Late Fragment - An Interactive Film

From San Jose to Now: a director’s cut

San Jose. The credits roll on Late Fragment and I’m standing before a crowd of well dressed super media geeks telling them that the process of making an interactive feature was a delicious mindfuck. I signed on to do this film because a) Ana accosted me at some panel where I was speaking on some godforsaken mobisode I did for the TIFF talent lab and I thought she was cool b) Anita Lee had really really beautiful hair and c) making an interactive, interlocking narrative feature with three stories, three directors and two producers sounded like it could be a ridiculously bad idea or a first-rate trip.

It’s been a ridiculously first rate trip.

One of the constant questions I’m asked in Q&A’s after screenings, especially in San Jose, is how did I as a “traditional” filmmaker feel about the interactive process. Yes, we came into this project as screaming babies suckling at the teet of not necessarily linear but sequential story telling. We were directors who liked to take you into the world of the main character and carefully craft you through their story. But in Late Fragment, all that went to a bat-filled dark hell. Because what we needed to do is take you into the world of our characters and let you loose. Delicate sequences with perfectly unbalanced pauses, quick transitions, sudden lingerings of joy, appetizers of moments-in-between were not ours to build but yours to play with. We just had to provide you with the ingredients and a matrix of puzzle pieces so well constructed in their connections that a multitude of story interpretations and versions could be built out of them in the most abstract yet meaningful ways.

For me film is at its most powerful when it resonates with some deep, unspoken part of you the viewer. It is a passive communion between your secret self and the story on screen given to you by the filmmaker. I have become a believer that in interactive film, we can take this a step further. There is a chance for you to manually, actively tap into those resonating secret parts and create your own film rhythm. Your own cut. Your own track. Depending on who you are, Late Fragment can turn into a fast moving thriller with unanswered questions, a quiet, artsy character study, or a Japanese horror film (you really have to click very hard to get that though). It is yours to make meaning of.

I look forward to releasing the DVD into the world, or this little corner of the world in a week. And also to partying with a bunch of you at Tattoo Rock Parlour. After a few drinks I will tell you why else was LF a delicious mindfuck.

Conversation:

  1. “Delicious Mindfuck” you say??

    Brilliant!!! Wish I was at Tattoo Rock Parlour to hear more about it…