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Industry / Modern Day Storytelling

August 30, 2010

Storytelling on the web just shifted gears today with the release of the interactive film “The Wilderness Downtown” by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin, featuring the amazing HTML5 coding skills of Mr. Doob and support from digital production shop B-Reel.

The experience largely leverages a collection of Mr. Doob’s original experiments in JavaScript & HTML5, from the near past and combines them in a stunning “location aware” narrative directed  by Milk & Koblin. Beyond the technological achievements here there is a solid underlying story that stirs memories of childhood, and where we all grew up.  I can remember many times where I was that hooded child running through my neighborhood to get home in time for curfew, or to eat dinner.

The spawning of multiple browser windows to create a multi-tired narrative and a visual mosaic is reminiscent of how myself and others approached browser based entertainment almost a decade ago, before resizing the browser automatically became an unforgivable crime. Fortunately Flash has become public enemy number one, and browser re-sizing seems to be back in vogue.

This piece is a triumphant success in that it takes us all one step closer to a fully integrated experience. Alas it requires a great deal of bandwidth and processor speeds (also mush like early broadband flash sites) but if you are well equipped, it is truly worth the effort to watch. See it here.

Kudos to the entire team on a job well done.

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