The most experimental story told at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, wasn’t just on a movie screen. Pandemic 1.0, a transmedia project including film, phones, actors, interaction, tweets and multitouch, made the entire town its set.
Pandemic, the creation of writer and director Lance Weiler, is the story of a mysterious viral outbreak in Park City, making 40,000 Sundance attendants its actors (many, presumably, unwittingly). The players on the ground used NFC-equipped Nexus S’s and a specially developed Microsoft Surface displays to find artifacts and piece together the story around the city, sometimes directed by online participants working remotely. Actors were given scripts of tweets to send over a five-day period, encouraged to improvise from those leads.
What it all amounts to is something distinctly new, part high-tech scavenger hunt, part Choose Your Own Adventure outbreak movie. And as the devices we carry with us everyday get more and more powerful, it’s exciting to see that they might allow us to play a more active role in the entertainment we enjoy. [Vector Form]