of this virtual world and I thought that sort of defeats the purpose of the virtual world for you can be anything I find it disappointing that there was no because well there's a conscious diversity in terms of race and gender and they've been there there are still some issues but there is a conscious addressing of those things and there's an article by class but it was disappointing that there's nobody he wasn't fully able bodied tenants when there's so many possibilities for the virtual world because it's not just that it's virtual reality it's not just that it's computer gaming you have to be fairly able bodied to fully engage and then I was thinking if they've gone for a version of virtual reality where you physically move around in the real world I think also that for any specific %HESITATION the reason to do with the plot which would then justify this box of limitations in which people have to be able to you know the function I can't think of one one point of comparison is avatar and the whole point of interest that the main character of the use of his legs and his avatar can walk and run and serve it all things about a body that he axis is the condition of the body count I wasn't back see no reason why they can about that version except in this version of virtual reality Spivack seems to have gone for an opportunity to be constantly cross cutting between the two story space it was if it was a wise three spaces where your real world user just went into a kind of coughing thing and it was %HESITATION just to do with that consciousness operating out of town %HESITATION movement so there would be nothing to intercut between his love of cost cutting is gotten into that corner went and one has tools to be able to move in well there's quite a few guys X. that Comitis laugh certainly at the end where we it is still strapped in the thing and he's the only one left in the game and then there's quite a lot going on with what's happening with his body and coming through the rind and and now what's happening with this character and almost pressing the emergency stop button on everything but even still without the tar I had real problems with that idea I mean I just hit the phone with every fiber of my being for many reasons apart from Sigourney weaver is of course amazing without the tar I just felt like what he has to become famous he can't just be a whole person and a wheelchair user he has to become this other being who you slacks work to become a whole Follett creature hold valid being and not really annoyed me and in this I just felt like you could have done something rainy and Treston let's say you could have a basic knowledge that it's not just people here for for the use of their arms nice a raising this thing but actually it could open up a whole world of interactions for many kinds of different people and the way it was disappointed in terms kind of obvious and inevitable that all of these people including the Japanese people here he Rick very clearly Japanese and non Japanese descendants were American they learn in Japan or anywhere else in the world the role not just in the United States but in quite close proximity and that's a bit mad that they all just happened to be in the vicinity of each other and within a few hours for each of each other Artimus texts each month to Japanese characters they seem to arrive to pick up possible away within about two minutes so basically everyone who yeah they live around the corner from each other one who's a major player in this global com well I suppose it's filled by leases national virtual reality space lives in Columbus Ohio there is mention of anything on the system this way people gaming as of I was thinking about whether this so might associate the game with slavery initially when wages in the very first scene when he's in the initial drug short comes in and meets him and he's leaving the stack where lives to go off to what seems to be work these past two going off to compete in the game in a tiny little interests base in wreckage hello what is possible the other one %HESITATION basically shipping containers for people live is looking in to these windows where people are very introspective as doing things in virtually are windows he saw them all through the windows and the sort of traveling show up so you've got a woman pulled on thing gazing very masculine things women doing very well the only thing was you know it was that from each of those images that was him looking in from the outside from this era of relative freedom and to place these people being constrained and that sense of particular after his ejection his narration as a first person narrator says of his being free of all aspects of the oasis of the people to go on the ice is meant to Chris he's the kind of because of a hacker and bring the chicks delay but then it goes to his own little person to do his own and then in addition later on when I was Mrs captions she's got this debt she has to go into what is effectively imprisoned work the death toll the pace exposition that she's given it's clear that when you do that you just stay there for the rest of your life and so the several instances where %HESITATION my sis's deems to be its currency this is the fifth person and that when you're in it those chinks that represent everything did break out of its constraints and then as far as the three keys for what which is the main thing that our support this intent from forty three keys that represents an unlocking of course represents an attempt on the escape to the oasis or escape the constraints that have been built into the oasis every time as a kind of reverse of avatar it's going from a dingy real world into what is effectively a person or an advertisement for the danger real world into this fantastical colorful free pretty highly mobile camera virtual reality world offers having picked that text as with the phone's going to do it would make it difficult to try and then also portrayed the victory of two of the races is something that is liberating for anybody