The Tribeca Film Festival debuted the ReActor, the world’s first computerized acting judge, just outside Theatre One on the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) campus at 199 Chambers St. on Tuesday March 29.
Through the magic of voice and facial recognition technology combined with motion sensors, the ReActor recorded and then scored BMCC students acting out lines from scenes taken from classic films. Those who scored high enough could win a ticket to the Tribeca Film Festival, which begins April 13 and runs through April 24.
After BMCC, the ReActor will travel around to various New York City locations, finally landing at the Tribeca Film Festival hub at Spring Studios on Varick Street.
“We’re excited to have the ReActor here at BMCC as part of the activation for the Tribeca Film Festival,” said Bari Komitee, vice president of marketing at Tribeca Film Festival.
She said the ReActor was started at BMCC to engage the community and remind people that the Tribeca Film Festival is open to everybody.
“We’re doing things that we’ve never done before that are at the cutting edge of where story telling is going, such as the first ever snap chat film festival,” said Komitee who added that BMCC students would likely find the new media and technology interesting.
BMCC Communications major Muhanad Zaytoun, a native of Sudan was the first person to try out the virtual acting machine on its first day. “I haven’t done a lot of acting in my past,” Zaytoun said.
On a scale of one to 100, Zaytoun scored an 86 for his performance reciting the line “I see dead people,” taken from a scene in the 1999 film The Sixth Sense. Zaytoun said he enjoys a variety of films, from drama to comedies.
“I’ve always loved film,” said Zaytoun.
Liberal Arts major Christian Love had not done any acting since he was in play back in his sophomore year in high school. But for a moment, Love became Darth Vader from Star Wars and revealed to Luke Skywalker that he was indeed, his father. “I felt as if I was really in that movie!,” said Love, as he laughed about the experience.
“I wish this machine was out here all the time for the students to enjoy,” said Love.