Tag: film

Remember to Breathe


The puppet masters who brought you Violette’s Dream are hard at work on an ambitious new project guaranteed to take your breath away. Breathe is being billed as a multi-media murder mystery that is a mash-up of film, alternate reality gaming and Web 2.0 media, which allows the story to unfold in both the real and cyber worlds. Headquartered in London, Expanding Universe is quickly making a name for itself in media circles by developing what it calls “immersive and innovative social entertainment”. Breathe shouldn’t leave anyone disappointed.

An official summary from the creators has this to say:

“Set over a four-week period, viewers watch (four 15) minute shorts, and try to help Detective (John) Franks solve the case by working through puzzles, infiltrating the underground club scene, trying to locate the venue, and save the next victim from running out of air. Using blogs, YouTube, GPS, telephone, secret meetings, IM, auditions, immersive role-play, cinema, and music, Breathe stands to be one of the most audacious multi-media experiences to leap from a cinema screen–‘all you have to do is breathe…'”

Player/Participants will first find their way into Breathe’s dark and dangerous world through a traditional ARG investigating a series of horrific nightclub murders. But they will soon find themselves rubbing shoulders with the characters at real life events and maybe becoming part of the story themselves (hopefully not in the role of victim).

Expanding Universe hopes to build different versions of the story in different cities to maximize scale and client base, and nothing creates ARG buzz faster than a real life event. We’ve seen some well orchestrated, large scale efforts in the past, but imagine a nightclub filled with pounding music, pulsing lights, and more than a thousand people taking part in the story. Not just participating, but creating it as well. That is the vision behind Breathe, and if those clever folks at Expanding Universe can pull it off, it might spark a brand new trend in cross-platform entertainment.

Yomi Ayeni, the Creative Director for Expanding Universe, is hard at work outlining and scripting the action, prepping the project for roll-out sometime in 2009 (financing permitting). While the online story will be available to the entire ARG community, only those lucky enough to be in the UK will get to participate in the real life events. But take heart, Ayeni said that at the conclusion of each city’s edition, Expanding Universe could put out complete versions, perhaps on DVD, or online, that could both let everyone see how it played out.

DIY Days Boston: Catching up with Lance Weiler and hanging out with filmmakers

DIY Days logoWhen I heard DIY Days was coming to Boston, mostly I was looking forward to reconnecting with filmmaker, Alternate Reality Game enthusiast and ARGFest Boston speaker, Lance Weiler, (Hope is Missing and Beyond the Rave) and maybe getting a scoop on his next project. While I did get to do all that, I also got to meet some incredibly talented independent filmmakers, culture researchers, and writers, and participate in a great discussion not only about independent filmmaking, but also about the future of media and technology.

DIY Days is an offshoot of Weiler’s The Workbook Project, and is paired with the From Here to Awesome Film Festival. All are grounded in his commitment to open-source filmmaking, mentoring and encouraging creativity and helping independent filmmakers to finance, distribute and promote their projects inside and outside of traditional media channels (but mostly outside). Weiler’s partner in DIY Days is Arin Crumley, co-creator of indie film/YouTube phenomenon, Four Eyed Monsters.

DIY Days Boston, a free, all-day event, was the fourth and final conference in this series. (A new series will resume next year.) Speakers for the day included, among others, Weiler, a venture capitalist, MIT researchers, and, of course, many filmmakers, all bringing their knowledge and expertise to share with others. You can watch the conference proceedings online at the DIY Days site, so instead of giving a blow-by-blow of each talk, I’ll highlight my favorites.

Continue reading

Film to Feature Text-Messaging Hunt

crywolf.gifThe recent trailer for the upcoming thriller “Cry Wolf” seems to be promoting an accompanying text-messaging game of some sort. The film, scheduled for an August 2005 release, revolves around a series of murders that are foretold by someone using AIM®, giving warning about where the victims will be found.

At the end of the trailer, the following text appears:

“Use your cell phone to text your AIM® screen name to CWOLF (29653) and use AIM® on your phone to get in on the hunt!”

It looks like an interesting film, but we have no idea whether this will lead to anything beyond some spammy text messages, but time will tell. Watch for updates if this turns into something ARGish.