who is differently abled and anyway source for those routes have been selected in plotting this for for St Mary's of opportunities for anything other than for example for the people I don't know necessary how you solve the problem I don't think either of us right even aware of that awful before hand so I don't know if it's not Arnold I just notice I heard Steven Spielberg being interviewed last week nothing like that came up a toll it's one of those things is so invisible that I don't think it's crossed most people's minds actually is able body privilege not kind of thing what he did mention that I find really interesting without because he himself has contributed so much to the nineteen eighties culture and the film is spelt on nineteen eighties popular %HESITATION share this post not just popular culture but cult culture quite nation areas of culture and of course it goes post stopping because of the T. racks up from the ninety cents a month from their ace and a king Kong that seems to be going right back to the store you know the nineteen thirties I do want to work harder referred to you because this thirty three comma as the one from seven three seven six three uses of from their original Godzilla films so that was back in their databases file within those reviews and stuff in the form of a bunch of the game is with plantings halo characters it was one of those he did on a graph of wind the references are from the failed because in the middle would be from yeah yeah the stuff before me and stuff but he was saying because the huge amount of references to his films he's directed in the north and then awful so he's actually stress loads of it all right interestingly though the major cinematic reference which he kept in was to assume that he produced he has it's a way of going he said there's only so much he could stop by to Laurie and %HESITATION to say all these things will do one of these will be yes we have read the original that it buys them to read and I actually am click here yes it's one of those are probably encourage more people to do that from what I've been hearing from there if he so far is a lot of people her massive scientific aren't necessarily happy that this comes all the time without hesitation because they wanna see picked them up so much on screen and it's not realistic because it doesn't translate it has to be changed and that was already two hours and twenty minutes Senate Brady could have lost a few minutes here and there there were parts first sauces jargon reconnoiter the stylebook is not necessary get on Michelin made stuff thank you know when they had him on the back K. and Mendelssohn and the tire and it was actually a simulation now and you realize it's a simulation but they experience the whole sang and it's done with one character explaining it to another and then the other character is part of the act yeah will it would have been briefed on what's happening in this plan to gather and it was a bit Basel exposition I'm not pulling the service LA joys despite the inception tactic as it could be known as space is convincing somebody that they'd come out of the simulation for the rest the we're still in the game for my tools although I'm sure of it predates spent two years mentions bracket Ralph I haven't seen Ralph but %HESITATION live games interactions there's an episode of Futurama for the payroll Trafton old video games several chapters make space invaders or twenty calls and things like that the reason record off came to mind is because wreck it Ralph is about characters from different arcade games being able to move between the game during that downtime and wreck it Ralph is one of the oldest games in the arcade in a much newer games in the arcade including one that's a bit like halo and this really cheesy when Ralph actually makes it into this really important game has member has she says how did kids games get so violent as it expands up to contest a lot of the comedy comes from characters from one game meeting characters in the game so I thought there's bits of this yeah the bits of the comedy coming from one fictional truthful character the set of known traits being juxtaposed with a situation or is it about the characters that the norm normally around current is coming in in their avatars in the avatars can be basically anything they want I think one was Marvin the Martian he noticed that he was on screen for about two seconds five I think and I I'm not sure I'm on the to say it again I saw him possibly so some gremlins and the big bottle thing specials ninja turtles that was great are there so many there missed that part where Artemis is disguised as someone because I remember okay that was I don't know that but they did the Elian the juxtapositions going on hand were I suppose the online giant fighting was it mixes Ella on the conversion of Gaza chases and they're one of the vehicles racing in the early race through New York was the original Batmobile which is a close is that correct amazing that was anywhere from when C. was getting ready to go and meet Artemis at the club he was sent all these different test case changes service boy thriller Michael Jackson geron geron he ends up place bombs away I've seen not one from the current members only the day Saturday night fever zombies in the the hotel from the shining okay and that's what cinemascope take the shining pays huge parts of reality and after Afrin soccer recreation of this author panicle may face the typewriters the paths with lower to tackle or change to the staff and the twin sisters Baloch coming from the elevator because I'm not as well like she said it's her near by gender it might be worth teasing out a little bit yeah I just thought okay this is a very self conscious piece of filmmaking except about gender because one it does go okay we'll have one of the male avatars turn out to be the avatar as a female character okay it does go we'll have a female protagonist is Artemis when one of the keys first before possible even if he wins the two other keys first five