[Viewfinders] : exploring travel film beyond the screen : Master of Design

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Massey University
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Viewfinders is a design-led research project exploring emerging opportunities for i-docs (interactive documentary) and smartphone filmmaking. The i-doc serving as the practical component is part of a larger collaborative research project between Dr. Gerda Cammaer and Dr. Max Schleser, and focuses on defining new Creative Mobile Media Practices. Responding to recent developments in collaborative media, augmented reality, and computer vision technologies, a mobile web app is designed that proposes new active modes of viewing for the travel film genre. The Viewfinders app asks the question; what happens when a travel documentary can itself travel? Turning conventional AR on its head, Viewfinders does not seek to augment the live environment but rather positions the real world as the augmentation, harnessing ambient phenomena to augment the i-doc. To progress the narrative viewer-users are asked to explore their physical surroundings, with geolocation and computer vision algorithms interpreting evolving environmental factors to evoke corresponding sequences of travel footage. The non-linear narrative comprises a series of 60 second clips of peer-generated video that are re-ordered dynamically, with an aim of aligning experiential factors across both the viewer’s world and that of the documentary. Viewfinders has no play button. Taking its cues from the viewer’s own journey, the world is its play button.
Application software, Design, Augmented reality, Cinematography, Documentary films, Travel, Smartphones