Live Performance and Post-Cinematic Filmmaking



Through the lens of recent artistic works by the authors and their collaborators, this paper explores opportunities cinema’s evolving materiality presents for filmmaking structures, within the context of narrative live performance. In particular, we examine how the integrated authorship of cinematic media, software, and live experiences can drive shifts in definitions and approaches, and spark new theatrical conventions incorporating new media structures. Selected projects by the authors’ research center are used as case studies, concluding with Entropy Bound, an experimental theatre piece that uses machine learning to learn from and influence the dialogue and actions of the lead character through media, progressively evolving as it is rehearsed and performed. The conceptualizations of cinematic media within these research projects were developed in conjunction with their software code and narrative structures. Tracing the evolution of media authorship within these processes, the paper concludes with a discussion of how the progression from digital manipulation focused primarily on media’s formal qualities, to manipulation rooted in its sequencing and semantics, could impact the use of cinema within live experiences and new dramaturgy with potential relationships to contemporary artificial intelligence.

Author Biographies

Jeff Burke, Department of Theater, UCLA

Jeff Burke is Professor-in-Residence of Performance and Technology at the UCLA Department of Theater and Associate Dean for Technology and Innovation at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT), where he has been a faculty member since 2001. Burke explores how technology can enable new relationships among media, performance, audience, and the built environment. He is co-founder of UCLA REMAP, a collaboration with the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, which combines research, artistic production and community engagement.

Jared J. Stein, Centre for Research in Engineering, Media and Performance, UCLA

Jared J. Stein has staged and written plays, and has contributed as a writer, director, producer and dramaturg to performance pieces incorporating drama, object, movement, and media-based approaches for venues around the world. An artist-researcher with UCLA REMAP since 2004 and UCLA’s HyperMedia Studio from 2001–2003, he has developed multidisciplinary work as collaborations with organizations across the U.S. and abroad. His work with REMAP focusses on methods emerging technologies and media-making offer live performance, dramatic writing and multiplatform storytelling.






Alternative Methods and Histories