Altair is the name. The project is to create an entertainment company for the 21st century.
Not the 20th century, we don’t invent cinema.
Not the 30th century, we don’t know what will be invented.
No, for the 21st century.
The bet is to invent a futuristic way to access shows.
That’s classy, isn’t it, when you put it like that?
And it sounds easy.
How to do it is not so easy.
After two years, the DNA is finally developed.
Here it is:
In the 20th century, the live show was invented: it meant that others were dead shows – and frankly, as a horrible idea, I don’t see how we can do better.
In the 21st century, we want to re-create the term ” show “. Alive necessarily – not always live – never dead – thanks for artists from two universes.
This means that we had to find ways to unite the living show- that of theatres – and the “dead” show: that of cinemas, games, virtual reality.
What is sad, with these words, is that it is the dead shows that have won, and largely – and the living show is dying, slowly & surely.
Afterwards, they are just words.
This whole world of the show has problems, each one of them its own.
And we, as we are unconscious – and I, as I am the most unconscious of all – have absolutely rejected this border and have chosen to invent shows for our time.
That is : Project Altair
Let’s start with the current problems (I’m not even talking about the pandemic – I refuse to talk about it, I’ll cry afterwards) :
The main problem is that the performing art is losing its audience, which is aging and not renewing itself very well.
The other problem is that the audience of the future – the youth – does not see itself entering a performing arts theatre at all.
These theatres are for the old people.
This certainty is so deep, so ingrained, that we don’t see how to go against it.
The mission is impossible and I am not a hero. I don’t know what went through my mind to choose to accept this mission. I didn’t listen, that’s for sure – as usual.
Sorry. Seriously, we based ourselves on several observations to invent this concept.
1. Real theatres are losing audiences and money
2. Virtual reality content is close to nothing when it comes to entertainment, because it’s so unfunny and because it’s, in 3D, what we’ve all experienced in 2D, without ever exploiting the incredible potential of this technology. Currently, it’s the : Grandma’s Virtuality. Wow! It sounds so fun. No ? No.
3. The great video games, the AAA’s, have become compulsive consumers of additional downloadable contents – in order to keep their audiences online.
If you agree with this, well, let’s go.
The proposal: to mix the live shows with the virtual shows: video games and virtual reality contents.
The clue to bet on Altair’s success is Fortnite; created by Epic Games.
They have – after we proposed the concept yes yes – offered 10 minutes of musical live concert in the Fortnite game. 10 million spectators for 10 minutes. And the trick works every time.
The Altair Concept
1 – a classic theatre – with real venues and real spectators. With a fast, pulsating program in all genres of live performances, in all registers, for all ages.
The downside: A fast programming – no more than 4 performances of the same show – makes it difficult to amortize the company’s coming.
The positive: the halls are full – because there are few dates.
the audience is always on alert because there is always something new going on.
2 – and a Virtual Content Production Company :
> shows staged in real life – when they have the physical visual potential (circus/dance for the most part) – are captured in motion capture and by 360 camera during rehearsal times.
These captures enable the creation of very diverse contents for Virtual Reality – designed on several levels of sensation – for a single person and for complete groups – and giving the spectator possibilities for action without necessarily entering into video game-like actions.
Here it’s a matter of being really clear: if this is for Grandma’s Virtual Reality, then you’re in the wrong place.
I’ve accepted a grandma mode – called : novice mode – but frankly, it has no other interest than to get familiar with the virtual universe and the various sensations you experience in it.
On the other hand, since Virtual Reality is just the gold mine of the century, believe me, I’m not going to bother digging.
I’m going to put you in an acrobat’s ring, you know, up there, hanging in the sky of the theatre. I’m going to put you in ankle bracelets of tango dancers. I’m going to put you in jugglers’ clubs. I’m going to put you wherever it moves, wherever you don’t know where you are, wherever it’s improbable. And so, you could only experience this Reality with us.
Impossible to take these points of view in real life – that’s the game.
Everything that can be developed from this point will be developed.
