August 21, 2017

With the Next Level of Filmmaking “The Audience Is Participating”

The Mill, part of the Technicolor family, and one of the top creative technology studios in the world, is pioneering the next wave of premium digital content by incorporating...

The Mill, part of the Technicolor family, and one of the top creative technology studios in the world, is pioneering the next wave of premium digital content by incorporating game engine sophistication and utilizing agency. Exciting stuff, but what exactly does it mean?

According to Rama Allen, The Mill Executive Creative Director, “agency” is the ability of an audience to participate in, and even change the direction of, content as they are viewing it. When paired with game engine technologies, which enable the creation of visual effects on the fly, we are quickly approaching a time when audiences will be able to actively participate in the stories they are viewing. It’s a groundbreaking and potentially revolutionary concept, but Allen has already proven the latent potential of this approach through his first experiment with partner Epic Games and client Chevrolet in “The Human Race."

This real-time short film was created to celebrate 50 years of the Chevrolet Camaro and essentially depicts the race to end all races: the skill of a human driver behind the wheel of a Camaro against an autonomous vehicle driven by the cold precision of artificial intelligence. As the race unfolds, the viewer can change the color, year, or even accent trims of the Camaro, produced and rendered immediately. No breaks in the action. No skips in the fluidity of the video. In real-time at 42 milliseconds per frame. The possibilities that are unlocked through power of agency are, quite simply, groundbreaking.

“The Human Race” is truly impressive and opens the door to a whole new world of storytelling opportunities.  Allen believes this technology will evolve to enable far more sophisticated levels of audience interaction.  From a hybridization of today’s passive cinema experience all the way up to the creation of decisive moments where specific story objects will require audience collaboration. This type of audience interaction inspires a sense of play—stimulating different parts of the brain, and leading to richer, more personal experiences— now that’s immersive.

Creating these captivating experiences is an enormously exciting prospect for filmmakers and storytellers. In many ways, being a good storyteller can be defined by your ability to enable audiences to immersive themselves completely in the world you have built. What better way to encourage audiences to lose themselves, than by inviting them to actively participate in shaping it?

 

Click here to see video clip of “The Human Race”

Click here to see entire Q&A

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