ARTIFICIAL Exclusive Interview With Twitch Executive Producer Of Content Development Callum Hanlon

Twitch has been stepping things up as a streaming platform with their Primetime Emmy Award-winning interactive scripted science fiction series Artificial. Check out our chat with the Twitch team below!

COVID-19 has caused many film and television productions to either shut down entirely or revamp the way they approach storytelling. Luckily for Twitch's Artificial, adding a remote aspect to the interactive scripted sci-fi series fit perfectly with the aesthetic of the show.

For the first two seasons of Artificial, the series underwent the usual production on set, but for Season 3, the cast and crew have had to step it up a notch. All of the actors and actresses are now recording remotely, which adds a challenge in that they are acting off a camera and don't have the dynamic of working with fellow performers.

To learn a little bit more about this unique series and the processes behind making it, we chatted with Callum Hanlon, who is the Executive Producer of Content Development over at Twitch. Take a look at what he had to say below!

Joe: Can you explain how Twitch's involvement has changed with the show over time?

Callum Hanlon: We were honored that Bernie created the first two seasons of Artificial on Twitch. Bernie and his team at 96Next are pioneers in experimenting with the form of narrative on new platforms.

The Original Content Team at Twitch has been experimenting with new interactive tools that make our audience crucial contributors to the shape of our shows. In a series of conversations, we shared some of our creative tech with Bernie, because we were curious about how he'd use the tools to innovate. He had exciting ideas for a more interactive third season of Artificial, a show that could only exist on Twitch.

Joe: How did LifeScore initially become involved with Artificial?

Callum Hanlon: We are lucky to have a longstanding relationship with the fantastic composer Philip Sheppard. He was working on his latest project, LifeScore, which is an AI-driven scoring tool that he's co-created with Tom Gruber, the designer behind Siri, and the fantastic Chris Walch. Their technology creates beautiful, unique music that is (pardon the cliche) truly the ultimate hybrid of art and technology.

We had seen samples of their work, and we were looking for the right opportunity to collaborate. In early discussions of Artificial Season 3, we introduced Bernie to the LifeScore team, and it became immediately apparent that the two groups were the perfect collaborative force.

Joe: What other series would you recommend for Twitch fans of Artificial?

Callum Hanlon: You know, this is a harder question. This show is the first of its kind, so it is hard to make a recommendation for another show like this. I will say that people have been reaching out since we started this show, and I am excited to see how Artificial inspires filmmakers to start innovating on Twitch.

Joe: Do you think Artificial is the beginning of a new interactive kind of television becoming more integrated with regular streaming?

Callum Hanlon: This show is blending three forms of narrative storytelling: film, theater, and improv. And on top of all of that, everyone is remote due to quarantine.

I think consequential, interactive entertainment will become more and more integrated into regular streaming platforms. For actors, in particular, I think shows like Artificial are a fantastic creative opportunity because it is a medium that empowers actors. There are no second takes. It's on them to deliver. They need improv chops because the script is changing live based on input from the audience.

I also like that it is a return to appointment viewing. Besides sports, what big moments in entertainment drive a shared viewing experience? In the age of everything on demand, we end up watching things alone, and finding a shared experience is exciting.

What do you make of Hanlon's comments? Check out the trailers for Artificial and share your thoughts in the usual place!


 


 
The past becomes present as Justin's (Justin Lee) mysterious ex, Kira (Alejandra Reynoso), enters the fray. While Elle (Christy St. John) gets her wish and welcomes Dr. Matt Lin (Tohoru Masamune) back into the fold, but will she regret it?


How will the AI, Lilith (Tiffany Chu), respond to these new players? It's up to you.


Artificial: Remote Intelligence airs at 5 pm PST/8 pm PST tonight and every Thursday. You can catch the previous worldbuilding episode here.

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