July 22, 2003

Voices of the Neo-Futurists

by Andrew Stern · , 2:15 pm

toomuchlight.jpg A bit of exciting project news… We’ve just cast two writer / director / performers to be the voices for Grace and Trip, the two computer characters in our interactive drama Facade. We have been fortunate to find two talented members of the Chicago-based experimental / interactive theater group, The Neo-Futurists, Chloe Johnston and Andy Bayiates.

For the past few years Chloe and Andy have been members of the Neo-Futurists’ long-running signature show, Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. If you’re ever in Chicago, be sure to see it, it’s an ever-changing, inventive, searingly honest and, of course, funny, sixty minutes of experimental theater. Chloe and Andy have also written, produced and performed other plays with the Neo-Futurists.

This will be the first time I’ve worked with performers who are also writers and directors. I’m very excited because I’m really hoping Chloe and Andy will apply some of their creativity and writing talent to their roles — God knows our dialog needs all the help it can get. There is definitely some shared aesthetic between Facade and Too Much Light, and I’m sure Facade will benefit from the collaboration. And I hope to learn a lot from them in the process.

4 Responses to “Voices of the Neo-Futurists”

  1. brian Says:

    That’s great that you’re getting to collaborate with them. I like seeing that group whenever I can when I’m in Chicago. Does this mean you’re working on re-recording all of the audio content / re-writing old dialogue?

    Brian, in LA

  2. andrew Says:

    Hi Brian! You’re referring to the voices you’ve heard on Facade demo videos, that we’ve shown at conferences here and there… for those demos, we only recorded a fraction of the total amount of dialog in the system, with people who weren’t the final voice actors — friends volunteering their time, but they did a great job. Now we’ve cast the final voice actors, and we’ll record all of the dialog. And yes, I’m hoping that collaborating with our actors will end up re-writing (read: improving) some of our dialog, at least on an individual-line basis.

    I hope you’re enjoying LA…

  3. Andrew Gordon Says:

    I’ve had the good fortune of seeing “too much light…” many times, and I think it is really great that you’ll be working with these performers. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on the difference between “Chicago creative” and “LA creative”, and I’m inclined to believe that the former is the sort that is more likely to be useful when trying to carve out something new. In either case, however, a dose of entertainment experience seems to breathe a lot of life into technology prototypes. Keep us posted!

  4. Michael Says:

    I just want to add that I’m very excited to have Andy and Chloe working with us on the project. When we started Facade, we were hoping to use improv actors as our voice actors, and to work extensively with them during the development of the story to help create dialog as well as new story situations. The reality of our timeline has prevented us from doing this authoring experiment, though both Andrew and I hope to do this on our future projects. But even in our limited time frame, collaborating with talented writer/actors such as Andy and Chloe is sure to be a fun and exciting process.

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