Today sees the launch of Evan Boehm’s interactive film experiment The Carp and The Seagull, produced by Nexus Interactive Arts in association with The Creators Project. The film centers around the character of village fisherman Masato and his confrontation with a Japanese snow ghost, the Yuki-Onna, as they journey between the spirit and the normal world. The experimental nature of the technology and the film means different users and systems will experience the film differently, but the film is optimised for viewing on Chrome.
Unlike a standard film, the action takes place within an interactive browser-based environment created using WebGL technology, where users are able to explore the protagonist’s surroundings. To discover the hidden surprises users are encouraged to spend time clicking on areas, people, and objects within the narrative space—users can also drag their mouse or touchpad to swivel between the spirit and the normal world. The more time you spend exploring this authored space, re-viewing and clicking, the more layers will be revealed.
The narrative is divided into four chapters, each telling different components of the story and each presenting an environment and characters that can be interacted with. As you journey through the story you’re guided by an original score and sound design by Plaid. The aesthetic of the film is stripped down polygons that convey what the characters are feeling, where fluid polygons indicate oneness and abstract distorted shapes show a characters’ malaise.
In this film the environment where the action takes place is just as important as the narrative, as Boehm explains: “This film is not an authored text but about authored space. The Carp and The Seagull is an experiment that aims to explore what this means in a story that would otherwise be told through the medium of film. It’s about simple point and click, about exploration and about moving around a space. It’s about exploring the space of a story as much as the telling.”
You can begin your journey into this experimental universe here.