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EP 210: Gewenzsko – ORGG Productions. Creators of the first realistic Minecraft recreation of Disney’s THE LION KING (autogenerated)
You booked it. Episode 210. Okay, let’s get this started. Today’s guest is very unique and a bit different than what we’ve had on the show previously. And I am so excited about it. Everyone. I believe what our guest is working on will soon become a very real, very professional and new niche within the entertainment industry.
So without further ado, are you ready for this?
Yep. I’m ready.
Brilliant. Ana is better known for his online handle. Go ENSCO. He is one of the leaders of org G productions, the creators of the first realistic Minecraft recreation of Disney’s the lion king musical a year ago, org G studios was founded with the goal to recreate virtual theater productions that are as close to the area.
As possible over the past year, their main project, the lion king has connected with over 50,000 people, including over 700 YouTube subscribers and 200 members on their discord community. In addition to his work on this project with RGG, he is also a lighting designer for the event industry in Germany.
Are not, that is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps a bit and a little bit more about what you do in the industry.
Sure. Sure. yeah, that’s the only reset. I, my name is Ana online, known as Gwen SCO. 21 years old, currently living in Germany to be precise. I live in the north west part of Germany and about a year and a half ago, I think it was pretty much when the whole pandemic started. I was looking for platform to recreate actual Broadway shows in a virtual way.
We had this worldwide loved on. I think everyone remembers that and every single theater production, including land. Which had run for, I think over 23 years, if I’m not completely wrong, located all over the world, every single theater production was stopped. And I think we all remember it, especially the people working in this industry.
Remember that moment. So to compensate this, I decided to recreate something in a very special and unique way. I decided to choose the some sort of very simple video game called Minecraft, which I was playing since a kid. started to recreate shows in particular, the famous show blanking because I’m just obsessed with the whole production and the whole story.
So it improved throughout this whole period. And now that we are actually doing the performances and the performance performances that are actually happening, we are very happy that, to give the people or the fans of the show or for the industry, the opportunity to experience this extraordinary and unique show in the Lifeway.
And as You
already said, besides my work, in this virtual production, I usually work in the music and event industry here in Germany, SSL reset. I, focusing a lot of light and lighting and they, I’m just fascinated by the effect of a good and consistent light sign. And by that, I don’t mean like musicals.
I mean every single way in a play in a festival or a concert, or maybe just a business event, I think my opinion, the lightest, one of the most important things in the event industry, it’s something that people might only realize subconsciously, but it instantly affects people if it’s not done well. So Yeah,
I was still 21 years old now, you know, and I’m seeing the future in this whole area and this whole spectrum.
Beautiful. let’s dig into this first section here and are the look. I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone.
Yeah, honestly, I needed to think about that quite a while because I’m also not the type of guy. And then I realized it was just the most fitting one and most cliche one, it’s actually Hakuna Matata from the
it’s, it’s a cliche today, but it’s just so fitting. because I think life is just too short to worry about everything, especially in this pandemic thing.
I think the most important thing is to just calm down, keep Cool.
And everything will be a ride at some point.
Yes. Yeah, my, uh, so my wife’s father, was Polish German, and we grew up in Dortmund and he had a saying all the time and, oh, I’m going to probably butcher this, but he said, Tate drinking.
Are. Yeah. I think I know that.
Sit and sit and drink tea. Right. Or wait and drink tea. Right. Kind of the idea. Just things are getting too much just to.
Sit back for a second and go, yeah, hopefully I’ll have a cup of tea and things will get better.
I love that. let’s get to this next section here. And Ana of course you are an entertainment professional. I’m an entertainment professional. And I think that you’d agree that this industry can be one of the most.
Active brutally honest and personally emotional industries in existence. And you know, as well as I, that in order tocreate and have a successful career in this industry, it takes a lot. Of dedication and hard work and wow. Yeah, there’s an outrageous amount of fun and fulfillment doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles and challenges and failures.
