Future Cinema

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 (and sometimes Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory) at York University, Canada

The “Lost” Art of Immersion

Posted on | January 30, 2013 | No Comments

Quite the interesting read for me (and my group, Nick and Morgan) specifically as it seems Rose touches a number of topics that pertain to our major project. First off, he makes mention in the very beginning about the www.areyouserious.com campaign for Nolan’s The Dark Knight. This was a brilliant campaign to raise awareness of Nolan’s second Batman film, but more interestingly, it was the immersive nature of involving viewers that made it unique. With relation to our project, it seems fitting that we’re using a Nolan film as the basis for our piece (his directional debut, The Following) and we are attempting to implement elements of texting, social media and spectator interaction in our piece. Granted a project for a university course is slightly different than a multi million-dollar studio investing in a film campaign, but hey we all have to start somewhere

There’s a great section in the fourth chapter that really stuck out with me. Rose writes “In a command-and-control world, we know who’s telling the story, it’s the author. But digital media have created an authorship crisis. Once the audience is free to step out into the fiction and start directing events, the entire edifice of twentieth-century mass media begins to crumble.” It has become a changing of the guard so to speak. It’s quite amazing to think about. It’s again, to get back to my point above, all relates to what we are attempting to do with our project. The technology might not seemingly be there quite yet, but it’s starting to. We want to create fictional characters and have them exist in the real world, in real time. We want to have the audience/user interact with the narrative and even affect the outcome. Not sure if Betty Draper’s twitter account actually has an impact on the Mad Men story arc, but it certainly works to immerse the audience on a whole other level.

Another interesting section of the text is Rose’s discussion on the show Lost (one of my personal favorites). The creation of an interactive narrative online developed by fans seems like an amazing concept. Even though the producers of Lost never anticipated it. The idea of the mystery box being the catalyst for imagination is brilliant to me. In fact, interestingly enough, Rose goes on to mention Abrams talking about Lost being a mystery box and then comparing it all to Star Wars. And to those that may not know, in this ironic art of immersion, Abrams has taken over the reigns on the new Star Wars narratives, in being hired to direct episode VII.

A couple questions that come to mind

With audience interaction becoming a huge part of how we tell stories, how has Hollywood adapted this form into classic film experience of going to the theatre?

Even though the title of the book is The Art of Immersion, Rose seems to talk mostly about with the corporate side of the digital generation (IE the shows, games and movies that make big money). But is there a place for art in all of this? Or is the money making a part of the art. Can they co-exist?


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