BY STORY TENT THROUGH EUROPE (first raw sketch)
The “Story Tent through Europe” web-project (working title) aims to make an extensive use of the fourth dimension of storytelling. Besides that it presents stories one can watch, listen and read any occasional visitor can also do something meaningful. One can create stories or modify existing stories. This is made possible with the use of advanced web-technologies, which enables an efficient use of crowd sourcing, user generated content (UGC) and social network.
THE STORYLINE in a WYSIWYG fashion
First you see an animated INTRO scene and hear a narration voice and other sounds which enchant you and lead you to a holistic continent of stories. You see Europe, an animated route that stops in different European cities and a tent appearing in each of them.
Once the animated INTRO stops you may choose your language (Finnish, English, French, Spain). Then move your pointer to any city. The pointer will activate an information box, which will tell you where and when the Story Tent will record stories. (The exact address and schedule in the real world). In each city you will see a reservation list and you may also make a reservation. In a few days, after confirmation, you’ll see your name appearing in the reservation list. You can also skip this option and enter to explore the next level: The CITY.
Each CITY is like a storytellers’ amusement park, a city constructed of different recognizable buildings you can enter and do different things. But first you take a look at the city itself. You’re amazed of the details, the organic feel of the artwork… Each CITY-page is divided in 10 different sections, each leading you to an activity room.
You might be reminded that you can fine-tune your exploring experience by choosing between various sound options. The sound is compiled of three soundtracks. The first is the narrators voice, the second are sound effects and the third is music. You may listen to them individually, make a combination of two or all three tracks, or turn the sound off and listen to your favourite music. The instructions and the contents of the narrators voice are also provided as written text.
- The Storytent. A room, where you see a camera turning towards you. Then, by pressing the “record” button, you may record your story audiovisually either with your webcam or mobile-cam. You may also upload your story you have previously recorded. If you don’t dare to record your own story to be watched by total strangers you may go to the Cinema.
- The Cinema. A room, where you can watch stories. As you enter the Cinema you’ll see a huge hall and several doors, each having a unique look. There’s a sign in each door. You’ll read for example “confessions”… “love & passion”… “happy endings”… “tragedies”… “humour”… “anything goes”. By opening any door you’ll step into a cinema with an empty screen. You’ll see a list of tonight’s show options. You choose whatever story title attracts you most, press a sort of button and start enjoying the story.
- The Phone booth. A room, where you see a mobile phone. Then you are prompted to dial to a certain number with your mobile phone. You’ll hear a gentle voice telling you the basic rules and conditions you have to accept before you may start telling your story. After hearing a signal start speaking. The length of your story is limited to three minutes, which will be shown by a countdown artefact.
- The Post office. A room where you can send your written story to the Library. You can write your story in a sort of message board or just copy & paste it. It’s simple. Afterwards you’ll see your story in the bookshelf of the City Library.
- The City Library. A room with different bookshelves and computer screens. Here you can read the written stories and transcriptions of audio/visual stories. The Library has a special section for sound books. A special collection of famous quotes about stories. Links to other projects dealing with the stories.
- The Chat-room.
- The Experimental Story laboratory. Beware! This is the most challenging room. Prepare yourself to participate in a unique storytelling experiment! The aim is to generate a never ending multi-branched collective story starting from a simple seed narrated in first person.
- As you enter the room you’ll hear the narrators voice telling you the basic idea and rules. Then you can listen the first seed of story: “I opened my eyes. What I saw made me feel strange. I wasn’t sure if I had been here before. I rose up from the bed and walked to the window and look out. Oh my god! Is there something wrong with me? Am I still dreaming…?”
- You probably will hear the never ending story narrated by different people going on and on… But if you are the first ever to participate in this experiment you’ll be prompted to record a continuation to the very first seed of story. Remember to tell the story in first person!
- You enable your microphone. Then you’ll see a level meter moving up and down. You adjust the level and start recording. You’ll see a countdown artefact that shows how much time you have left. When the recording stops you can listen. Now you have to decide if you want to have another try. As soon as you’re happy with your input, you may confirm. Now your story is added to the previous story…
- This room has also a camera so that you could send us a photograph of yourself. We need your photo to give a face to your part of the collective story!
- You can also see, if you wish, a visual representation of the never ending multi-branched collective story. Each entry to the Big Story can be identified with a storytellers’ photo.
- The Postproduction studio has two main functions:
- A room where you can choose any written text from the City Library and read it. The room provides a button “start recording”. After you have read the text your recording will be sent to the City Library soundbookshelf.
- A room where you can do something to the videos on-line…
- Newsroom. This room is like an “editor’s blog”, making-of videos, coming soon, events…
- The header and footer. About us, our mission, contact, partners.
The website is aimed to attract vast audiences from four main groups:
- the viewers from a prime time “The Story Tent presents” TV-series,
- social networks involved in the crowd sourcing project to develop the site
- general audiences (watch, listen and read)
- Active participators (voluntary moderators and user generated content providers)
The Story Tent project is a cross media project funded by YLE, the Finnish Film Foundation and AVEK. The project is an independent branch of the nationwide “One thousand Stories” project and also provides content for the Lönnrot2017.fi site. The producer company is Videokuu Oy which currently has interested partners in many European countries.
On behalf of the Story Tent team, Benjamin Oroza