The central gathering area on the web will not be a random social network (gather for gathering’s sake), but a storycube’s architecture. This is the one true thing I can say about what I am positive of in the future. Social networks will not and identity will be important tags we wear as we pass thru the architecture of content as destination, destination of architecture as content, and content of destination as architecture.
How do you tell someone they have changed your life forever when you don’t speak angel language?
Kelley always wanted to call him Brian. Before we had ever seen an episode of Family Guy I tried to explain to her that this puppy was different than other puppies. He was human. I said he needed a name that wasn’t a dog’s name. Joking I said “Brian” …We laughed at the idea of a dog named Brian. But settled on the name Klondike after his canine father.
In 2000 I rolled a ball across the floor and he, on his first night with me, at 8 weeks old got the ball and brought it back to me. I remember him barking all night from missing his mother. Feeling guilty when I left him in his cage too long. I remember Kelley beaming because she was right and a dog… this dog helped me get out of an abusive relationship that few could rival. One night coming home to an apartment I spent the evening watching television and eating dinner. After hours we went to bed and he looked up at the loft in my apartment …and I realized someone was up there. My ex-very abusive partner had broken in and was hiding. I got him out that night only to have him climb the fire escape nights later and one of the only times Klondike has barked in his life…he barked as the window was being broken into… giving me time to get up before things could get bad. He put his paw on me after the police left and would not leave my side. He is the dog that everyone brought their puppies to play with because he treated them like a person would play with a toddler.
When I got sick twice. (Seriously sick) …once before Rob and once hurt in an accident a few years ago… Klondike again never left my side. The first time I was alone going to test after test at hospitals all over Boston. I would come home or even walk to some of the tests and the doctors allowed me to bring Klonnie on occasion. We were known around the city as inseparable because we were rarely apart. When Rob and I met and moved to Los Angeles…Rob had not been raised to be a “dog” affectionate guy. In days he was baffled by Klondike and tell people it was “just strange” how Klondike acted because he acted…like a kind human. He repeatedly tells the story of the non-barking Klondike who suddenly started barking one day in Santa Monica…and when Rob walked out of the kitchen there was a man who was about to try and open the iron screen door which was luckily locked. Often people would come to the door but Rob swears to this day this guy was going to try and break in.
Who knows, maybe he mirrored me in all our time every day practically for the last 11 years, picking up behaviors that seemed …that even people who have human like dogs would say was something more. I know I am not the first or last to have a dog become a part of my heart… but this dog saved my life literally on many occasions. He was at times the only one standing beside me and loved and listened to humans in ways that …well, Klondike is the dog that everyone dreamed of having when they thought “I’d like a dog”… rarely do you get what the image is from the Lassie and Benji movies. He and I were like the Lone Ranger and Silver and then we met Rob…and for years it was three of us.
Sometimes people comment that that might be the reason that he honestly seemed the most humanly thoughtful dog…because it was just me and him, he was with me 24/7 literally and he had become human. That’s why when people say he seems human… or that you could read his kindness. Yes that is it… He is a “kind” dog.
His biggest gifts to me is teaching me that karma and something else in the energy of being human is not just all math. There is a magic in love… I don’t believe anyone knows who or what God is… no matter how righteous your faith. Klondike taught me that sometimes humanity sometimes gets in the way of “humanity” and maybe we are given animals like Klondike in the balance to teach us about grace outside the dogma, the need for self empowerment and reassurance in stories of magical mystical pieces of life. I look in Klondike’s eyes and I know that on balance “good” exists in the universe without need of odd structures and complications of being human. Klondike may have come from a long line of evolution and domestication… but he makes me think eh…50/50 chance the aliens won’t eat us.
A few weeks back Klondike lost a nail. I kept wrapping it up and telling him he needed to let it heal. I remembered Mackenzie, his little black sister dog, had been licking it for months. Two weeks ago we brought him into the vet and as we had feared it was a tumor and they removed his toe up to his ankle. Unfortunately it was malignant and although they removed the tumor it was an aggressive form of melanoma. So this morning upon return I brought him to the vet to have his stitches removed where they told me (as he stared up at me not taking his eyes off of me and Mackenzie wimpering as if she understood) that he has probably a year at best.
So… as sad as that is I want to know. If an angel comes into your life, becomes your best friend and then tells you a year from when he may be leaving that he is leaving… how do you celebrate that year for him. I plan on making this one of the most memorable years for he, I and everybody who loves him. I can not imagine life without my constant companion, …but once again, in an exceptional way… …he has let me know I need to say goodbye and giving me a WHOLE YEAR to make life awesome.
I accept any and all ideas.
I really need an extra 3 hrs. a day for an electrical engineering course … because my job is to figure out what the future of entertainment is and build behind the curtain before the audience gets to it. I do the work ahead of time because 99% of audiences DO NOT want to work at it. They have other things to do. What we make is supposed to be the break from that ‘work’. The evolution of it STILL needs to be the break from that. The 4th wall needs to be a break from that. 4th walls are balanced between art and experience.
