Dan Kelly is on this journey of discovery, he’s off to become miraculous, he’s searching for sustainable civilizations, he’s just an average American with an FBI record. Whatever his journey is, it’s open ended. Perhaps he has a general idea why he is out there but he doesn’t know what he will find or how it will change him. ALM is his transformation, what he thinks he’s about and what actually happens to him. The premise is open ended, but at the same time we have to know whether he succeeded in doing what he set out to. We want to know his start and end points.
Andrea’s approach is to cut the interviews short and then just have DK summarize what he learned, fitting the pieces together as he goes. His process is interpreted, translated to flow as a story. After Effects verite. Whatever’s not relevant drops to the cutting room floor, or maybe we’ll flashback out of sequence for special emphasis. Essentially I (the director) take over the narrative, it’s about getting the audience inside DK’s head, his thoughts and experience. This sort of thing would typically get tied together with voice over… but wait!
If we want to make these meta observations, long leaps of intuition and connection, why not do it experimentally – xroll? Suddenly, xroll isn’t a contrivance, it’s a way to experience DK’s thought flow directly, or at least as translated to the silver screen. Beyond mere voice over – it’s visual voice over.
The guide’s voice is like glue that holds the disparate pieces together and makes connections. Xroll goes beyond the guide’s voice to create a visual and audio style or environment that tells us we are in thought space, a bridging mode, the spine of the narrative.
What if there were a visual structure, a visual reference that anchored everything back? It could be map based – folks would be expecting a map anyway so we could make the map mental but disguised as geography. Or imagine an interface or an idea web. Since film is linear, we use a linear design rather than a spatial web that has to be scrolled across. How are elements organized in linear fashion, what’s an effective system for that?
Duh, a plot. A plot is a linear structure for organizing information. Wow, 360 degrees in one post, phenomenal. A book (comic book) seems linear in theory but it’s not strictly linear in execution. We can open a comic to any page and jump forward and backward pretty much instanteously. Except in a social setting like a theater, this is increasingly the case with movies too. Forget about physically rewinding the VCR tape past the playback heads, that’s archaic technology. Now we can pop to anywhere on the timeline with a click, or jump between chapters. Movies are designed to spool from beginning to end, they are typically not designed to work as random access.
Another circle – ALM could be designed for random access. Xroll and holographic scenes support this. Even in traditional linear spooling, xroll is the scaffold for constructing the experience, it’s the spinal cord of a flashing, sparking neural network. There’s where the script starts, the central concepts adjacent, meshing and turning together. What are they? The great galloping thoughts of DK on his journey, the fundamental ideas that infect him along the way, he stages of his transformation.