Five days ago Real Life Hitman from Realm Pictures was released on YouTube, and follows what is fast becoming a massively successful series of awesome real life first (and now third) person interactive action games.
The idea is elegantly genius, find a location with massive production value, fill it full of actors and set and clever interactive props and set pieces, weave in a storyline with interactive challenges and invite players to control the lead character and action live from remote locations. The end result is so beautiful and immersive and Realm Pictures have gotten so good with their craft that it possible to mistake the live footage for some futuristic generation of game play.
The magic of movies produced to this level can only come from intensive planning, hard work and complex behind the scenes infrastructure, from the catering staff that have to feed the red bull powered production team and actors, to the complex lighting, audio and data network connected devices that enable control and monitoring of the entire environment from the command center.
In the case of Real Life Hitman, shot in Oldway Mansion in Torquay, there were 22 actors who were all equipped with radio mics and ear pieces to allow them to be choreographed in response to the live player’s actions, along with 30 HD IP CCTV cameras around the site to monitor Agent 47′s location and progress. These were cabled back to the core network infrastructure which also supported a site wide 5Ghz wireless network to enable the live streaming of the HD video from the wireless gimbaled camera rig back to the command center. Of course, let’s not forget the IP enabled tripod mounted gatling gun with live video streaming from the scope and full pan and tilt control for remote aim and firing live by the remote players.
The players were based in Los Angeles and London, accommodated in the offices of one of the best know global tech brands with high speed fiber connectivity. The mansion however had no fixed line connectivity to speak of and that’s why Grapevine Connect – a UK Peplink partner, got the call from Realm Pictures to help provide a resilient high bandwidth solution. Grapevine had worked with Realm Pictures on their previous Live First Person Shooter in the disused Fawley Power Station so pretty much knew what to expect, however the requirement for inbound device control and a separate two-way audio channel made this solution a little different than the last one.