The Cube is a digital platform that lets filmmakers, musicians and other artists create interactive films.
Google’s Sydney-based Creative Lab has developed an interactive cube that places the whole narrative of an interactive film across six faces of the cube and allows the viewer to control which scene or face of the cube to view – in effect, controlling how they watch the film according to their preference.
The cube can play six films, which can be six concurrent scenes of the same film or a music track interpreted in six different ways. The viewer will be able to control which scene or track they want to see. The audio is synced with the cube so that only the audio of the side currently being viewed is heard.
Viewers can experience the cube through a physical installation, on a smartphone or online.
The Google Creative Lab came up with the idea for the project last year and considered it as an experiment in storytelling and technology. According to the developers, the cube looks into different ways of creating films and how to approach them. Typically, films are viewed on a single screen and viewers simply follow the storyline that’s already been set by the filmmakers. With the cube, however, viewers watch the film on different faces of the cube and they also get to decide for themselves the narrative that they want to see or follow.
The Creative Lab is planning to release an embeddable version of the video player in the coming months, as well as a smartphone app that would allow users to manipulate the cube as it plays different scenes.
The interactive cube was recently featured at Semi Permanent, a creative festival held in Sydney. Semi Permanent and Google hired directors Steve Ayson and Damien Shatford to create the story that was going to be played on the cube. Ayson and Shatford decided to create a series of sequences that were loosely-connected with each other and based on seven main types of stories like comedy, drama, and others. Viewers controlled the film they were watching by moving a cork cube.
The developers’ main goal for the cube is to turn it into something that audiences can experiment with. The Creative Lab also hopes that the cube will attract interest not just from artists, musicians and filmmakers, but from educators and journalists as well.