Professor's Last Lecture: Part 3

So we did this campus-wide exhibition. People performed down here. They're in costume, and we projected just like this and you can see what's going on. You can see what they're seeing in the head mount. There's a lot of big props, so there's a guy white water rafting. [shows slides of a BVW show]

This is Ben in E.T. And yes, I did tell them if they didn't do the shot of the kids biking across the moon I would fail him. That is a true story. And I thought I'd show you just one world, and if we can get the lights down if that's at all possible. No, ok, that means no. All right. All right we'll just do our best then. [Shows "Hello.world" world done in the BVW class, audience applauds at the end.]

It was an unusual course. With some of the most brilliant, creative students from all across the campus. It just was a joy to be involved. And they took the whole stage performance aspect of this way too seriously [shows pictures of very strange costumes students wore]. And it became this campus phenomenon every year. People would line up for it. It was very flattering. And it gave kids a sense of excitement of putting on a show for people who were excited about it. And I think that that's one of the best things you can give somebody -- the chance to show them what it feels like to make other people get excited and happy. I mean that's a tremendous gift. We always try to involve the audience. Whether it was people with glow sticks or batting a beach ball around... or driving [shows photo of audience members leaning in their seats to steer a car]. This is really cool.

This technology actually got used at the Spiderman 3 premiere in L.A., so the audience was controlling something on the screen, so that's kind of nice. And I don't have a class picture from every year, but I dredged all the ones that I do have, and all I can say is that what a privilege and an honor it was to teach that course for something like ten years.

And all good things come to an end. And I stopped teaching that course about a year ago. People always ask me what was my favorite moment. I don't know if you could have a favorite moment. But boy there is one I'll never forget. This was a world with, I believe a roller skating ninja. And one of the rules was that we perform these things live and they all had to really work. And the moment it stopped working, we went to your backup videotape. And this was very embarrassing. [Shows image of Roller Ninja world presentation]

So we have this ninja on stage and he's doing this roller skating thing and the world, it did not crash gently. Whoosh. And I come out, and I believe it was Steve, Audia, wasn't it? Where is he? OK, where is Steve? Ah, my man. Steve Audia. And talk about quick on your feet. I say, Steve, I'm sorry but your world has crashed and we're going to go to videotape. And he pulls out his ninja sword and says, I am dishonored! Whaaa! And just drops! [applause and laughter]

And so I think it's very telling that my very favorite moment in ten years of this high technology course was a brilliant ad lib. And then when the videotape is done and the lights come up, he's lying there lifeless and his teammates drag him off! [laughter] It really was a fantastic moment.

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