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When TV bends towards interactivity

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 9 Feb 2011, 15:30

For a year, 2000/2001, I worked between companies and across platforms promoting a kind of experience on TV/Computer Screens that has yet to be realised.

Julius%20Ceaser%20GRAB%202.JPG

I was presenting cross-platform projects (Web and TV) with Anthony Geffen at NABs (Las Vegas) and Mip-com (Cannes).

All credit to Anthony, every pitch he made was followed by my pitch to 'make it digital.' I followed him into pitching sessions in London too ... he had a documentary to finance, could I sell the interactive element behind him.

The wrong time to have big ideas. The bubble burst.

A decade on it intrigues me that the linear experience of the TV documentary is becoming increasingly 'chunked,' more a digital experience than it cares to imagine.

Watching Rome unwrapped you'll miss something if you blink. Go for the ride. I enjoy the irrevant truth of it.

Bloke pontificating to camera amongst ruins and traffic? Not here, not often.

I blogged my way through the experience of 2000/2001.

I may see what has happened to all those people I met; they will have moved on, but I have their name, former company and email address on a piece of card (how quaint). At Learning Technologies my name badge bar code was zapped; anyone asking for a card was living in the last century.

Some Linking In to do here.

They'll find it odd or intrigueded that I can recall, almost verbatim, that conversation we had.

Anyone had a good idea recently?

On the other side of the fence are the clips that managers in Learning and Development Departments can batch together on ready-made platforms, as Video Arts are doing.

You see everyone can be creative, and it's cheaper than bying in the ... the creative.

Someone, somewhere, will have had the right combination of experiences and insights to make all of this work in a new and revolutionary way.

Rome re-lived in a virtual world?

Rome experienced with your finger on the 'zapper' through time, jumping back and through events as you would online?

Or simply watching a linear experience out of the left eye, while the right eye plays a video game on the same screen as my 12 year old does?

The mind boggles

And somewhere out of all of this we extract worth.

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Sit forward of sit back?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 29 Sep 2010, 03:59

As a producer in 2001 I attended numerous pitches with cross-platform projects developed with a leading independent broadcast documentary production company.

Whilst there was always an eagerness to have these meetings it proved quite impossible to raise finances at a time when most organisations were scrutinising their web-production budgets and pulling back, or pulling out.

One project was developed through the European TV and Film development initiative EAVE.

Nine years on it is interesting to see that efforts are once again being made with such ideas, however, they are growing from the Internet as a platform, rather than the TV and a computer sitting side by side.

Observing with interest my 12 year old following a make lifted from YouTube in one frame while watching an episode of the Simpsons in another on this laptop while also sliding through a music video on an iTouch made me realise that interaction for his generation is multifaceted.

As an aside, intrigued that Google is the same age as him, 12, he reflected on what browser we used before Google. The suggestion that we used books to find out information left him dumbfounded. The world has moved on.

We used to talk about activities such as watching TV or reading a book as "sit back" while using a computer or video game was "sit forward."

I wonder if the reality, like finding a point of equilibrium on a rocking-chair isn't a bit of both?

You can watch a TV programme, and play a video game? They can be different things, rather than interacting ... indeed they being separate activities, affording different ways of engagement, makes this set up possible.

Which leaves me with a final thought -

We can watch two or more linear TV programmes simultaneously without losing the thread, but try doing two video games at the same time. They're not static like chess.

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