Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Nexus Director, Evan Boehm, creates interactive animated film 'Solace'

Okay this is weird, but interesting and oddly compelling.  Take a look for yourself!


NEXUS DIRECTOR EVAN BOEHM CREATES INTERACTIVE ANIMATED FILM TO INSPIRE NEW FORMS OF STORYTELLING

Nexus Interactive Arts director Evan Boehm has produced ‘Solace’, a new interactive animated film, which launches online today (Thursday 19th January) on www.rememberspook.com.

This captivating interactive film is based on a short story from the collection Pixel Juice by award-winning science fiction writer Jeff Noon, and tells the dark tale of a near-future in which marketing, DNA and addiction are disturbingly intertwined. Gethin Anthony (Game of Thrones, Aquarius) provides the vivid narration for an unsettling childhood story of a boy trapped in a frightening spiral of addiction to a sugary drink, which raises ethical questions about the way technology embeds itself in our everyday lives.

The story structure follows one character talking to another in a pub about an addictive drink from their childhood, where the taste is determined by twisting the bottle cap to release the different flavours. As the story unfolds over their pints, 2-D animated bubbles emerge from the liquid and invite users to push, poke and pop them. The viewer becomes immersed in the story by acting as an abstract extension of the narrative, following the central protagonist’s tragic decline in his unrelenting pursuit of the perfect flavour combination.

‘Solace’ is a timely social commentary that uses technology to activate the viewers’ imagination to tell a story in an inspiring new wayDesigned for the web, viewers watch it through a standard browser with no need to download any special software or hardware.

The interactive liquid is built in code, part of a custom engine developed to produce a cartoon-like physics system that would respond instantly to user interactions. For a harmonised sensory experience, a generative, real-time audio sound system is weaved into the film to provide an atmospheric soundtrack. The six different flavours of the drink determine the colour scheme of animation, with simple, childlike tones used to contrast the dark adult themes.

Evan Boehm, the director this film, says, ‘Behind its cartoon-like exterior, this film ultimately aims to push the limits of interactive storytelling, whilst encouraging debate about the social, cultural, and ethical consequences of future genetic technologies. It follows the traditional beginning-middle-end structure with characters, but the real-time interactivity element is what makes it truly different and inspiring. One part narrative journey, one part playful, surprising interactive experience, it aligns perfectly with Nexus’ goal to explore innovative ways of telling stories.’


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