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New Media for a New Millennium

Project description

Cross-media content for leisure and entertainment New storytelling for new media

A European project has created an entirely new way of developing TV shows, movies and interactive multimedia. It could revolutionise the way stories are told and narratives developed, with the user or viewer as the controlling the action.

The NM2 project, short for New Millennium, New Media, created a suite of tools for a totally new form of media creation. And, over time, it will mean storytelling develops in new, completely unimagined ways.

Up to now, stories have been developed on simple, linear lines, where the authors relate a cause and decide its effect. But for ‘new media’ to be truly new, researchers must develop a new way of storytelling, one that can adapt to and interact with the audience.

Same old story

Media channels have become two way, where the audience can send as well as receive. Such interactivity provides a clear demonstration that we have entered into a new millennium. But despite the powerful alliance of computers and communications, storytelling remains the same.

Game and multimedia developers struggle to develop interactive stories. Their creation is difficult and, most often, experimental. The results tend to be hit and miss. And when it is time to tell a new story, developers have to start all over again, from scratch. The process is time consuming and costly and has impeded the development of truly interactive media for years.

But not, perhaps, for much longer. NM2 took as its starting point a new type of narrative development, a type the researchers named ‘ShapeShifted’ narrative, to reflect its adaptable nature.

The users decide

One demonstration of ShapeShifted narrative, a pilot programme called ‘Accidental Lovers’, told the love story of a man in his 30s and a woman in her 60s.

But the production team shot and prepared the narrative with a variety of developments. For example, did the lovers live happily ever after, or were they tragically doomed? The viewers decided.

Once they did they were served with the plot development of their choice as part of a seamless narrative. The film was a popular and critical success. It demonstrated the power of NM2’s toolset to script and produce ShapeShifted narratives.

The tools fit into a typical film-editing workflow. A script-logging tool annotates scripts and film rushes with relevant descriptions. The authoring tool describes the narrative structure, a description tool tags media objects and a preview tool shows the effects of user choices, validating the story works.

Storyboards are defined by what the researchers have called ‘Placeholder Narrative Objects’, which identify key points where the narrative could shift into a new story arc.

Paradigm shifting

In all, NM2 has produced a complete package capable of allowing developers to produce stories in a totally new, paradigm-shifting fashion. The industry has been quick to recognise the value of the researchers’ work, and responses show that media professionals believe NM2 offers an original and technically accomplished new direction for storytelling.

NM2’s researchers officially finished their work on 31 August 2007, but the project team have set up a community portal for interested users and potential customers of NM2 tools as part of their business development.

And that means that the new millennium will soon be able to enjoy new media storytelling.

Call for proposal

FP6-2003-IST-2
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

IP - Integrated Project

Coordinator

EURESCOM-EUROPEAN INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH AND STRATEGIC STUDIES IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS GMBH
Address
Wieblinger Weg 19/4
69123 Heidelberg
Germany
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 470 211

Participants (12)

JOANNEUM RESEARCH FORSCHUNGSGESELLSCHAFT MBH
Austria
EU contribution
€ 503 741
Address
Leonhardstrasse 59
8010 Graz
Activity type
Research Organisations
SONY NETSERVICES GMBH

Participation ended

Austria
EU contribution
€ 175 366
Address
Sonystrasse 20
5081 Anif
Activity type
Other
TELEFONICA INVESTIGACION Y DESARROLLO SA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 270 925
Address
Ronda De La Comunicacion S/n Distrito C Edificio Oeste I
28050 Madrid
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
TAIDETEOLLINEN KORKEAKOULU
Finland
EU contribution
€ 249 995
Address
Hameentie 135C
00560 Helsinki
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
ARISTOTELIO PANEPISTIMIO THESSALONIKIS
Greece
EU contribution
€ 295 500
Address
Kedea Building, Tritis Septemvriou, Aristotle Univ Campus
54636 Thessaloniki
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
NEDERLANDSE ORGANISATIE VOOR TOEGEPAST NATUURWETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK TNO
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 507 880
Address
Anna Van Buerenplein 1
2595 DA Den Haag
Activity type
Research Organisations
MALMO UNIVERSITET
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 298 164
Address
Nordenskioldsgatan 1
205 06 Malmoe
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
BRITISH TELECOMMUNICATIONS PUBLIC LIMITED COMPANY
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 775 829
Address
Newgate Street 81
EC1A 7AJ London
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARSOF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 387 274
Address
Trinity Lane The Old Schools
CB2 1TN Cambridge
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
GOLDSMITHS' COLLEGE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 556 780
Address
New Cross
SE14 6NW London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITY OF ULSTER
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 81 008
Address
Cromore Road
BT52 1SA Coleraine
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
ILLUMINATIONS (TELEVISION) LIMITED
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 227 266
Address
19-20 Rheidol Mews Rheidol Terrace
N1 8NU London
Activity type
Other