Smart thinking and great home viewing as live audiences evaporate

A small documentary festival in Castlemaine, pioneers in WA Rev it up, and six strangers on Zoom across Australia launch different ways of engaging audiences.

Everyone caught up in COVID-19 is hiding from an invisible threat in which the physical world looks exactly the same, and the fear lives in our imaginations. In the performing and screen arts, our audiences have disappeared. Those for whom we act have been spirited away, turned into phantoms. 

Where are they? Where is the point of view from which we are viewed? As digital and virtual reality artist Michael Beets reflects, ‘When you create these things, you’ve got to decide on what point of view you want your audience to have. How can I fit live performance into a virtual world?’

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David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.