thirty that will have a direct when she does something that the others are unable to do any involves her being the one who rescues the girl in distress even though it is all of that but it still does is at a certain point one and two thirds point mark Artimus gets captured possibles one who still free and it becomes the job of the boys to save the jobs by the black woman I know but no one is of course slightly comedy SpaceX this person not that there's anything at home an issue with that and it's the character he saw the tar is coded as a black man make masculine black man and he is warning Percival up by of the art in this could be a dates and you're falling for this person would be Dan so it's quite heteronormative zero gender fucking because I one crossing cross dressing and become this character who is sexually muted anyway so it's just being a slightly different version of blindness is far from concerned that kind of goes wasn't a white person being a black character because that would not be around gender fucking okay passing notes okay as far as system and you have this like crazy because there's a modifier on the voice everybody else seems to have their own voice when they're playing but C. H. clearly has some sort of modifier so that her voice isn't coded female it becomes coated and muffled and masked ball seemingly email it is quite essential estimates sensational today even though the avatars should give you the option for the characters to come play is nobody really seems to take it there's either stop or there's character Shearer robots but even the robots are coated nails and iron giant as sort of a male character again even with the dungeons and dragons %HESITATION characterization of all the things so many of them are coded mail very few female or non gender specific beliefs femaleness of this environment takes Artemis from this mysterious powerful very savvy very able country beginning to this country and who is the girl who the hero is now going to bite the bullet and K. the gal who the hero save several times the girl whose decisions the heroes rules the girl who I think at one point says what do we do now in that classic way that women do yeah basically old TV no she's actually got it sorted it's frustrating because she goes to saying that from don't distract me don't get on my way to a her needing him and her seeking him early on in southern plains do lost to the later part of the films or even give this gift is from credit she is the person who manages to take down that force field around the fortress at the end yeah the games being played later even today it's even though Helen is coded as sort of nondescript as a woman but with the shining says she's never seen the shining because just like scary movies it's kind of funny at first you got this big black man and then possibly she coded as last the end because there's the rain two three seven back and that's where in the back and and the adaptation which the family he goes into greater detail about it directly thank you prick and saving came here all search spend awful famously here to confirm he hits the phone very much chance at making its own television series is an adaptation of the faithful I've never seen it and it's a disaster because it's basically an unfathomable thank you needed to change things needed to these things because it's just too much and I've ever had and that's well I'm not a fan but anyway this is part part in the film that they stock make a fan named CCAC no hawking bothered because there's just naked woman in the Bahamas there's some moments where H. says well go with S. because doesn't know what's coming so they're staffs light hence the EHR Helen as possible the lesbian or bisexual the only people left radial sexuality or the heteronormative couples who get together and fans that sometimes %HESITATION and flee it the racial norming American films that calls back to you well that it just reinforces is the one where it's fine to have a bank account as long as that like hers is not part of the fun social unit as long they're looking into it from the outside and endorsing supported in some way but not being part of it because the people getting together and forming a family unit maybe just a couple I have to be just a white people and that's the only way that the black person can be best friends with the man white guy a story office towers it says the pointing of it as well or at the very end when it's weird and Samantha and the voice of various telling you that they close off the oasis on Tuesdays and Thursdays I think it is and they're sitting kept saying they're not even hi there enjoy researching testing and she's wearing this sort of fabulous going very similar to the one her avatar where swimming dancing the first time she becomes coded as sexualized famine nice woman when she had been for the whole film a warrior and a resistance fighter on main female characters journeys from able independent Saudi leader too dependent not so able %HESITATION dependent possibly so yeah gender wise not stranded I'm thinking of it the child's character is %HESITATION because there's too much of a big demands of the because we got the Japanese characters and the younger one is a laugh and then there's such a big deal made out of him being in my life in your own way I mean of course he's going to be one of the best players ever because he's alive and that's all he does one of my thinking is in the book there is this running set of jokes about him being eleven and he's characterized a lot more and has a more dialogue but that as part of the trimming stuff down process someone just went overseas travelers if these minor characters dialogue and it just interests are just inadvertently Capt I'm not going to make it so that all that that character talks about is the fact that he M. eleven this is people giving him an ex hammock Latin I lost some money in there to have credit the server really funny the first time but then they keep on mind that van Norrington way of making that first check pay