USC Debuts Experimental Leviathan at CES

The USC School of Cinematic Arts World Building Media Lab debuts Leviathan at the Intel CES 2014 exhibit in Las Vegas. This experimental, hybrid storytelling platform lives on the digital rim of narrative and gameplay.

Emerging between the console and the home theater, Leviathan delivers engagements that are both physical and digital. This is a space where the author controls the story, and the audience plays inside that story. Using an Intel powered 2 in 1 as a portal, fans will play with “Huxleys” (genetically engineered flying jellyfish) and follow the Leviathan whale on her voyage through CES.

Production designer Alex McDowell and the students of the World Building Media Lab created Leviathan in collaboration with Intel. “We are entering a new space for storytelling,” says McDowell, professor of practice and director of the USC World Building Media Lab. “Not film, television, literature, theater, animation, or even interactive media. Leviathan weaves of them all into visionary tapestry of modalities. It inspires us to experience stories, with an unmatched level of freedom and perspective.”

“Built storyworlds like Leviathan spark new ways to both create and play,” adds Tawny Schlieski of Intel Labs. “Intel is exploring this new narrative platform with tools that enable artists and technologists to collaborate, integrate, and create immersively from the earliest inception of story, while giving fans the ability to move and play naturally inside built virtual worlds.”

This is the first of many storyworlds that USC and Intel Labs are building, leveraging fast-moving advances in technology and new storytelling impulses in Hollywood. “This year, we are pushing the envelope,” says Schlieski. “We are continuing our experiments on the Digital Rim by bringing our storyworlds to audiences beyond CES.”

The Leviathan experience is inspired by the steampunk tale penned by author Scott Westerfeld (Simon and Schuster, 2009) about a fantastic adventure aboard a flying whale, and interactions with a world of genetically fabricated beasts.

USC School of Cinematic Arts World Building Media Lab (WbML) advances the study of immersive and collaborative storytelling as it intersects with emergent technologies to craft a powerful new narrative process destined to impact multiple arenas, including entertainment, business, education, architecture, museum, biomedical, and urban planning. World Building designates a narrative practice in which the design of a world precedes the telling of a story; the richly detailed world becomes a container for narrative, producing stories that emerge logically and organically from its well-designed core.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Books, Education, Events, Movies, Production Design, Tech, Videogames, Virtual Production

Add a Comment