Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gonzo Shakespeare, and Steve Jobs' Dream

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPad2 last week, all the demos were about art and video and music, and how they were using technology to put all this creative power into the hands of everyone. He even had a great quote on the subject:

It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. That it's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing. And, nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices.

Why it took me until now to click with that, I have no idea.

Let's talk about what this means for Shakespeare.

This new device has two cameras, right? Front and back-facing? Great. I challenge my geeks out there to produce some Shakespeare on an iPad2. Just imagine Hamlet from the point of the view of Hamlet. When he's talking to Claudius? He's holding up the iPad and filming Claudius. When he's performing a soliloquy? Use the other camera, and speak into it like you're on a webcam.

Or who knows, maybe it doesn't have to be entirely in first person - maybe Claudius and Polonius are holding the camera when they spy on Hamlet and Ophelia - and you can hear, rather than see, them commenting on the scene. Imagine what you could do with special effects. Imagine how to do the ghost scenes. The possibilities are *amazing*.   

Now distribute it online, so that people are playing it using almost the exact same medium with which is was created. Brings a whole new meaning to the idea of immersive experience, I'd say.

Somebody make this. Everyone who says that film and theatre are forever two entirely different beasts, this is your challenge to produce a third form that bridges the two.

You *know* that this is going to happen. The questions are entirely Who? and When? Tell me why the answers can't be "Us" and "Now."

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