Hank Goes Swimming

Concept for a virtual cage format and installation with 10 screens staging a typical blockbuster theme …

author alexandra reill
developed in the framework of
sagas symposium: writing interactive fiction module 2 october 8 – 14
headed by greg roach | lecturers ulrike sperling / john waver inhabited television / rafael lozano-hemmer
film academy munich | munich 1999

Staged installation.

In a lush villa in L.A. an actress finds an author dead in the swimming pool. She alarms the owner of the villa, a film director, as well as the guests who are staying in the villa to work out a film project together. A detective is called and investigates the crime.

Dead Author, Detective, Director 1, 2, Author 1, 2, 3, Actress 1, 2, 3, Actor 1.

The main plot is divided into 3 plots after an introductory linear phase where the user gets to know the characters. At the first key point – all key points are interactive junctions and take place in form of interviews led by the detective whom the user follows – the 3 plots work in linear form. The interviews form the nodes.

PLOT 1: The Dead Author was killed by Actress 1 as he had not written a role for her.

PLOT 2: The D.A. was killed by Author 1 as he was jealous because of Actress 1.

PLOT 3: The D.A. was killed by Author 3 because he always had gotten the good jobs whereas Author 3 didn’t.

The user can swap the line at several key points in the nodes (about 10). He cannot go back but is sent either from interview to interview in a zig-zag manner or comes closer to the solution of detecting the murderer. On a special evaluation board he can vote for somebody being the murderer when he finds the person suspicious. When the murderer is detected at the end he will get a reward in the form of a list of right suspicions taken reminding him of the situations and giving him a score.

The user follows the detective in 2nd POV, changing to 3rd POV.

Media Forms
Video still frames taken from 3rd POV. The different clips are treated with colouring effects, using mainly light green, red and blue. ECUs and CUs are presented on the broad screens, on the high screens CUs only. Dialogues and music are played through the Hi-Fi system.

Using sensors the user can change the video clips on the broad screens. To decide for suspicions on a character he points at one of the high screens and thus changes dialogue and plot.

Target Platform / Stage Installation
A 3-D projection into a public room displays the actual location of the activated line. The character scenes are projected onto the transparent screen. 5 broad screens and 5 smaller screens build a pentagonic circle around the single player and the audience.

Target Audience
Not very computer-literate. Interested in film. 15-45 years old.