From the transformation of kids into little fireflies in children’s shows to the crazy lovers looking for each other, finding each other, loosing, finding, in dance shows; to groups trying not to get sick : it’s so fast and “we are we don’t know where”.
For that, we need real shows, really alive, with real artists and …. real sensors where I want to put you – for the fun & the entertainment, of course.
So far Altair does not need to work with video game companies and can operate independently.
But you will have noticed that one doesn’t go without the other: alone, the real theatre operates in sub-regime (well, in the current regime, like all the other theatres that exist) and loses money / to two, the production company has as raw material excerpts from live shows. This is its essential originality compared to all other virtual content production companies – which close as fast as they open. The real theatre benefits from the appeal to the young public which was created.
It’s like giving two arms to a swimmer: it’s easier and more efficient for him.
He manages not to drown too much with only one arm. But he doesn’t feel like it – he’d even make us feel a little sorry for him. Especially if he has one arm that he doesn’t use for any reason. Obvious.
3 – production of content for video games
It’s about offering contents that are innovative – amazing – easy to load – very, very, very diverse.
Creatively – again, Altair will be leveraging its motion capture of some of its shows. That’s also why it takes a lot of different shows on stage.
The organization of one e.sport tournament per year creates a real link, really strong, between an AAA video game and the weird Altair theatre. The important thing if we do one a year is to radically change the game and the kind of show, in order to open to the widest possible audience, and without sleeping the whole Altair team into a routine.
This tournament focuses the performance season. The associated show is written – or adapted – to the needs of the video game proposal. Both will take place simultaneously: within the walls of Altair, there will be a maximum of e.sport spectators. And in the auditorium as well.
During the year, this tournament also makes it possible to present a whole series of shows based on the major theme of the chosen video game.
In the video game, the players will play “against” or “with” the digitized artists: this means that for this tournament, the virtual production company will have prepared playable sequences.
These created playable sequences can be reused without a tournament, in the game.
From that moment on, Altair entered the world of video games.
Once these links are created and strengthened, it will be easier to offer additional downloadable content from Altair’s virtual productions directly to multiple gaming companies:
In other words, we will offer excerpts from shows to be inserted in the games, when additional content is available.
* or for atmosphere: nothing is playable.
* or for secondary quests: it will be possible to play the artists / to play also with the artists.
As the virtual company will have prepared perfectly new contents to live in Virtual Reality – we will also have additional contents in Virtual Reality to propose in some games. And it will start to become frankly entertaining, 21st century style.
It is from this multitude of proposals that we can imagine to make the public participate more – for example, randomly, during the e.sport tournament – because there will be a huge majority of players – to whom we can propose to ‘enter the game’ with the teams in the tournament – but next to them- maybe with the team of artists. I think it can be very pleasant, for a good player who is not at the infernal level of pro gamers, to be in the team of artists and those who are not trigger-happy – all right, the modalities of participation are to be explored (yes, I’m exploring) – but an idea is there.
To sum up: the real theatre provides content – the production company transforms this content: for virtual reality experiences – for game atmosphere content – for playable content.
Altair creates the link between the world of entertainment and the world of games by inventing each year a new show created for, where the players’ confrontation will have consequences on what happens on stage at the same time.
The ‘real shows’ are not betrayed: they are so transformed by the virtual production that no one watches them ‘under helmets at home’. On the other hand, these shows will have found a connection with the audience that they miss for the moment.
Virtual reality is exploited to the maximum of its possibilities, so that it never looks like “real life under a helmet”.
Video games have a way of offering their audience a unique and ephemeral experience – because that’s what makes the live show so special: once it’s over, you can’t see the same show again. Add to this the e.sport tournament and the company will be sure to focus the attention of its players.
And Altair succeeds in its bet: to invent a place on two levels, a real level and a virtual level, where live performances are presented – but presented in all possible ways and above all in such a way as to entertain the public, using without any complex all the possibilities of new technologies.
You’ll find all this much more developed point by point – but the essentials of Altair’s functional concepts are here.
Featured Image : Future, by Avoid Obvious Architects – I love the work of these people, they make me dream. They are efficient, precise, simple.