off more would have been if the second time the met somebody may look surprised that he was alive and survive it could have been him expecting the other person to be really surprised because nobody wants to talk it would have been affected right okay other billions references there was quite a long backed up by John Hughes films and it was my neighbor being talked about you rather than it was when his name was Nolan Sorrento two yes No than Sorrento soap and then Justin's character who is trying to talk where it stands today joining them working for them the findings case for higher why they resume the references to try and catch each other out of bed where he was trying to same codes playing with kids these references to what we've been reading a poem may face movies %HESITATION but sixty years old some breakfast club nineteen ninety four finally all right I mean this is all this may so yeah two sixty if she is old when this film is set in so one eight is too young to have been born in facts even certain total would have been too young to be born and so yeah that sucks this isn't a fanboy is more knowledgeable about the culture of his grandparents generation man his parents generation is it really seem like a storage space that permitted people to be really into the eighties even though none of them would be added to it as well because they seem to have been plugged into these games from birth pretty much and yet somehow they've seen always my face I love times T. no all the references so I don't know if it shakes a little bit there it may be that you can watch games in the movie in the end they always ask for Maria we want to get in there you can watch movies and that second point actually this is one thing you can do with ya girl was not ours you can watch wraparound versions of films in the event to say actually brought up the gender Shah I was interested in I haven't seen the trailer for example today before they had to park in the trailer of pari stating together attention you trouble complying the axe force I just spoke out with this engine you know to take growth path artifacts man and the gender neutral and stuff like that and then from the host of follows all the old tropes and makes a tam I don't know if maybe it's coming from an awful maybe it's an aging director set in his ways but it got quite a few stereotypes still to overcome her but I do have to say I did get that special tells a sanity racks front underbody in New York at the same time as King Kong what is the term source rex is simply a dinosaur and Kong is simply a very large gorilla and yet because of what Hollywood is she's done and trying to source Francis Lauer and reference to Jurassic Park franchise times the John Deere there's no reference to another specific printers about a grower loves humans hates dinosaurs and shouldn't be let loose in New York thirty racks I think that's a sort of shorthand for Jurassic Park because it's in the Jurassic Park novels and those initial film adaptations and this is exclusively that Michael Crichton versions not the Conan Doyle ones from much earlier it's that there's discussions with great knowledge and evidence coming to light Bailey until that date the idea that the T. rex may have been a hunter because it's probably a shame that because with tiny arms it was a scavenger I think there's discussions in Jurassic Park the first novel Cumbric shifts for secular but anyway but it's just questions equipping hunter and actually seeking the money to not fight so tenacious going after the people when it's free and so maybe that's five out version of the T. rex is something that's hunting and it's Tanesha sun X. smashed into cars and things like that also is not generally known that the T. rex probably have some feathers and so the T. rex we have becoming one of his little and like the one that's been insurance public coach by Jurassic Park the bathroom it crops up in this twenty forties stars for and the one in the film sister friend from the one this and fix as well because the ones in the pics swim there's different stuff going on with all of the kind of solution to fix but anyway that's a whole other thing but yeah I've really enjoyed the racing your but I don't know if it's just me but I kept thinking about some %HESITATION Raimi spider man films Pataki the second one because a lot of the race was happenin along the train tracks and things and it was very like the web slinging on the tree and bile with TalkTalk visually it was reminded me of that so I can I don't know if it's conscious or not possibly know but then again it's part of the bridge coming down and everything but I was taken out because I didn't think that was where the T. rex goes on the rampage and the boss world Feldman at San Diego New York but still a good folks two things can you understand that the music okay Sir I'm Silvestri was our composer for this one of course there's two layers of sound check going on which is pretty much the norm now where there was no Castro number just a school and there was also a nondiabetic school which was made up of recognizable songs and this case from the eighties there was of course the point one way to use the mac is cute to turn time back sixty seconds and the music that played was specifically from back to the future you mentioned that when word gets out of the Lorian becomes ever again I promise it gets out the door and he gets out of his pocket using small little version of adwords forklift and grows to bits of Silvestri specifically calling back to his own music fax a feature but the front the rest of it raising his feel for you wonderstruck fields of music and it's not the motivation of the composers who work with people like to go back that I'm not gonna leave you nanny uncertainty into about what counts as a feeling at this point because you're going to hear what they're feeling this music is going to be people's emotions pouring out of that post that's a time and place for music %HESITATION and this film which is very gung ho and full frontal seems