Ideas for interactive movies workshop, february 23-25 2001

Found some old notes when cleaning out my network share at work, pretty neat stuff for 2001, and I still want to work more on these. Please don’t steal them, because then I would have to kill ya, and that would be really impractical :)

Here it is, unread, unproofed, and unedited.

001. Working title: «Tristessas story»

Single stream? Artistic expression. Randomgeneration of dialog and innermonolog-based short film, from a large and groving collection of structured pieces of video from a database. Possibility to set and alter parameters before or while playing, like choosing mood. the whole point to create a poetic atmosphere. It would also be interesting if the audience could deside who should speak next or at all, and what sentences should be said). It should also be possible for the audience to edit sequences and make their own story, as well as to submit text to be filmaticed. The textbase is pieced together from several different poems and shortstories, all written by different people, and each story should be presented as a separate film if the audience should desire to follow a sentence back to its origin. Example of story with two «characters» (in norwegian)

Regn , sol
Skumhvitt på toppene. Sterke understrømmer. Hun jubler vilt. I høye stormbølger under stormskyer ser jeg ikke klar himmel.
Hun sa: «Ikke forlat meg her alene». Jeg svarte, nølende: «Kanskje …». Jeg hviler på hennes ord.
Jeg sa: «Kan du lese øynene mine?. Ikke….»!
Og jeg så på henne. Jeg så at det surret et dikt like ved øret hennes. Det var der bare et sekund, så fløy det videre.
Og jeg har drømt, våket, bedt, grått, søkt meg inn til synet av ryggen da hun snudde og gikk.

002. Old peoples songs.

Information documentary / artistic expression. Paralell + collage-ish? The interface would be a grid of movies, where some old people are singing songs, fading in and out perhaps. If you click that person will fill the whole screen, will sing his/her song , and after that it would start playing an interview with that person being asked questions about different things (I have a ridiculous long list). Actually, it would be interesting to just talk to them about everything, and illustrate the things they talk about in much the sam way as Chris Hales did in My twelve favorite things, and if the user indicates a certain interest in a spesific theme (first kisses for instance!) then other peoples experiences would pop up. This is actually a classical documantary, just a little interactiveised J Actually, in addition, there should be interactive rooms/appartement, where you could poke around, check out whats hanging on the walls, read a little, just poke around the memories of this person, and every object one could imagine pokable.

003. I had an idea weirdly similar to Chris’s film from the square of xxxx?

I wanted to film a street crossing for a long time, long enough in fact to be able to begin sorting and categorising people. I could use the same technique as chris and for examlpe only have people with something red on them to be in the picture at a given time, or only beautiful girls, or only old people, etc, Perhaps the audience could make their own «natural selection» of what they wanted to see.from a meny on the side, In addition to this I want to do 1) a part where actors and poets performs rinht in the camera, pluss 2) a section where the passersbys are asked similar questions as the the old people in the previous idea. I really love ordinary peoples ansvers to ordinary, everyday questions. Noting is as beautiful

004: DVD. 8 short films

Filmed separatly with their own artistic vision and separate directors. In the film there are numerous mettingplaces., some, at least one, are commen for all the stories, like a café or favorite hangout. The manuscripts to the films should be written separately, with only a few nails holding them together, (at a certain hour, this character have to be X) but there should be a lot left to chance, the directors should sit down and se how the could share actors, location, which characters should be friends or aquaitances, if there are two stories about someone in love the should be in love with each other, or perhaps the audience will see that they would be perfect for each other. Perhaps a little like short cuts, but with interactive scenes, meeting points, where one could stop the current story and follow someone else. Added «bonus». Some characters would also have ineractive artefactst, like a walkman you can listen to / hoose NOT to listen to dialog (which might piss someone off). I suppose there could be possible to put «jinxed»-like things in there as well, but I feel that that might destroy the 8 stories themselves,

005. «Little O». An interactive childrens tv-series!

