Future Cinema Course

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


Evaluation and Grading (contract grading will also be available to you. This option will be discussed on the first day).

  • Class participation, team contributions and online contributions, including responses to classmate’s work and ideas: 20%
  • Handheld/Snapdragon story: 10%
  • Seminar summaries and posted questions: 10%
  • Final Project:  Total 60%
    • Group Pitch: 5%
    • Group Design Project: 40%
    • Final Presentation, documentation: 15%

Assignment descriptions:

1. Participation Being part of an intellectual community means attending class regularly and punctually, reading thoughtfully in advance, being prepared to share your work with others and involving yourself in class discussions in a way that enables you and other students to learn. You will also be graded on the quality of your responses to other’s work and ideas and on your effective functioning in your group.

2. Handheld story (Flartoolkit AR) pop-up book or Snapdragon project – due class #2
This short, one-week exercise serves as an introduction to one form of augmented reality – a marker-based project that can be viewed online (Flartoolkit) or on a mac (Snapdragon).   Examples will be shown in class and a simple architecture will be provided for you.  Use this assignment to get your hands dirty, to think beyond the traditional cinematic screen and to think about scale – this is a small, handheld project with limited interactivity.  Later you will work on a large dispersed narrative that leverages the storytelling power of specific real-world locations.

3. Major Group Project – mobile cinemas and worlds – Toronto 2030? likely GPS Cinema, possibly Vuforia

The project will be done in groups of 4.  Teams will be formed by the second class, and an initial project pitch will be done by each team in class 4 or 5.  You will be supported in the use of one of two technologies: GPS Cinema / Vuforia. I will assist groups in thinking about what constitutes effective group participation and in communicating with me and to each other how the division of labour is working (or not working).

Group Project pitch – oral presentation and short written piece (1 or 2 pages not including sketches etc. posted online to the class blog) Due class week 3

The Pitch will be short (10-12 mins) with additional time (5-10 minutes) include time for questions and feedback. Your presentation should include concept art and storyboards and maps, to better convey your idea.  The focus should be on the core idea of the project, and the experience you would hope for someone engaging with your work to have, as well as practical issues such as who will do what, what resources you will need to use, etc.  You will post a more detailed version that you will have time to present.

Presentation on the final day + Documentation — Blue Sky bible for the project – concept sketches, notes, code, ambitions,

The more fully realized the project is, the better (this year is, in part, an experiment to move beyond the short exercises of past years to allow students to engage more meaningfully and in depth with a single project), but I am also very interested in your careful and creative documentation of ambitious plans that cannot be realized yet – storyboards, ideas for interactivity, components for AR, ARGs you would like to have included, tech wish lists (what if everyone had Google glass?), etc.  Did you accomplish all that you set out to do? (What) were there barriers to success? If you were to continue making this piece, how would it grow?  Tell me about scale, interactivity, story, time, media theory.  Tell me your ideas about future forms and the kind of technology that would need to be invented in order to achieve your vision of a really compelling piece.

4. Thursday Seminar presentations

Each week you will be responsible for posting to the class blog a one page critical engagement with one of one of the major assigned texts and for responding to at least one of your classmate’s posted pieces (this needn’t be on the same week’s readings). You must also craft three compelling questions and be prepared to ask these in class and take charge of student discussion around them. Use both your blog entries and your questions in class as an opportunity to ignite conversation.  Your posted piece should summarize the major points or themes of the text or project, compare and contrast the viewpoints expressed in the piece with those of other artists and thinkers and critically assess the piece and its relationships to the broader themes and issues considered in the course and, later, your own project.  Pull out ideas that will be useful as you move forward with your projects. You may use point form. You are encouraged to engage in multi-modal scholarship if you feel comfortable doing so – to post slides or a video presentation instead or writing all your ideas down, for example.

Students are evaluated on the quality of ideas and material presented, the ability to actively engage seminar participants and respond meaningfully to the interventions, questions and ideas of others.