Wireless Wonders

No news, just comment about mobile phones and services, from a veteran practitioner...3G, GPRS, WAP, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc...

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Storyboarding...idea #53/100...

I confess that my blogging has slowed down of late. I am working a new assignment, which means I have a lot less "free thinking" time. I am also spending a lot of time in corporate offices, which aren't generally conducive to creativity.

One of my colleagues, when he's not doing tech stuff, writes screen plays. We have exchanged a few ideas, although mostly plot concepts. I am not a screen-writer by any stretch of the imagination, but I find that particular creative process quite fascinating.

Recently my son showed me a version of Star Wars online that is animated using ascii characters, which is worth a look. Despite its extremely basic presentation, I found it quite engaging. I guess that the novelty and the painstaking effort provided some of the appeal. However, story has a lot to do with it, including an existing familiarity with this particular one.

I am drawn to the idea of building an entire "movie" using very basic animation and visual widgets.

This leads me to ponder on the possibility of building such movies dynamically using preset animation widgets, or even still widgets, potentially very basic ones, like stick men. It would be fairly easy to conceive of a variety of scene and character props, such as people in various states, buildings, horses, cars, street lamps etc.

The idea is to assemble these into scenes and add dialogue to build a basic storyboard for a "movie". Of course, I am thinking about the possibility of doing this on a mobile and the potential of doing it interactively with more than one participant, or "writer" (player).

I imagine a plot editor that enables scene creation, copying and deletion. One level down, there would be the scene editor itself, where the props and characters are assembled and positioned. Here, dialogue is also added. Writers could add scenes and their co-writers would be notified of updates.

I love stories and, as I am continually discovering, so do a lot of people (besides my children). The art of story telling is mostly confined to specialists - authors and the like. The rest of us haven't told a story since school. Perhaps an application like this could re-introduce many of us to an ability that I believe most of us probably have, but no longer use. There is something magical about stories and the notion of plot and narrative seems a vital part of how we construct world views. Perhaps story-making on our mobiles has potential to bring story-telling back into our lives.

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