Google’s Cube project taps Kiwi directors

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The Sweet Shop NZ directors Steve Ayson and Damien Shatford have partnered with Semi-Permanent and Google Creative Lab Sydney to create an interactive movie experience for Google Creative Lab’s experimental platform for interactive storytelling, the Cube.

A six-sided display that integrates motion technology to offer its audience members an active role in the storytelling process, the Cube allows viewers to physically interact with the device, spinning it in different ways to reveal new dynamic storytelling opportunities of their choosing.

“Ayson & Shatford were challenged with the task of finding a way to use the technology to tell a story “unlike anything the world has seen,” says The Sweet Shop’s Kate McCrimmon. “After a whirlwind process of writing and experimentation, they developed an innovative approach in which the six sides of the Cube would be used to tell a series of short stories in which the characters move across each side of the device, each experiencing their own adventure while simultaneously becoming the heroes, sidekicks, and villains of their neighbour’s worlds.

“The result is a completely unified storytelling experience that experiments with the limits of what storytelling can be.”

Steve Ayson said: “It was very refreshing to be let free on a project that was both a new format but also without boundaries when it came to the characters and their stories. I loved how even when we had all of our ideas plotted out, this medium meant we couldn’t help but come up with more great ideas that would have our characters interacting on the different sides.”

Damien Shatford said: “Writing a 3D narrative proved to be challenging – however the Cube technology forced us to push through any preconceived notions of what storytelling could be. With the trust of Johnny and Murray and an amazing team we were allowed to really splurge creatively and create something pretty buzzy.”

The Cube premiered in May 2014 at Semi-Permanent Sydney.

“The film that Steve, Damien and The Sweet Shop team created to wrap around our Cube was completely perfect,” said Semi-Permanent’s Murray Bell. “In the space of two weeks, whilst we were preparing for 10,000 guests at Semi-Permanent to launch the Cube, the team comfortably stepped outside of the normal realms of commercial projects and created something never done before. It’s a testament to the confidence their team has in the directors and the production team.”

A web and smartphone version of the Cube is planned in the near future.

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