The Right Way
Toasterlab produced the virtual reality film featured in The Right Way. This involved shooting using 360-degree cameras and editing and managing the footage. Additionally, Toasterlab provided technical onboarding and instruction for artists using virtual reality headsets.
Overview of Discipline, Context, Intention
Presented at La Biennale de Venizia: 48th International Theatre Festival in 2020, The Right Way is an immersive theatre experience for a single spectator at a time. Using a virtual reality 360-degree film, the show evokes the ‘near sleep’ state of mind, followed by an immersive scene where the spectator is cast as the director of a film. Will they film the scene? Or will they decide to break off filming?
The spectator is invited to take a bed space and ‘fall asleep.’ The bed is equipped with a VR headset. Left alone in the bed, the spectator ‘falls down the rabbit hole.’
This pre-sleep condition plays a key role: this is the universe the spectator experiences, the moment at which we are about to fall asleep and plan out the next day, the moment at which the artist re-examines ideas in that semi-conscious state in which thoughts are fragmentary and thought associations dense and rapid.
A coach then brings the spectator’s rest to an end and restores them to their work responsibilities. It is time for work now—to act, to film.
The spectator, now a director, will be obliged, with the help of the coach, to direct two performers in a delicate scene.
The Right Way began its development in Toronto. Virtual reality films were shot in apartments and pre-schools, with a local cast, and edited by Toasterlab. Other virtual reality films were to be produced in Italy, after the cast and crew had arrived for the Venice Biennale.
The COVID-19 pandemic shaped the development of The Right Way significantly, as the cast and crew had to change their travel arrangements, and, consequently, their shooting plans. The Venice Biennale would only allow a minimal number of artists from each company involved in the festival. DopoLavoro Teatrale and Toasterlab used various online applications in order to work with each other overseas. Shooting footage, reviewing footage, editing footage, and uploading finished videos onto virtual reality headsets became a much more logistically complicated process.
The Right Way was presented at La Biennale di Venezia 2020, and ran from September 15 to 21, 2020.
Relevant Organizations and People
DopoLavoro Teatrale (DLT) is devoted to audience-specific creations and multidisciplinary contemporary performance. The company was founded in 2006 by Artistic Director Daniele Bartolini in Florence, Italy.
Stazione Utopia is an Italian social enterprise for culture and entertainment. Founded in 2010, they carry out activities on behalf of public and private institutions including theatres, museums, foundations, contemporary art festivals, and research centers in the fields of music and entertainment.
Daniele Bartolini – Creator and Director
Michele Andrei – Project Assistant
Matteo Cardi – Sets, Technical Direction and Sound Design
Ian Garrett – VR Video Operator, VR Technological Development and Video Montage
Thomas L. Mallon – Production Manager
Maddalena Vallecchi Williams