Douglas Grant

Steppin' out steps up

May 3, 2007

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Surrey campus grad student Douglas Grant presents his interactive film proposal this week at the prestigious sagasnet interactive narrative seminar in Stuttgart, Germany, marking the first time a non-European has been asked to participate in the annual event. Grant's proposed film Steppin' Out is one of 14 pre-selected projects that will receive face-to-face sessions on financing, project management, marketing, story structure, interactivity and interface design.

The seminar is a European Commission sponsored non-profit training initiative aimed at furthering interactive narrative content creation. It brings together interactive-entertainment professionals from all over Europe, providing a unique social-networking platform. Grant says Steppin' Out, which formed the basis for his successfully defended MSc thesis, "revolves around young people and their use of mobile phone technology to ‘re-mix' their everyday lives in time and space, as well as their peer relationships."

The film will be shot so that characters can be seen to be either in separate locations or in one contiguous space, depending on the viewer's navigation between channels.

Viewers will interact with the film on a computer, toggling between the channels using a remote control, mouse or keyboard.

"It should amuse and engage the enormous and growing demographic that uploads, views, and shares video at social networking sites such as YouTube," says Grant. "This interaction is as natural as channel surfing on TV, allowing viewers to remain immersed in the film while in control of the experience."

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