April 14, 2016 | Written by: mrzimmerman
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Few artists could bring a story to life like Orson Welles. A powerful actor and director, Welles was also a technology innovator who pushed the limits – whether on radio or film – to deliver entertainment as an unforgettable experience.
Welles’ realistic production of the “War of the Worlds” in 1938 featured simulated news broadcasts that created national hysteria as listeners reacted to what they believed was an alien invasion. His follow-up classic, “Citizen Kane,” disrupted the very concept of storytelling with film.
Flash forward to a new cognitive era with immersive interactive technologies, in which disruption is the operative word in every industry, most notably in entertainment.
Drawing audiences to a physical space, for a canned version of what they can enjoy at home, on demand, in greater comfort, for half the price, has been an increasing challenge as home theaters, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime change the game.
The audience is in control, and their minimum expectation has changed. The quality of their in-home entertainment experience has raised the bar for picture and sound quality and the impact of the content. In this context, how would Welles recapture that audience today using 4D technologies and cognitive computing?
The cinema is a hyper-connected canvas for a new generation of storytellers
A new generation of storytellers has emerged. Film technologists and story makers are reinventing classic archetypes and storytelling by designing theater experiences with data, 4D tech, lasers, and interactive movie screens to produce new forms of generative art and interactive film.
This ingenuity is shifting the industry towards two polar points: higher-quality visual and sensorial experiences in the theater that seduce the audience and increasingly personal, high-tech and decentralized movie experiences, in new connected spaces.
From sight and sound to the five senses
Films are no longer a spectator pastime. Experience design has cast the audience in a story that extends into their physical space: haptic technology, that brings motion to the seats; audio like Dolby’s new Atmos sound system; and sensory technologies that deliver smell, taste and touch experiences.
These virtual environments let the audience experience the story through all senses so that virtual and augmented become reality. Heightened with personalized moments of cognition, the creative scope is infinite.
Using Connected Space and Time to enter the Fourth Dimension
Now that the physical world is the new digital interface, stories delivered in the fourth dimension can take place anytime, anywhere. They become a seamless part of the viewer’s own life story, merging virtual and reality into one fluid experience that redefines transmedia storytelling. The very act of walking down the street, or heading into a store, or driving can become the setting for the first act of a new tale that unfolds through one device, shifts to another, and culminates in an outdoor experience on the side of a building.
Monetizing the Moment with Fluid Storytelling
In the cognitive era, fluid storytelling can be enabled with IBM Watson to bring story makers closer to their audience. Time is money and stories are being told in moments. The entertainment industry has an opportunity to monetize those moments by creating new business models to fund these artistic expressions, and drive new revenue by rethinking the “box” office sales as the only metric for a film’s success.
To paraphrase the Bard: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players …” There was never a truer statement. Now that the entire world is your box office, how do you measure and monetize it? ____________________________________________
Joanna Peña-Bickley will talk about “Cognitive Storytelling in the 4th Dimension” on Saturday at the Tribeca Film Institute Interactive, as part of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, at the Tribeca Festival Hub at Spring Studios, 50 Varick Street, New York City.