Artificial is an Emmy award winning, live stream and scripted, pseudo improv series currently airing on the Twitch streaming platform. Normally intended for live game streaming, Artificial uses the interface to engage with the audience and craft a story on the fly.
Season 3 premiered May 21 on Twitch and with the way things are now, it brought about some new challenges. This season is renamed Artificial: Remote Intelligence, takes audiences on a world building experience where live questions and interactions in the viewer chat, helps to create the characters as well as their story paths.
Artificial Season 3 Creates New Roles
There were new tasks for the actors and they had to adjust to roles that they don’t normally have to deal with, like the camera setup and lighting.
“Make sure the lighting is good and everything looks great all like in focus and in the right place, and that the mics are going good. Like, the team is just so supportive and so helpful.” says La Trice Harper who plays Carmen on the series. “dealing with all the new technology and making it all work at the same time as well as you know, doing your character in the scenes and stuff. Although it was challenging. The group that I’m with made it so much easier”
Series creator Bernie Su had this to add, “I roll with that and incorporate that into the storytelling. And I actually do think the show is far more dynamic in this format than it would have been in the traditional format because it’s just, it’s almost crazier.” Bernie explains how challenging it is when simple things like internet connections can cause issues when filming remotely. “So, the challenge of doing it remote with all you know, everybody calling in, or zooming in or whatever you want to say but still building interactivity by still making it look really slick and not like a you know, a Zoom call. That was really fun and it’s been very invigorating to do that.”
Christy St. John relates her experience to having different hats to wear, as well as the new challenge of trying to break natural habits while staying in character.
“Suddenly, I have to take on every role. I’m lighting on camera. I’m wardrobe. I mean, obviously, the Artificial team is there to guide me. . . The weirdest thing, as an actor, is that when I’m looking at my screen, and like talking to a character, because I can see their face, it doesn’t look like I’m talking to the characters. So for me to look like I’m talking to someone, I have to be looking into the camera.”
Getting Back To Work
While production in some areas is starting to ramp back up, it’s still not completely back yet and depending on how things play out over the next few months, who knows if we’ll get shut down again. While producing the kind of content we do here at The Illuminerdi, it’s fairly easy to do via Skype or Zoom. A scripted show with several actors and moving parts, is another beast entirely.
Dante Basco joined the cast this season as Zander. The character was developed in part by the audience during one of Artificial’s “World Building” streams. Basco looks at the show as a great example of how to keep producing content during the COVID-19 pandemic. He told us:
“I was definitely excited to join the cast, especially in this time of COVID pandemic, where we kind of figured out a way to shoot something and put us all to work. While you know, while a lot of us are kind of sitting around figuring out our next moves. So I thought it was a perfect timing to do something new like this.”
From what we’ve seen so far of Season 3, Bernie Su and the rest of the cast/crew have adapted to this new situation and are making it work quite well. Artificial Season 3 will run for a total of 12 two-hour episodes (we’re already about halfway through the season), at 6pm PT/9pm ET on Twitch.