by Abhi Parasher

“A couple of years ago, we made a short feature film called In the Shadows it Waits,” shares Michael Beets, who co-founded Here & Now Live with S.C. Wilson. “That was the first live film we made, which took over 8 months of development.”

Here & Now Live focuses on delivering live film experiences. Similar to a theatre show, their films are meticulously rehearsed, following which, they are shot, performed, edited, composed and streamed online. The idea was spawned thanks to the all too familiar world of Zoom meetings, but the concept spans back to the early day of live television plays of the 1950s.

“It was during COVID, I was thinking about how we can create something with a team from home,” says Beets. “Watching all these Zoom calls, where there is the spotlight feature that full-screens whoever is talking, I realised that technology is kind of editing us. It’s almost like a film. Then I started thinking about making a feature film that looked like a film, but one that was made live. Shot, edited, and screened all in that one moment of time.”

Again, drawing parallels to theatre, Here & Now Live’s films can only be seen once.

“The only time the audience can see it, is when they see it live. You can’t watch it back later; you have to be there for the moment,” says Beets.

In addition to taking revolutionary leaps with the artform, Here and Now Live has also incorporated technology into their ticketing process, including virtual worlds and generative ticketing art.

Generative artworks by Mactuitui from previous Here & Now experiences

“We work with a lot of generative artists. They are essentially artists that work with a piece of code to create a piece of art,” explains Beets. “What I love about generative art is that you are going to get a unique output every time. So, with our films, you can’t watch them again, but what you can do is, with your ticket, get a unique generative art piece that reflects the input of that film into a code.”

Here & Now Live is entering the world at a unique time where many discussions in the film world are revolving around the issues of integrating technology into the creative process.

“We’ve been encouraging the integration of technology from the start,” says Beets. “I feel like we’re entering an exciting time in creativity, and I don’t see why we would turn our back on technology right now. I’ve seen some incredible creativity that uses AI. Though, for a live film, you can’t rely as much on AI, you need humans to make it great.”

For the duo, live film is a means to bring authenticity to an art form that can sometimes seem like it is saturated with deceit.

Here & Now Live team: S.C. Wilson, Tayla Broekman and Michael Beets

“It’s almost our response to all the fake crap that is out there,” says S.C. Wilson. “We want that raw, authentic human performance and that is what we can deliver in this format. We can deliver it so powerfully.”

The studio is opening its doors this Friday the 21st of July.

“We’re launching the film studio through the blockchain,” says S.C. Wilson. “Utilising the community that has been built through Here and Now’s immersive experiences; this really solid art collective. We’re looking for 200 people to join us as foundational members of the studio, a community interested in shaking the tree, re-imagining the digital storytelling landscape. As founders they get a load of benefits, including access to all the films we make, which is in a vault only accessible to them, access to the generative ticketing, behind the scenes footage etc.”

There are a few foundation members passes still available, but most have been sold through presale. Information on the mint can be found here

Here & Now Live’s first film, Clones, will go into rehearsal straight after launch and will aim to be screening by the end of the year.