We’re going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is the one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career to this point? And how did you come out the other side better because of it.
so yeah, I think many of my answers are related to this ongoing project. I think it’s, I hope that’s okay. So I’m still, yeah. And I’m still young. So I don’t have too much to report about failures or obstacles in my life.
At least none of them would be interesting for the listeners. so I think you’re concentrating on the project and I think one of the main challenges of this recreation was the one specific. Let me call it.
modification. I’m not getting too technical. but Yeah,
the project is based on the video game called Minecraft.
And for those who don’t know Minecraft, it’s a very simple looking game. A lot of squares and the graphic is not very realistic. It’s hard to recreate the actual Broadway show in there. And one of the biggest obstacles was the set movement. As you might know, musicals, especially Disney shows are usually have a lot, a ton of set piece, a lot of scenery objects that come in and out.
To be honest, the line cake stage is fairly simple in comparison to few other shows, but still we have a lot of curtains coming in. it’s part of the game. It’s part of the show and there’s no such option of Minecraft. You can’t just press a button on your keyboard and then you have the current, the smooth movement like you having a real theater is technically not working in Minecraft.
It’s very blocky. It’s very simple. On the other side, Minecraft is a game with endless possibilities. I searched for some talented people online as such for the developers. and let me say that was, I think the most frustrating month in this project, I contacted, I think, around 20 different developers from all over the world, asking them to recreate such a modification, such an extension for the med for the game.
So to say, and I lost hope at some point, because half of the people said they are not capable of creating it. a few more said, you won’t know what or Ana, this is just not working. This is not possible to implement. And I spent hours of research and I think at some point I found girl or woman on fiber.
I think she was from France actually. And she just replied. Yeah, I can do that. Give me a week. The week later I had the modification. I think this whole process took me one and a half months. And then in the last week she just delivered. To this day. I still have people who ask for this much because it’s so unique and Yeah.
I think that’s a perfect example of my quote.
No worries. Just calm down, be patient. And it’s going to work at some point and I couldn’t be happier with this and yeah, it’s part of the game. It’s an hour part of our show. It’s very
unique feature. Yeah.
yeah. What an interesting thing to think about because yes, Minecraft of course, is. When it’s just, it’s basic kind of bedrock thing. It’s very simple, very basic, but I think that’s, what’s so cool about games like Minecraft games, like roadblocks, that there’s so much user generated content and the developers of the game are very open to people creating mods and modifications to the game to do unique things.
It really does allow you to get the functionality of something and create whatever you could possibly imagine. I think it’s so amazing. And you think about, like you said, flies coming in and out. It’s one of those things you just take for granted, but when it comes to virtually creating them, you’re like, whoa, hold on for a second.
This is a huge,huge obstacle. And obviously has a huge impact on the entire show, changing scenes and stuff.
Exactly like you, don’t everyone you’re at theater. You’re just exactly, as you said, you just think, yeah. That’s just how it is, but there’s so much behind it also in real theater, but also in this virtual case, there’s so much behind the scenes that you can’t see. And it took a lot of time, but I think I’m just so
happy with how it turned out.
Yeah. And when everyone, when, when he’s talking about there’s so much that you don’t even see,maybe I’ll find a way to yeah. Share a link and stuff. And maybe in the show notes, but across section of the theater you created in Minecraft is mind-boggling all the different elements. It really is exactly like a full on theater.
It’s not just all, we just built a stage and that’s it. No, no, no, no, no. There’s everything. Everyone. It’s crazy.
Yeah. Especially you see how small the stage is in comparison to everything. From comparison to all the tech and to all everything’s just below or behind it. And yeah, it’s the viewers can only see the stage. And I think it’s just that it’s just very
special and unique.
Yeah. And it’s amazing to me that even in a virtual production, those kinds of things are still needed and required, to put these shows on. And it’s very cool. And I will a hundred percent, I’ll make sure that, we can get a link to the image so people can check that out easily.
