Networked cinema demonstration in Rome

Global Stage
9 November 2007

Italy and Burkina Faso, West Africa, were joined together on one virtual stage in real-time - via satellite - at the Festa del Cinema held in Rome, Italy. The successful demonstration was part of an ESA-sponsored digital cinema project known as ISIDE.

ISIDE is developing, implementing and validating a satellite based Networked Cinema (N-Cinema) system, aimed at providing a range of services and applications in the field of digital and electronic cinema.
The demonstration, called Global Stage, is part of ISIDE's framework to provide an example of linking two groups of actors in the same scene in real time. It used a three-dimensional virtual stage design inspired by Federico Fellini's Book of Magic.
Global Stage was a demonstration of old and new. While its purpose was to show the latest efforts in presenting digital cinema, the story told on stage was a message of ecology.
The show was about an ancient myth from Burkina Faso concerning the creation of the world. The actors presented a traditional story about the impact of man on the environment, illustrating the catastrophic effects caused by mankind when overusing power.
Through the presence of ancestral elements in a futuristic virtual environment, and the link between two different troupes of actors separated by thousands of kilometres, the Global Stage event demonstrated how huge distances in space and time can be nullified through the combination of art and technology.
Actors from Burkina Faso and Italy took part in the demonstration. Although they were thousands of miles apart, the actors were joined together on the virtual stage.

Global Stage technical facilities
Global Stage technical facilities

The audience watching the performance in Rome could see the actors from Rome working in front of the blue stage as well as see the end result projected on screens above the actors' heads. The presentation also combined recorded elements with the real-time elements.
The objective of the ISIDE project is a permanent validation platform for N-Cinema, which is expected to be realised over the next two years. The intention is to validate and promote different forms of exploitation of theatres - ranging from featuring digital movies, digital advertising and alternative contents, to live events, shows in virtual reality and interactive applications. The project will also optimise and validate new European standards in order to provide a complete and working platform for digital entertainment distribution.
The N-Cinema platform will become an asset open to third parties interested in developing, testing and validating innovative applications targeted at digital theatres.

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