Monday, July 23, 2012

Robert Medeksza's Ultra Hal 'actor' in Secret Cinema Prometheus event June 24, 2012

Last month's London Secret Cinema event on Sunday 24 June 2012, the day after Turing100 at Bletchley Park, featured Chatbot Developer, Robert Medeksza's Ultra Hal conversation assistant as one of the 'actors' in the spaceship 're-enactment' and galaxy journey from, unknown prior to the event, Prometheus the movie!

Ultra Hal conversation at Secret Cinema event

With Marc Allen, creator of the MATT message-by-message Turing test protocol, I was lucky enough to be Robert's guest at Secret Cinema Sunday 24 June 2012:

Robert Medeksza (left) Marc Allen

The Secret Cinema event was an incredible experience culminating with a video message from Ridley Scott before a screening of Prometheus in 3D (not as awesome as at BFI IMAX but a wonderful surprise) in a secret location, a huge building behind London Euston train station:

"Most impressive of all was the warehouse’s transformation into a spaceship. Walls were painted white with maps of the ship’s emergency exits everywhere. Hypersleep chambers were laid out in the middle of the room. Loudspeakers droned the message, “Thank you for investing in a brighter future” on repeat. Labs with plants and biology experiments were around every other corner. The 195,000-square-foot space had been entirely changed, and we were given a couple of hours to roam the premises, order cocktails or eat at the space restaurant that was set up.
By the time a warning alarm sounded and the ship employees began ushering everyone into the three screening rooms, many were guessing the movie would be Prometheus. (It was.)"

Read more:

And ...
".... the point of Secret Cinema, nobody is supposed to know what they will be doing or which film they will be watching before they turn up.This time it is truly epic in scale. A 190,000 sq foot space has been transformed into the world of the film. Props from the actual movie have been flown over, driven up the M3 and bolted into place. It's completely immersive from the moment the audience gathers a statue of Robert Stephenson at Euston station from where they are led to the venue."
 - from The Telegraph.

And Wired reported:
"The event has a dark feel, figuratively and literally -- you'll navigate floors of sparse, dimly-lit corridors, room after room of unusual installations, research labs, terminals and interactive environments inspired by the film. Smoky, sports-hall-sized garages contain life-sized vehicles and props to investigate, and all are backed up by sound pumped from an enormous audio system.
Certain areas are more vibrant than others, however. Within one of the bars, dozens of sweet-smelling flowers hang from a roof to form a ceiling with an overpowering aroma. Once you reach the bar itself, complete with its actors serving drinks and fellow cinema-goers in costume, you're surrounded by metallic grey walls and bright white panels of light that illuminate the flowers overhead.
Then you sip a blue cocktail, have a sit down, maybe reflect on how weird your evening has become.
Elsewhere, a large restaurant exists to seat a couple of hundred people or so, sells food and drink, and serves as a sufficient resting place from the sensory overload that's thrusting away behind you. It was here, when I attended the opening night, that an emergency klaxon erupted in tandem with an explosion of red lights, and we were "evacuated" by actors to safety -- it was 9pm and finally the film was about to be screened.
Then you breathe, enjoy a movie, and leave at 11pm feeling like you're ready to get back to reality."

What Future Cinema wrote:
"..... a Central London warehouse was converted into a futuristic spaceship for a month to bring to life in a new format – Live Cinema.
Opening on 1st June, Secret Cinema’s production of Prometheus launched in tandem with the movie’s national theatrical release for the first time anywhere in the world, with full endorsement from director Ridley Scott.
Live Cinema, the format defined by Future Cinema – creators of Secret Cinema – allows the cinema goer to step inside the film and creates a unique experience and journey, far beyond a traditional 2D or 3D viewing experience. The line between actor and audience member is blurred. 
Secret Cinema were esteemed to have collaborated with Radiohead on creating a soundscape to score the parts of the experience using the track “Everything In Its Right Place” from Kid A in multiple dark spaces around the ship..."

Watch their 'live cinema' record below:

My pictures of the experience, from meet-up in front of Euston station to inside the secret venue below:

BBC article here on Ridley Scott's cinematic quest to know the origins of humankind:
"During his extensive research ahead of the film, Sir Ridley says he discovered that not even in the science world is there overwhelming agreement.
'I had a really great lunch with about 12 scientists and half of them believed in God and the other half roared with laughter said: 'Cobblers'."

Watch Prometheus trailer:

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