After the successful launch of the first season of the ZDFneo comedy series Duplex (OT "Doppelhaushälfte"), ZDF Studios has now also taken over the worldwide distribution of the second season.
In eight new episodes, the series tells of the lives of the Sawadi-Kröger (Maryam Zaree, Benito Bause) and Knuppe (Minh-Khai Phan-Thi, Milan Peschel) families, who live next door to each other in the outskirts of Berlin.
As the first worldwide series, Duplex also ventures into virtual worlds in its second season and sends its protagonists into the metaverse. This is a digital space in which the virtual world, augmented reality and physical reality merge.
Thus Duplex breaks completely new ground in German fiction. The future of the internet becomes the centre of the narrative through the experiences of the protagonists. In doing so, the episode "Meta" picks up on the current discourse, the criticism, but also the enthusiasm for the virtual world of experience.
In this episode, the Sawadi-Kröger and Knuppe families are guests at a virtual vernissage: Mari's brother Brian (Eidin Jalali) exhibits his work there. The entire episode was shot in the virtual spaces of the so-called "Web3.0". This gave the actors and actresses the opportunity to control their avatars themselves.
For the cast, the shoot was a challenge: Equipped with VR goggles, headsets, controllers and full-body trackers, they controlled avatars specially designed for the series. All movements were recorded in real time in the virtual world by a camera team, who filmed the action with invisible digital avatars and cameras. The digital filming locations were scouted in advance in the metaverse. At filming time, extras from all over the world gathered at the respective online locations to take part in the project.
"It is actually difficult to move in this 3-D world. As an actress, it's even more difficult because you only see your partner virtually. You don't see any facial expressions, only that the mouth is moving," says Minh-Khai Phan-Thi, who plays Tracy Knuppe.
It was directed by Dennis Schanz, who also wrote the script together with Christoph Mushayija Rath. "Duplex" is produced on behalf of ZDFneo by ICONOCLAST Films, with Lucia Haslauer and Melvina Kotios as ZDF editors.