Both linear episodes, and interactive ones on broadband/cdrom/dvd. It’s quite a large project, with puppets and 3d animation, but its premise is pretty simple. There is a little girl named «O» living alone on a dumpster. She is quite happy with her life, even though she is sometimes lonely. But she has a cabin, a cat, an old grammaphone, but most important of all, she has a treasure chest where she keeps all the strange and nice things she finds on the dumpster! The strange things about «O» (besides being a child living alone on a dumpster) is that she has the ability to sence the story of some of the objects she find! To her, it is both a thrilling and a scary ability. Her days are spent fiddling around in the trash, finding things to play with, making small stonepebble and broken glass mosaics, weird windchimes and other percussion instruments and skulptures etc all over the place (this are actually fully interactive sections of the game/story). But once in a while, she will find an object that speak to her, she will then fall into a dreamlike view of the forming event in that objects life (she finds a mirror, she sees a girl, crying, its her wedding day ) Little O has the choice to stop her vision at any time, if what she sees scares her. Maybe she would want to see the whole story the object has stored inside, pershaps not, the audience will decide this. The audienve will also choose to keep the object or to toss it away. In addition to all these gimmiks there is a underlying plot, whichs is of course to find out why she is there all alone, to find out where she is from, to find out what will become of here, and to HELP her be a whole and happy person. Clues will pop up, some of the objects that are in her chest when the game/story begins are actually hers, but she can’t quite know which. And sometimes she find things that she WANTS to be a part of HER true story, and of course, in time, if she brings the object home with her, it will become HER story (and a part of the audiences story as well). The clever reader will have seen that all the business with the objects is to have a framework in whick to insert new dreams/stories into the gameplay in an easy manner, each object/dream being simply ordered from someone, in the same way a broeadcaster today buys his films. The type of films could also vary according to for instance the AGE of the viewer. You could make the series cosy for the children (but a little sad as well) and genuinly SUPERCREEPY for the grownups, young people, with horrormoviemood and everything, enhanced by the soundtrack for instrance (ambulanses in the distrace). I have written a lot of the different objects and the overlying plot, as well as hundreds of Little Os small and big experiences on the dumpster, but what excites me the most about this project is the open framework, that would work like a sitcom/soap. What would happen in the next episode? Perhaps someone comes to visit. Perhaps the cat will come inside (its very shy, she leaves milk for him, but he never dares come when she watches). What also apeals to me is that unlike other childrens series its not hysteric and anoying. I don’t someone has decided that children need braindead action and noice to be attentive, it’s not the kind of input I would like to give my children. I want to make something slow and beatiful, but intersperserd with all these random and not so random stories that will come in, out of any context except the context that hopefully will start to form in the mind of the viewer and therefore also in Little Os head as well. A little about randomness: On tv, every episode will be the same. But on the net, the objects are random, and if someone chooses to store that object, only that person will have it in their treasure chest. There will be no user to user communication, since this would break the illusion of being inquisitive Little O, but I am doodeling with the idea of letting people meet inside one or more of little Os objects/dreams. So that if twho or more people enter the same object at once, the movie they see will actually change, the will SEE each other, drawn in the style of the current movie, and the may then deviate from the chosen story, and actually do something else, play a game, go to the beach and play in the sand, or just chat (textbased, and later based on ip telephony made possible through the same broadband provider )!

006. Artscape. Brancing, game, not movie.

Very ambitious idea where people may enter paintings. The idea is to base a world on famous (naturalistic) paintings, sculpture, etcetc, where one can interact with other characters, both historic and living (as well as other audience), as well as right click to learn about the art the world is built from. A field of flowers where every invividual flower is from different paintings, for instance. Or a house where every corner and wall and window is taken from different partrait painting. The world would be peiced together in 3d and photoshop. Characters should be eighter puppets or filmed actores, puppets would be easier, since it would make it easier to fit the visitors into a body. This work will also have the endless possibilities of enhancement, only limited to time and funding.

007. Interactive music/video.

I was recently in Moscow observing a parking lot right beneath me, 11 stories below, and I started imagining a grid spreading out over the parking lot, and the people and cars moving as triggering different sounds, or maybe videoclips as the moved into a new section of the parkinglot, as if the parkinglot was a piano and the people and cars fingers playing it. I them imagines a gallery situation where the autience could wander around and trigger sound and video by physically moving (fun, art and excersise in one). I have heard og things like this being done since the 70’s but I have never seen it for myself.


I have a similar idea using insects, placing a large white plate with a camera above it and mapping their movements to sounds. Its interactive movie, but the movie is controlled by ants and other bugs :)

NEW IDEAS (new to me anyway :):

009. information documentary: A subwaymap of oslo is the interface.

One or several people are interviewed at each stop about different themes on all the stops. Several people are sent out with a videocamera to document the city at a given day. I haven’t though much about the interactive elements, beside the mapinterface, exept that I would like to group reccurring answers together.I suppose I should have a spesific overlaying theme, but I am very fond of ordinary people being themselves type of tings, so …

010. Broadband portal userdriven website! Linear. Interactive video sketchbook

Chris’s sketchbook was a really cool idea. I HAVE to steal that one :) !! I have tons of dv-footage to choose from, Im really looking forward to digging into that. It would also be cool to make a site that hosts people sketchbooks, to make a system together with Bredbåndsfabrikken for instance where people could upload their clips, alphabetize them etc. Sort of like a personal homepage today, just with video, and videohosting. You could leaf through to A and get a random A someone made, and see all the A’s if you wanted to! It would be a service that really would demonstrate to people why they should get broadband in their home, and how to use it for something creative! Promotion: Pick someone half famous to start it off? Pick out someone beautiful to attract the peeker in us all? (Todays sketchbook, vinner of x ) The site could also include a cooperation with Sony, adobe, lego or some other software/hardware-companies, as well as NRK (traditional uhf broadcasting), film festivals etc. And I bet we would get a lot of clips since the are so short and to the point and easy to make. I also think it could become a very beautiful collage, maybe even an international thing, maybe even a way to learn language0 (agua, vann, water)?

Av Morten Skogly

Creator of Things