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The making of Patrick Osborne’s Pearl Designing for story in new media

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The making of Patrick Osborne’s Pearl Designing for story in new media

October 28th, 9:00AM - Viewconference 2016, Turin (Italy). In this talk Karen Dufilho-Rosen - executive producer of the Google Spotlight Stories team - presents the video in VR made by her team with the title Pearl, which can be viewed with any viewer for virtual reality, such as Google Cardboard (which you can find easily, for example in Google Play Store or Amazon).

The team where Karen works has the task to study and test new technologies and - in this example - discover how to create new opportunities in the field of storytelling.

The video is about 3 minutes long, or if you want the duration of a song (that is the soundtrack of the whole video) and most of the time is shown inside a car, in which a father and a small daughter evolve, grow, changing their relationships and - at some point - their roles in their relationship.

A very emotional video, in which the user is immersed in the story because it’s placed in the passenger seat: so the user has the ability to rotate his heads and see what happens inside the car, observe the driver, the passengers in the back seat, watching out the window.

Karen focuses a part of her talk on how much they studied the graphic design, always looking for the right stylistic compromise to tell the story in a good way.

One consideration that I personally arises concerns the fact that: 1. The video as I said is very exciting and well done, and 2. I think (but it’s my very personal opinion) the VR here is not helpful.

What I mean is in this story the shots and the right perspective to watch the story are fundamental: it’s absolutely necessary for understanding and folllow the story, and this could not happen because the video runs as fast as a music video, change scenes quicly and - if the user could have no time to see something done by characters, losing something in the story.

Pearl can be viewed by everyone, since it is available as a video on Youtube to 360 °:

This is my personal opinion, I mean that this is valid for this particular story; of course Pearl is a production made in a time where there isn’t a standard in storytelling, they are only experiments, then everything is fine at the moment, the important thing is testing, and compare the feedbacks from the web users. After all, says Karen Dufilho-Rosen, a rule that exists in Google - but it’s a rule valid in all Silicon Valley area - is "The quickest way to do something is do it". What do you think?

During the final minutes of this talk, Karen speaks also about a SDK (where the acronym stands for time Story Development Kit), but currently it is a rather complex software that was released in testing only some studios, not for everyone.

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