That’s something you really have to see.
All right. Cool. Very
Beautiful. And let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one time you realized, yes, I want to be part of this entertainment industry, or maybe it was, yes, this is what I need to be doing in this industry. Tell us about that.
Yeah, I think, the moment was actually pre COVID, even though the project was mainly COVID time or pandemic times. I think after watching the show, the last time it was in August, 2019, the German product. I wanted to see the show again and again,because it’s just such gigantic production. So I needed a different way to watch the show. I’m 21 years old. I can’t afford going to there and again, I just felt obsessed with the social, but the tickets for the show are expensive, not just a Western, not just on Broadway, but also in Germany.
because it’s just such gigantic production. So I needed a different way to watch the show. You know, I’m 21 years old. I can’t afford going to there likeevery week and the trip is also like four hours. So Yeah.
I need something to, I don’t know, satisfy my desire, so to speak. I don’t know. It was just like, I started by watching the movies.
but I was just not happy with it since I really loved the actual show and the actual music it’s such a great music. And I started with the audio. I just put into songs and movie dialogues together. So I had some sort of yearbook book of the musical self graded. and then I was looking for a platform because I wanted to do, I wanted to get the next step and I had different platforms in mind, different softwares.
And in the end I just started with Minecraft because I just knew it. This game for so long. And I think it took me just a few hours of experimenting around and building the first step when I said, yes, this is it. I will do it in this game. And now it’s crazy. And it. Probably ages, but that’s the moment when I knew, okay.
I’m going to recreate one of the most successful musicals in a video game.
I try my best to be fair. At that point, it was still a fun project. I had no intention uploading it. The first video came out three months later, I think, and from there on people realized, and I realized that people really liked to see the videos. And that was just an ongoing process. And now we’re here basically.
the story behind it.
yeah. And to give a little bit of context, everybody. The live shows just happened. They just did two back-to-back live productions of last couple of days. And this is a thing it’s,it’s been, it was streamed on Twitch. It was it’s by the time you’re listening to this, I’m sure it’ll be uploaded to YouTube as well and other places, but it’s really something very cool.
And I’m curious about when you said, okay, you say, all right, I’m going to start building this thing. It’s going to take me ages, right? How did you go about mapping out? just the theater and getting the dimensions. Did you have to write it all down on, jot all on paper and make the schematics there?
Or where do you start with something like that?
I think, Inside to outside process. I started with the stage. I was like, okay, let’s start with the most important thing. It just started an empty world. I still have a screenshot from just having the plain stage. That’s the floor over there. I started with the, yeah, with the size of the stage, checked on the wings to see if it looks fitting and then just continuous, I dunno like an obsession.
I just continued with the auditorium. Try to recreate as. Good as possible. I obviously do to rely on pictures on the internet, which I’m sometimes a little bit weird or not good quality. but I tried my best continued with the auditorium. it actually, I think on the theater itself, Perfectly recreated, by the way, it’s the German theater, the German production, which is a very cool theater.
It’s a, very unique building it’s in comparison to all the other theaters worldwide, where which are shown in lion king, this is a completely yellow tent, complete yellow tent with a gigantic lion king sign at its top on the flight tower and the people across the river. It’s actually located Right.
at the river.
They cross the road. Actual lion king fairies that are named by the characters were Ficky and Nala. And,Yeah. I started with that, the auditorium, then I recreated the tent, recreated the flight tower and the backstage building on this giant restaurant in front of it. And that was I think, the next step.
And so it just went on, it was really just a step by step process of just thinking, okay, you know what I think about the stage? Let’s also look the auditorium. Oh, you know what, I’ve built the auditorium. It’s also built the lobby and it went on and on. And, Yeah. that was. Pretty much, I think, yeah.
The way I
started this whole thing.
