Sprachlos oder Sprachschloss?
Imagine if you could talk to a castle. That’s not that hard, right? But imagine if the castle answered back and engaged you in a conversation about the things it has seen and heard and thinks about…
For the Wasserschloss Reelkirchen we want to do exactly that. We want to use live video projections to create a large-scale installation in which Reelkirchen Castle comes to life as a character who has a real conversation with the audience.
The castle will be animated with the facial movements of a live actor. Through live facial capture technologies (see below), the actors’ facial features will be mapped onto the facade of a building in real-time. These features will blend with the architecture to make it appear as though the castle is a character with a life of its own. The actors’ speech will also be broadcast live.
The Castle might talk about what it has seen over the years, the letters that were posted through its mouth, the secret deals that took place over the centuries in its rooms and the elicit activities it has witnessed. It might also talk about the hat that you (the audience) are wearing or why you look so tired and glum or it might just ask you to go to scratch its walls as it has an itch...
Previous Relevant Work:
In 2018 we created an interactive projection mapped shop window mannequin whose face we animated with the live feed of an actor who could see and hear the audience in front of the window. Every night large crowds gathered in front of the window in order to talk to the mannequin and see and hear him respond. The effect and audience engagement were incredibly successful.
We want to build on the success of this experience by researching technologies that will allow us to capture an actor’s facial features and transpose them in real time onto a non-human looking character so that the line between the projected character and the building is merged.
The Set Up:
This has to be an after dark event and it could run over Halloween or during the Adventszeit in December. The amount of days it can be on for would depend on the funding available.
The project would require one projector similar to the one used from outdoor beamers.com.
Outside the castle we would set up one or two camera/microphone systems which broadcast video and audio of the audience to the actor inside the castle.
One actor would be placed inside the castle with a video and audio feed of the audience so he/she can see and hear them and respond accordingly.
We would audition 2 German actors who can share the workload each night. We would work with these actors over a couple of days in Reelkirchen to rehearse the castle's character. We would also need to find a German writer who can use the historic information of the castle to write a back story to the castle's character so the actors get some idea of who they are.
Here is an example of a previous project we created in which an inanimate object comes to life to tell its story: