The inspiration behind my creative project came from my interest in hypertext fiction and artificial reality games. The proliferation of new information technologies, such as the Internet and social networking sites, has led to fundamental changes in the structure and content of literature. Hyptertext fiction, named for its use of hypertext links, allows readers to engage directly with the narrative through a “Choose Your Own Adventure” format. Readers click links that lead them to further installations of the story, a process that inherently benefits a non-linear narrative. Artificial Reality Games (ARGs), a relatively new form of viral marketing, meld the virtual and the real into a narrative that exists across several platforms. Participants solve puzzles on the Internet as well as in real life in order to receive the next clue or the next installment of the narrative. I am fascinated by this defining quality of ARGs, which erases the boundaries between reality and fiction.
Our original project, though ultimately overambitious, was to create a short film portraying the conversion process that can be expedited by the promise (or perhaps threat) of impending apocalypse. Despite high hopes, we decided that a short film, given our limited resources and desire to maintain most of our sanity by the end of the semester, would not only be difficult to complete in the given time frame, but also would run the risk of compromising our intended impact/message. After much discussion and creative re-workings, we clipped bits and pieces of our original story from the script, and set out to put together an extended movie trailer. It’s fortunate that we made the changes we did, because after 15-20 hours of editing a 4 minute trailer, we both realized a film twice as long would have been too large of a task to undertake. We assure you that all of the juiciest and most exciting scenes are captured in this trailer, and, thanks to much creative brainstorming (and sometimes arguing) we managed to maintain our original story arc as well. Beneath our trailer you can find a synopsis and the original full length script. Enjoy!
When we first discussed the creative projects in class, I mentioned doing a “serious” documentary about apocalypse as it is depicted in Islam. However, I was inspired to do something more fun after watching a short animated film from this year’s Doomsday Fest. The main character was a lemon head and the director created simple movements by taking stills of the lemon head traversing different flat images. I employed a similar concept in my animation, however instead of flat images – I used real-life backgrounds from my kitchen cabinets to the picture frames in the Metropolitan Opera.