Yeah. Very cool. Well,let’s piggyback on that spotlight question quick, and let’s talk about your number one, book it moment. Walk us through that day. What was going on in your life? And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite? Booked it moment.
Yeah. I think my book is not like the classical book. That moment.
you would probably, Think of, but it was a very big milestone in this whole project. yeah. As you can see, I’m focusing a lot on this virtual project. I’m sorry for that, but,
No. That’s great.
okay. my booklet moment was actually the time when I uploaded this main video, the main video that you can find if you just search for Minecraft lanky musical.
this moment when people came up to me saying that they were speechless, they had chills, they saw this project and were like, I don’t know, They just were amazed. All these compliments felt so good because I’ve been working on this project for so long. I think you probably know this by yourself. At some point, when you work on something very long, you kind oflose track of if it’s too good or still interesting for the people.
And for me working on the project, it was at some point just normal, seeing this, seeing the opening and all these kinds of things every day. And for the viewers, it was just an amazing experience. I guess I don’t want to be so selfish or whatever it was Trey’s experience. so many people were writing comments about their experience with the actual show and how they enjoyed this little reproduction and actual cast members contact me like I’m red talking about this moment when the way it was uploaded with the book did moment.
And. Cast members, I think one or two from German, from the German cars and two or three people from the Broadway in Western cast, including one Simba young Simba actor that was actually in our team for a few months. I think after two weeks of this project, a German news page that I’ve been following for years as a kid, they posted an article about this project.
I literally saw my name of this article and I was like, damn, okay.
We going somewhere with this thing
and it’s still tracks new people. I guess lots of found me through this video, through watching the video, the main video. And so Yeah.
finishing the project, uploading this final product to YouTube.
I think it was July, 2020. actually I know it was the 10th of July, 2020. I think this moment, this was the milestone or the part where I said, okay, Yeah.
this is just crazy. how many people see this and how
many people enjoy this?
yeah, I love it. It’s so good. And you’re right. That’s exactly how I found you. I, I.
for anyone that’s listened to a lot of the episodes. different people have talked about roadblocks or different productions and people doing virtual readings. And I went down the rabbit hole one day and I said, what is this?
what’s what’s happening in this virtual show world during this pandemic time. And, that’s how I came across. This production of the lion king and, reached out, to Arlin everyone over at RGG and got connected with them on discord. And, one thing leads to another and here we are now.
but it’s so cool. I think do see. How much of the world has really just attached themselves to this production. I think it’s really fantastic, but let’s move on now to talking about the present a bit and,what’s next. What do you what’s in the future? What are you looking forward to?
And you know,we’re coming out of this global pandemic. how do you see this virtual landscape and virtual production world developing or moving?
Yeah. Yeah. Very good question. I think, so as we speak right now, when we’re doing this interview and we’re finishing the lion king, The time, this interview cures as STR resale. We had our two main performances and we will offer more performances of the lion king production in the near future. And besides that we are like a constantly growing community of theater fans who just love to recreate our shows and stuff. And as you said, even though we all hope that COVID will be over in the near future, we just hope that this pandemic kind of let Lewis of us. I don’t know. And. We will still not stop working on those virtual shows because I think it has such a great potential, especially because you’re not limited, you’re not limited in time.
You’re not limited in money or in space. You can, we can build gigantic theaters or very small theaters. You can. Let your creativity run or I don’t know, freedom run free. I don’t know. It’s just it’s just amazing how many possibilities you have and we have a few ideas. Yes. And maybe even plan shows for the future.
but we’re still in the planning phase, so I don’t want to leak them yet. Don’t want to put in any false stuff that we might eat. Re, consider whatever, but I think people can definitely expect more to come more content to come from RG productions or agg studios in general,
in the future.
Yeah, very cool. And I, I also believe that this medium, this idea of creating. taking the virtual reading experience and performance experience to the next level and animating it or programming it in this way, I think is a, I think there’s a huge niche there. And, I think it’s really about accessibility and creativity coming together, because like you said, you’re not really limited by money.
