Bryan Hsu, Amanda Lee, Anne-Michelle Gallero and Xitong Xu bring you their ‘Storytelling with Non-Linear Video’ final video project, “Pep Talk.”
Quick decision-making. A panicked man, who is having dinner with his girlfriend, has boxed himself in the small restaurant bathroom. On the brink of a momentous decision that will affect him for the rest of his life, he meets an unexpected confidant in this least likely of place. At first he thinks that his eyes are playing tricks on him, but our insightful (and comedic) confidant helps this panicked man navigate his nerves and anxiety towards clarity and action with the quick decision making of YOU. In combining storytelling with a dialogue based game mechanics, every click of the viewer is important to unlock the branching narratives of this panicked man’s story and his final life-altering decision.
Over the six-week non-linear storytelling workshop with Alon Benari, we worked closely together to come up with the concept, write the script, film, edit and build the look of the UX interface design to create an interactive movie experience using the Eko Studio browser-based platform. Drawing on Alon’s extensive filmmaking knowledge and his Eko Studio’s team of developers and coders, our Pep Talk story gives the viewers a role in how the story plays out through 5 major choice-making moments using timer-based UX buttons to quickly decide in real time one of four possible endings.
“The Ticket” is a short film which incorporates interactivity to make the user empathize more with the protagonist. The choices the user makes affects the outcome of the video. The framework behind the videos is structured in a way that scores the choices the user makes. While this process is not displayed to the user, one choice will result in the adding or subtracting of points. These points determine the film’s ending. Unbeknownst to the user, the final interaction leads into a unique ending depending upon the user’s score. Each of the choices affects the development of the film, but flow seamlessly together, allowing the user to stay immersed in the narrative. A “callback” to a choice made earlier on in the story manifests towards the conclusion, reminding the user of the agency they have over plot developments.
Three friends buy a lottery ticket together as a weekly tradition. This week, they win. The problem is, one doesn't want to share. The user chooses how he decides to act around the other two friends. The interactions are designed such that when the protagonist acts consistently selfishly — trying to hide the truth and keep the money — the decisions will tally up, resulting in the less desirable of the endings: He loses the money and his two closest friends. If the user chooses to act less selfishly, these choices will add up and present the viewer with the more heartwarming ending, where the protagonist retains his friendships. There are multiple points of interaction that create unique storylines at each viewing.