to be that time in that place it opened and closed owned very recognizable faces vases music we're suppose is always part of easing you into and then using your odds of storage space come and then you go a defect is one that was done I felt like it was so frustrating is both the culmination of all its work in the same way that the film is the culmination of so much of Spielberg's work it felt like this is fake perish the thickness everything I've called nine hundred about the climax where waves go to tool create what seems to be a digital ghost of holiday played by mark Rylance and it was in a room where the house is younger for yourself with them playing %HESITATION comes okay hi they admitted that although he had a very specific details about how the games he designed to work what sort of activity gave me with the baby and that was something that really deserves people's love Karen tension it should be something that you're going to do for certain number of hours per week that he's doing this conversation while his younger self is sitting there in the same room catatonic he playing console games the message seemed to be if you're going to be a lifelong gamer is gonna be a game or something like ninety percent of people in the thirteen I wanted five statements the president quite casually finally the message we've got to be a gamer at least doesn't mind games as well please pass it on get into the Croft of doing this which I suppose is implicitly sparebank saying if you love movies make movies because that's where he came from there's somebody who's just getting into film but somebody works on TV and gradually converted to being a film director someone who's really into classical paired Hollywood films when I want to do that too and did his version of a formula that already worked divisions some slightly different ways in some respects but didn't anyway go however thing I'm doing is already broken I'm going to reinvent the wheel reinvent the entire system from the ground up that seem to be a slightly critical view of gaming at the end I also particularly women during that scene where Alan Moore H. was driving on the account is not fans through the center of Columbus Ohio and everyone in the streets about them was fighting but there's no one on the streets he wasn't in for Iago those fighting as you look at these people going this is the weirdest thing I've ever seen street full of people not actually fighting each other just fronting the ads streets full of people in the article was just flailing around that did seem to go this is really where these people need to see what they have to like from the outside there was a there's good gaming inspired gaming the Phils even when not taking into account the film's criticism of the construction of games from the other side I suppose on the question of the film's criticism of the gaming industry there's good gaming and good gaming is your character has live so if you don't you just lose a life of little town to the top left of the screen because that is how Wade survives I think what a Catholic placed at the end which surrenders itself to just kill himself and everyone else at least I have a toasters caramel office suddenly weighed is there anyone left that because you have this coin given to him they didn't realize it was like to live in a six round it says ex wife on the back burner just permission to survive this thing because everyone else across the principle that that conflicts with is the principle of zeroing out and responding is there there is that your character Dhoni's you're something of our world and suffer anything but your character it loses all of his actions and can respond somewhere else at the basic settings and so the first model of the you have a number of lives is one where you can lose the game the responding one is one where you go back to zero setting but your character doesn't actually define the consciences starts again at another point in the game so you affect the multiple films seem to be very pro the earlier model for you during the game because it's actually possible to delay that there was lots of implicit different accounts of gaming going on there will do wonders there's also lots of emphasis different accounts of movie characters involved too are we stuck in a period where films in one to two kinds of blockbusters have to be at least a little bit matter is there a level of knowing this now Foamix thinks that one must adopt in a blockbuster in order to make it a blockbuster and at first not knowing it's actually working outside the box as if we had like a music industry where all you can ever do is just a cover of unknown to some question I think certainly at the moment and the lighter flat pumps %HESITATION which is breaking records of the place it's not really that match that it's not really referential nature itself no nature the marlin general you know the if they get traced on many coming in that sort of thing with fresh snow fell on the home network %HESITATION the past day bringing breathalyzer of past pop culture and its own thing the thing is surpassed some of the top grossing films of all time then you've got something like ready player one but in a way with Spielberg it's hard to know because twenty years ago he was stopping name Melissa Bexar tractor that everybody turned out for Jurassic Park is one ninety three they're tough play everybody away well most of us at this the fresh thing because it woke up from the chiefs with animatronics I suppose this is something moving mark Kermode has talked about a fight I think more information with the post this can wait awhile ago as well as that place Spielberg B. as in the major box office draw anymore because he just expects a certain level and there's less hype there's no need to begin opening yeah names just because there's a nice fill parka better go insane and this interest and confesses come fighting fairly close proximity to the the post under such very different films this one is so technically difference is Phil Burke who is one