An Interview With Oliver Rock

by Richard L. Farthy

RICHARD: First of all Oliver, I'd just like to thank you for taking the time out to talk with us.

OLIVER: It's my pleasure.

RICHARD: Well, I have to tell you I experienced "Huns" yesterday, and I'm still shaking.

OLIVER: (laughs) Good! To me that's the highest praise. Were you a Hun or a Roman?

RICHARD: I was a Roman, a soldier.

OLIVER: Interesting. Most people I've talked to were Huns.

RICHARD: I wanted to see how balanced the story was.

OLIVER: Of course. You are a critic.

RICHARD:(laughs) I try. I was hoping to be a Hun right after I went through as a Roman, but I needed a breather.

OLIVER: You're going to have to wait a while. I hear the participant rooms are booked throughout Genesis.

RICHARD: I know. How does it feel to bump every other currently running VRAD?

OLIVER: It's very exciting, especially since "Huns" is such a radical departure from my usual fare.

RICHARD: Oh, I don't know about that. There were more than a few conspiracies going on behind Atilla's back.

OLIVER: (laughs) True, but this was historical perspective.

RICHARD: Are you afraid you'll lose your title of "Conspiracy Theorist"?

OLIVER:(laughs) No. I'm afraid I'm stuck with that tag for life.

RICHARD: Back to "Huns". I loved the way you phased scenes, it was subtle, but the participant knew what was going on.

OLIVER: I don't really like straight cuts. They work great for the old movies, but in a VRAD their disorientating. You really need a strong sense of continuity when you're participating.

RICHARD: I noticed you were using a number of live actors for "Huns". That's really a departure from you last three AI only VRADs.

OLIVER: And I think "Huns" is that much better for it. AIs are great for consistency, but for true emotion, I'll take a human actor any day. Were you able to tell the other participants from the AIs?

RICHARD: Usually. They all had that same lost look like I did.

OLIVER: (laughs) It takes about fifteen minutes to settle into your role. You said you were a Roman. Did you age or did you set your options to jump bodies?

RICHARD: I jumped. I age enough in real life.

OLIVER: (laughs, pats his stomach) Me too. And grow too.

RICHARD: I have to tell you I loved the scene between the Pope and Attila. You were never really sure if Attila was going to attack after that or not.

OLIVER: I like to maintain a level of suspense throughout the experience.

RICHARD: So what's next after "Huns"?

OLIVER: A vacation.

RICHARD: And then?

OLIVER:(laughs) More vacation. "Huns" took me two straight years. I need some time off.

RICHARD: Well, enjoy it. You deserve it.

OLIVER: Thanks.

RICHARD: Thank you.

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