…So I also need to lose all this deafening white noise, hype and snake oil of anyone else who is bringing up their expertise at creating ancillary markets as platforms you attach post-inception & ARGs as “new media’s future and future consumption,” not just a different form of the same ancillary and marketing, as they get up to microphones at every panel telling people this is the future of film/tv structure not just a different form. That it is all about “transing” multi-platform” not integration into a new form. That those people to whom they are speaking “don’t know how to do this ‘new thing'” (and I am not talking the people who have been genius’ at it in ancillary and marketing in the past, the Mike Monello’s, the Jeff Gomez’s who really talk about it in ancillary audience expansion terms and that what they do is not the final future…but a step toward the future) and these same people tend to go on and say we all should pay these panelists for their special expertise and buy their knew book they just wrote…because audiences will just be about jumping between platforms in the near future differently playing active games and participatory attachments. I am not trying to be a jerk here, just point many of the new emperors have absolutely no clothing on. Audiences do not want to jump…they want to flow inside the original story. They do not want, or are able to…to work at it and still fulfill their end of the contract of suspension of disbelief. Because we as storytellers, when we build this way, without integration that is organic to inception and flow … have thrown disruption in, in ways that takes them out of their 4th wall. This is the opposite of the promise of interface, immersion and the internet. So far, I have yet to see this combined with a film/tv experience a majority of people want to spend a half hour in, never mind 90 minutes. So I am not sure where these experts telling people they suck, and that they know how to do something that has yet to be done truly successfully, came from. Sorry but we need a little reality here, as we are getting so far off track by pied pipers buying their own hype.
Do they see the #s? Clearly the overwhelming predominance of mixing film, TV, living room (and even most mobile) games with ARGs, active large physical, time and emotional investment, etc… … Completely not the future for people who want to sit, veg and be taken away for a ride..an easy ride. They are, in very few cases focused on the path toward something like a holo-deck with interoperable mobility … but instead going backward to Dungeons and Dragons (and Scavenger hunts). Incredibly fun for a handful of people (including myself) …not so much for the rest of the population…who have other “sports” with actual athletics they enjoy more. Easy, simple, real time, no worrying about complicated paths and routes that are down the road in the future. People step in and quickly, and organically, flow into an experience. A full story consumed simply. No matter what hurdles are there…the flow carries them. But hurdles are hurdles.. they should not be large and disjointed. We have had that and it does not change the model.
…That is why the check in with geo-location platform that gets easier and secure will eventually win.
…That is why the social platform that gets easier and more secure will win.
…That is why the home hub / identity / virtual foyer that gets easier and more secure will win.
TV/film/game interfaces don’t need to get to be more difficult for that population. In fact, entertainment and interfaces need to be less obtrusive, not more. The story and mystery/magic/mental challenge can be a workout mentally if the interface is simple. Role playing, scavenger hunts, or active geo-location immersion is like fencing… it is great to try… but not great enough to have 99 % of the film/tv demographic not be bored at best by it…annoyed at obtruding on their jungle gym time at worst. It can expand your audience a bit…extend your reach a little bit but at what cost at disrupting the 4th wall… and at what cost at missing the more important tasks of real time mental immersion and interface? At what cost to the making your “flow” organic and hypnotizing to give a full sensation of imagination? Immersion is in the head. All these people who start pitching numbers at how people get more immersed by building contraptions… are like bankers who do funny math and create subprime mortgage-backed security and collateralized debt obligation. Immersion and the 4th wall is an art.. that is easily disrupted. Think about someone talking in a theater… or a cell phone going off. Changing platforms and additional work for the audience can be done… but it is like performing surgery on a highway if you take it out of the theater and solemnity and focus of a single room. Platform exchanges and transitions are obtrusive by nature. As a filmmaker who has been an actor in a few successful films (and plays… Leaving Las Vegas, Pariah, subUrbia, Beirut, and now Math,etc… …even projects like Autumn Heart, Muir projects, Liberty etc left me psychologically worn, in just walking the simplicity)… I know immersion. I know action and reaction and story flow. I know immersion when you don’t have time or money. I know what it is like to go between scenes (platform transitions in a way) and the disruption to focus. It has never made the immersion a more enjoyable experience or entertainment experience like sitting at the TV or in a theater. Those purposes are completely different.
The future of entertainment is eating the “meal” not making it. We will always have “chefs” who say people will enjoy the food if they take part in the making of it, because that is how THEY feel (and why they are trying to be chefs …kind of, by changing some other chef’s meal and adding side dishes as it is being served…just sayin’) … Most people like to go to a Bisuteki, watch the meal prep or take part in making the meal once a year. The rest of the time Tapas is great, Lobster where you have to crack open the shell is great… but don’t ask them every evening to go catch and prep the food. A small demographic of people will say “the customer wants to do that, It is fun”. These are people who should not have a microphone more than once. Audiences like “new” experiences … but most new experience’s that took work…don’t tend to get a large repetitive return.
FYI- Film&TV escapism saved my life as a child. It’s economy & image has helped build this country (and helped us recover more than once). Too important to me to let bologna take hold…again.
International geo located may need translation tools. And in international markets geo-located AR video layers and cues need system agnostic tools.
And AR systems and hypervideo structures HAVE got to be one and the same in the near future. (a concept most do not understand).
Most of the browser based initiatives and video platforms do not understand the concept of the multitude of “clocks” that will be involved in the convergence of story, audience, reality, virtuality layering, film/tv, gaming and the internet.
We are learning a lot this time. Clusterf@#$ again, somewhat, but getting better. Rather make quiet mistakes before they are out there for everyone to see.