It’s not very expensive to get the Minecraft game. And then you it’s. Whatever you want to do and whatever you want to create from there. So it makes it very accessible for people to be creative and to do the creation part of things and get what you’re working on out into the world very fast and get a lot of feedback really fast.
And I think it’s, I really think that this is going to be a very serious niche in the entertainment industry, moving from. Okay.
yeah, exactly. I mean,of course we are waiting to go back into theaters. maybe you already did. I don’t know how it is in Australia right now. in Germany, I think we starting back in October with the big shows. I just can’t wait to actually be here. And the real theater again. but still, I think even though we’re slowly but surely coming back in the industry, I’m sure this will keep going on this virtual production.
People just found the interest in this or discovered the interest in this. And I think it’s going to keep growing
in the future.
yeah, for sure. And it is now time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightening round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready?
I’m ready. Let’s go.
All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career in this industry?
I think talking about this vitriol project, there was actually nothing holding me back. Honestly, I did it in my free time doing the covert, during the pandemic. And I think it was the best way to spend the
Hmm.Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
I think, I don’t know who said it to me. I think multiple people said it in the past, but, do what your heart says. It’s honestly so much better to just have fun in your life and do what you want to do instead of always staying in your line. usually I’m studying at a university. I’m still doing that and it could’ve just continued my study without this maitre of product.
Why not let’s do it. And I got to know so many amazing people from all over the world. That’s just one of the best things that could have happened during the pandemic Tyna and think doing my whole life. It’s just amazing to be connected to so many people from all over the Lopez. It’s
yes. Agreed. And the third question, what is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on?
it’s obviously what we’re doing right. now. I don’t think creating, virtual shows or micro shows in particular. I don’t think it would be that interesting, as it is right now, if it wouldn’t have to wait for the actual industry to come back, I think that’s one of the main reasons why we started this .
And the fourth question, what is it your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, maybe a podcast or a piece of technology you found is helping your career right now.
Yeah, I think, I don’t know what the listeners, if they know it, but, I think this code, the software or the app, the application discord is one of the. Some sort of social media and communication platforms out there, even though it’s unknown because the possibilities in there just endless, I got so many help from different communities by just clicking one link without logging in or whatever.
It’s just, so many opportunities to help people to get help, in the past to ask for advice or whatever. And I think I don’t want to miss discord in this whole. I’d just, I wouldn’t probably do it
Yeah, I agree with you. I think discord is amazing and that’s where I’ve gotten to you book to community. And I chose to build that on discord versus, say, uh,group or something like that, because I, what I thought was so interesting about discord is of course, while it was originally or still is its primary user base is people playing video games and streamers and things like this more and more businesses and are using it and adopting it and finding new, unique ways to use it.
I find you can niche out the conversations and you keep better organization of things a lot better, instead of things getting lost in a newsfeed or something like this. And I think discord is amazing and it’s free. that’s the other great part about it.
Yes. Yeah, you can create your own communities completely for free. That’s just something very unique and a, I think is a 100% agree with your, statement. It, discord is just an amazing platform that. No, because it’s actually focused on video games and stuff like that, but it can be used for so many different other things
Yeah, for sure. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or would you keep it. Okay.
I think it’s a hard question, especially for someone who just started this lab with 21 years. Actually gone into the theater industry even earlier, even though I’m still young. I don’t really have any connections in the musical or theater industry. and yes, I have some connections in the event industry in general, but I love the technical aspects of a musical production.
I love this some sort of perfect illusion when you sit down and you have this whole perfect, like it’s like a movie. Just perfect. it’s the whole thing. And I just love this whole thing and I would’ve loved to start to work on these projects even earlier. but even though I’m still 21 years old,I think the doors probably are still open.
I hope so.
Yeah, I love how you refer to it. as a movie and all the things working together and happening because in my performance career, I started off performing, being on stage and being the talent there. but then as my career went on and had different opportunities arise, I started seeing the other side of the table and the technical side of the table and stage managing and production and things like this.
