Mehmet Sinan Ascioglu
Robert Moon

John Train

Interactive cinematic performance of a burglar's
imagination of his last job as an assassin on train tracks...

Big Screens

"John Train" is an interactive cinematic performance produced to be displayed on 120 x 12 foot square screen at IAC Building. In the performance, a burglar breaking into a house notices the train toy which makes him remember his last job as an assassin. His playing with the train set interacts with the screen, in which the imagination of the burglar is reflected, and the story of his last day is recreated on the screen. The burglar tells his story in sync with the unfolding story on the screen.

As we developed our project, we agreed from the beginning that the primary goal was create a new cinematic experience with the main purpose focused on storytelling. We also decided early on that we wanted to use audio and video in an interactive storytelling medium. The other constraint faced was to tell this narrative on the "big screens" in the IAC Building which later we took advantage of by having the story unfold from the windows of the side of a moving train.

The target audience interested in new cinematic experiences and narrative storytelling.

User Scenario
When it is being presented with the performance, the burglar in the physical space will interact with the screen while he is playing with the toy train set.
When it is being presented as installation, the train toy will start moving automatically, in sync with the story unfolding on the screen.

The train toy set is attached to microcontroller which senses its position and controls its speed. Then the microcontroller keeps the train toy and the train in the screens in sync.
The train in the screens includes videos shot separately, overlayed with a train texture and the moving background. Their positions and speed on the screen are controlled by the application developed in Java/Processing.