Winteractive is USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media & Games Division’s midyear show for graduating MFA students. It is a public, “check-in” showcase that highlights the thesis works-in-progress of the grad students in their third and final year.
Like the projects, the show is intended to be raw, rough, and unpolished. The budget for the show is, literally, $0.00, so staging had to be accomplished with borrowed and found objects, though students were responsible for the costs and production of their individual project’s signage. Winteractive is installed on two small, but working, adjacent film soundstages, so there were inherent design constraints (for example, we couldn’t remove any equipment from the soundstage for the show or adjust any of the lighting). The load-in, set-up, presentation, strike, and load-out all had to take place over the course of just under 24 hours with the open-to-the-public presentation window for Winteractive being a mere four hours.
My work as Producer for the show was to guide the students in not only the initial public presentation of this WIP snapshot of their works (e.g., making sure the prototypes were stable enough that we weren’t dealing with significant bugs or crashes during the show), but also to design the layout and flow of the show to keep throughput high and interesting. Some projects required significant floor space (e.g., large screen, Microsoft Kinect-based installations) while some others were on mobile devices and required much smaller footprints, so floor plans had to be tightly planned to allow for movement from one project to the next, but also to allow proximity to power outlets for those projects that needed them.