And it’s amazing. I think when you finally. Get to see the productions from that 10,000 foot view as a stage manager or something like this, because I would only ever knew my one little perspective, being the performer on stage, but to see all the different elements that go into a show and really understand how they all work together is something you can only, I think really get if you get to that technical side of a production versus being onstage.
And it’s, mind-boggling it really. That’s what really did it for me, as far as fulfillment and things like this inside of this industry is finally seeing that 10,000 foot view of what is happening and how it all connects.
Like you start as an, as a viewer and just see this whole thing as a complete perfect thing in you. Maybe start. As an actor on stage, you have your own party focus on your, your staff. actually yesterday in the afternoon show party week. And now a little after show party, we actually thought about switching roles and a few scenes.
So that actress who always played the same role, just played a different role. And they were already like, oh my God, I see this whole thing from another perspective. And when you’re the stage manager or like the higher tier in this production, you see the overall, every single department coming together, creating this insane, crazy production.
And depending on each show, it’s, It’s just mind blowing. It’s honestly mind blowing, even though I’m not in this industry right now, I can think of it already. And it’s
just mind blowing. I love it.
Yes for sure. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge or drop you’ve learned from your career in this industry? You’d like to leave with it.
think the most important thing is passion and time bring passion and time. This industry, as is not about getting jobs and money super easily. It’s not just starting this week with your first acting job or whatever. next week you’re in a bigger theater and next year you’re on Broadway. you have to bring a lot of time and a lot of passion be patient.
And you have, you need some sort of self-belief that you will last long to, to need to last long in the industry.
Even though this is from a young virtual perspective. I think you can apply this on every single, yeah. Every single job in this industry. passionate times the most important thing, in my opinion.
And yeah, that’s my knowledge, Rob, for everyone who’s listening right
yes, passion and time. I, 100% agree with you. And Ana it is time to wrap up this interview, which means it is also time for you. To give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?
I think the easiest way to find us is through YouTube, just type in, or watch YouTube videos or simply search for Minecraft lanky musical. I think you can even find it, just typing micro flanking, but, yeah.
it’s going to be easy if you just type in microplankton musical. And from there you find all the necessary link to Instagram.
Whatever the discord community. And if you’re interested in our projects, if you want to see the show either as a video or live, I want to get a glimpse of the backstage of this virtual video game production. I want to start a collaboration. Just want to say hi, whatever the best way is to join the discord.
Or the, send me a private message on the discord. but to be honest, I also read through every single comment on the YouTube channel. So if you’re looking for an easy way to contact me or easy option to get in contact with RG studios, I think that’s the way to go. I will read the comment. just say, you’re here from the book and you want to say hi or what to talk or whatever.
And I will read your comment and yeah, that’s probably
beautiful. And for everyone listening out there, I’ve put the links to all the different resources. So you can get in touch with Ana also known as Gwen SCO in the online world and also RGG studios. And all that information is in the description. This episodes, you can easily connect with them and also be sure to share this podcast with your fellow entertainers, coaches, teachers, arts, and entertainment educators, and anyone, you know,aspiring to create a career in the entertainment industry.
You booked. It is the number one resource of expertise on how to actually create a successful entertainment career. It’s integral to helping them succeed and helping you create a better, more fulfilling career in this wild and crazy industry. And if you enjoyed this episode, hit that subscribe button. So you don’t miss the next one. Not thank you so much for being here. I am so glad that we were able to make this interview happen and that we were able to get connected and I’ve been able to be a small part of the lion king production as well.
Of course, thank you so much for this invitation and thank you so much, for your support, for believing in the state of production. Self-explanatory that someone from the actual industry, appreciates such a project or believes in such a project. yeah. Thanks so much for inviting me to this interview.
yeah, it was amazing. It was really
cool. Thank you.