of the people who have this really staying with the older media for quite awhile took him awhile to go to that show and it's been quite a bit of talk lately because Alex garland's system and ideation has come right and Netflix is distributing it so it's got no theatrical release new Caney Netflix feel despair and interface because said he doesn't feel that films distributed by name Netflix and Amazon prime and things like that should be eligible for the awards because they're essentially television movies because say gone without for months and yet this is the sum of his it's really opening night to the possibilities of motion capture so much of the film is basically animation it would be interesting to see exactly frame by frame what percentage of the film is condemnation rather than live action a lot of it is motion capture show with both very often it's part of the bigger general discussion by the sentiment is evolving and stays closer every is you need really is seven dollars to what was happening with the server meeting because you could've graphics would be number of shots which show the real world a number of shots which shows starring the voices and got drafted possibility something like thirty percent of the shop zero world and seventy percent sure the oasis undergrowth of how many hours of passing labor time went into all of the work for justice for photography but all of the works over the ensuing our favorite color work for example rolls sound mixing work out how much of that work how many hours of that work went into the shop to the real world and how many hours of that work when did the shots of the oasis the difference that I would be much greater because a couple of seconds of completely digitally created footage takes many times the amount of work as shooting something for real even if the thing is she for real both schools creating the second vote I can see that the story of resume his films this film in the he's always been one to use special effects to show you things that are impossible what a possible in the world in which we live oversee that completely possible the storage space and I got along with the idea that if you want to spend on a particular special effect spending on the special effects which renders itself invisible isn't what you should be doing the idea is just a perception of saying it's correct but that's perception which is widely held as a what do you use special effects do you use it to share things like force fields and people don't sing in zero gravity you don't use it to make a pharmacy more fierce than it actually is someone because there's the uses of digital post production which take your original thing take the expenditure of the surprise production and render invisible always love to use the lightning from fact features three example of this that special effects used to share something you ordinarily would never see which is why during its things over because the lightning is services can magically take basically I think he is the same technology as was used to generate the particle beams and gasps nearest lightning that rides around like a slick roads and connecting to this point anyway I think that might be the end of stage one as of late a few other points of interest included the oasis at south I wondered where the novelist Ernest Cline got the idea for those who are we assess because the bank was published in twenty eleven but the oasis has an idea of an online please and which you can embody presence is explored and aptitude of Futurama specifically the season two episodes I buy crops belts for tape which first aired in two sorry sends this episode itself is strewn with references to your gaming and film cultures and squared the sculptures converge there's also a quest for identity and belonging so it could be worse lacking in T. and a bit more taps I was also thinking about the time setting the retro and trashed in nineteen eighties popular culture and twenty forty five which should probably be equals by people in the twenty tends obsessing over the nineteen fifties perhaps if we look at the right wing conservative nature of politics I'm thinking mostly the S. and probably the U. K. as well here in the nineteen fifties and the nineteen eighties there's much more to be mines there as well and of course the twenty tens are often bearing similarities with those decades the joy all the references give me eight months to my excitement at seeing Damien Hirst's treasures from the wreck of the unbelievable exhibition in Venice last year as it was such a thoroughly film and pop culture letter at work perhaps some would say in later it in terms of Incheon to popular culture but I really love my shop and convergence culture so I had a really great time and I tend to find a lot of talking points and the problems that arise in Hearst's orchestrations the problems in ready player one that we mentioned are a bit different Justin Hearst's affect %HESITATION conundrums and issues arrange representing gender race on the erasure of differently abled bodies as still too prevalent and broader film culture and I really hope to see a movie that excites me that much again without causing discomfort and those kinds of areas thanks so much for listening sharing and supporting it's always very much appreciated to be involved in a discussion about anything to do with the broad notions of audio and or visual cultures you can find me on Twitter at S. P. A. prior or email audio visual cultures at G. mail dot com financial support is really important as it will help me keep the recording ads free and free to access any money received goes towards recording expenses we're starting to have casts and they'll be nice to keep them fed and watered to further and pitch in time in addition to your regular payments to pitching on I do also accept one off donations to pay pal dot me forward slash P. A. prior and that's where I'm saving up for new equipment and software to facilitate faster and better quality are you pets thanks so much again and speak to