Watch the interactive documentary Bear 71: http://nfb.ca/bear71 Jam3 in collaboration with the National Film Board have just completed the interactive documentary, Bear 71. The multi-user experience launched alongside an installation at the Sundance festival entitled "Bear 71 Live". The narrative follows the life of a female grizzly bear in Canada’s Banff National Park from the moment she is tagged and collared by park rangers to the moment of her untimely death. Created by Jeremy Mendes and Leanna Allison, the story is narrated by Mia Kirshner from the bear’s perspective, but users witness it through real footage collected from surveillance cameras that encompass the park. Bear 71 blurs the line between the wild world and the wired one. Audiences explore the bear’s natural habitat, which is expressed as an abstract landscape constructed by thousands of stylized data points. A 3D particle engine was custom-built by Jam3 to bring this nature grid to life. As users tour the grid, they can peek into the multiple surveillance cameras placed around the preserve. The bear’s story speaks to how we co-exist with wildlife in the age of networks, geo-location and shared digital information. While exploring the chapters of the film, users are even turned into animals. If a users accepts, the film will use your webcam to observe you and broadcast still shots of you to other viewers by posting them to a “surveillance wall.” This multi-user server also generates users as clickable moving points on the grid so you can chart your own path and track those of other users. Bear 71 highlights how our increasingly heavy dependence on technology separates us from nature even though it allows us to keep closer tabs on it. It also forces us to confront how we view ourselves in relation to technology and nature, and makes us question the validity of surveillance both in the wild and in human society. Since it's launch this past weekend the site has been attracting up to 30,000 visits a day without any paid media directed at it.
Produced by Loc Dao, Dana Dansereau, Bonnie Thompson and Rob McLaughlin at the National Film Board of Canada. Creators: Jeremy Mendes & Leanna Allison Interactive Agency: Jam3 Interactive Creative Director: Pablo Vio Interactive Technical Director: Mark McQuillan Interactive Producer: Media Ridha Interactive Art Director: Cole Sullivan Interactive Developers: Mikko Haapoja, Sunil John, Matt Fisher, Tom Dysinski Designer: Aubyn Freybe-Smith Writer: JB Mackinnon Installation and Live Event: NFB, Lance Weiler, Mikko Haapoja Voice Actor: Mia Kirshner