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Play to Create. Briefing 10 February 2009.

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play to create

Play to Create


10 February 2009


You are asked to create a visually dynamic interactive presence (web site) to imaginatively interpret (and publicise) the narrative, emotions, spatial and temporal (time-based) experience and meaning of a cinematic film. The research and explorations undertaken by you should examine the conceptual ideas, plot, user experience, context and sequencing of events (narrative) implicit within the film.

If appropriate to your concept, the narrative of the sourced novel / book should be referenced and even, dare I say it, read. You must critically engage with the subject area to demonstrate an understanding of the key issues / concepts debated within the film and / or novel.


Your final solution should be imaginative, expressive, original and propose some interesting / innovative interactive treatments for the narrative, navigational structure, hierarchy of information (sequencing), spatial and temporal (time-based) experience that pervades in the film. The deployment of sound / audio in relation to the visuals may be integral to the conceptual framework of the work.

It is important that the solution it not a literal translation of the film to screen, but a new way of seeing, representing or re-contextualising the narrative structure and content that could only be formatted through an interactive medium.


Do not take an existing corporate (film) identity or realms of footage and transpose to the screen. Re-align, re-contextualise and possibly extend the story, narrative and content for the screen through a medium that can explore ideas in a different spatial and interactive dimension.

The work should not be pastiche (a work of art that imitates the style of some previous work) of the film, but an innovative treatment that possibly looks outside the central framework at peripheral directions in narrative, content and time e.g. an extension of a narrative outside the film, what the characters may have done outside the text, speculative scenario's, back stories or future stories / contexts.


You are asked to choose a film from a genre that plays with temporality, narrative structures and / or has a particular twist or interesting visual exploration. Some films you may wish to consider are:

La Jetee (and Twelve Monkeys), Pulp Fiction, Memento, Alphaville, Catch 22, Timecode, The Draughtsman’s Contract, Breathless, The Third Man, Throne of Blood, Mystery Train, The Leningrad Cowboys, Helvetica, Fight Club, Hollis Frampton and Ken Jacobs (both Structualist filmmakers).

The work should be process led, content-driven and context specific.


“In the information age graphic design is or should be at the core of this field of cultural production called visual communication. Even though public attention for graphic design is often limited to its formal qualities, an interesting and influential graphic design product, be it a poster, a book or a website, it is rarely just an aesthetic thing - it is a precise shape for a precise content.” (Bruinsma, 2003, p.18)


What is the wow factor to the story / narrative? Human, emotive, scale, orientation, projection.

What is the essence of the story / narrative?

Envision the story at a human level, abstracted level, narrative level, imagined or fantasised sequence.


How to engage the user. Do not assume the user knows anything.

Concept message and audience interaction.

Age and audience. Who are you targeting?

Does it facilitate the user to develop their own subjective pathway, rather than an explicit information dissemination service that negates autonomy and engagement, to allow the narrative to be drawn out of the user?


Does the space (resolution) allow for casual exploration? Do you navigate the space in an abstract, hierarchical or linear / non-linear fashion (similarity to web site navigation)? Do you feel autonomous in your navigation of the space?

The sequencing or narrative of the interactive presence to represent the enduring and expressive qualities of the film.

How does the narrative help reveal or unfold the story to engage the user through positive experience?

Hypertext - user affect narrative from ‘inside the field of representation’. Subjective, non-linear journey of discovery.


Explore and design an interactive presence that extends the functionality and narrative of your film / book, with particular reference to the distinctive qualities and demands of interactive media. Basically, the interface design dictates how user communicates with the content.

Decide to what extend your site and the film should mirror one another and how new ideas might develop through the use of spatial based media to reflect the ‘living’ form of the discovery. This is an opportunity to explore the dynamic nature of navigational structures / constantly shifting information unique to interactive media and exploit ideas of ‘space’ that arise out of your analysis of the spatial resonance and hierarchy of complex information.


The development of your designs should also be influenced by the playful interactive qualities of the screen, which could allow a level of autonomous participation from users not implemented in the cinematic format e.g. how the user interacts, affects, plays and explores with the narrative structure and content in the web site.

The ‘layering’ processes of interactivity allow information to be revealed and concealed incrementally. How could you develop and incorporate various techniques of this methodology within the design and organisation of the information?

salaryman6 jake knight

salaryman6Jake Knight


The short film ‘salaryman6’ by Jake Knight (OneDotZero_dvd_1) analogies the formulaic pattern of the modern urban milieu, through a transient existence of a Japanese salaryman constrained in a memorial loop, who records his working week on a digital camera to procure an assurance of his cultural identity and self-worth in society. The film explores temporality, banality, endless searching, repetition and cultural belief systems in an ephemeral account of the everyday.

The daily routine and the worker’s loss of memory are a metaphor for the bereavement of creative autonomy in a self-absorbed networked information society: an imagination stifled. The habitual repetition of the monotonous juxtaposed with the loss of cognitive wherewithal envision the brain moulded by the mundane or explicit. The subsequent externalisations of the salaryman’s life in a series of photographs that document his recurrent daily schedule commoditise this cerebral almost automated self.


Think about some interesting innovative treatments on this short film based on earlier notions of narrative, context, spatial and temporal exploration (navigational and hierarchical information structures) of the social, cultural and technological themes explored in the storyline.

How could you envision the premise beyond the filmic boundaries to extend the notions of repetition, life-cycle, banality, technology, memory, the mind and identity?

What are the stories that remain hidden or untold?


Presentation date: Tuesday 17 March 2009 (see board for group times)

Submission date: Thursday 19 March 2009 before 16.00 hours

Format / Size:The sketchbooks with annotated notes should be numbered in chronological order of research. The final artefact should be burnt on a cross platform DVD / CD that works on operating system Mac OS 10.5. Work will not be accepted in other formats and presents the possibility of a fail grade. Please do not hand in work on a memory stick.