Following the jury I am considering rethinking the film in a non-narrative format (more like Baraka or Koyaanisqatsi). I think its a case of trying to hit the right level of emotional engagement in the film without compromising the complexity of the idea. Perhaps the current screenplay sacrifices some of the stranger and more nuanced characteristics of Le view for narrative neatness. Ultimately the film’s subject should still be the city, with the characters as vessels for its communication rather than the other way round.
I am starting to think the film may be more effective as a series of (seemingly) disconnected vignettes with the camera working as an impartial observer wandering the city rather than being motivated by a particular protagonist’s story arc.
With all that in mind, here is what I believe the central argument (problem-proposal) for the film should address:
Today, despite being so interconnected, we are living in increasingly disparate worlds. The spatial distance between diverse social/cultural groups is shrinking, but the cultural gaps between them are wider than ever. Intersections between world views (whilst definitely present and powerful) are for the most part, invisible.
I propose a city where space and culture are tied together. Where:
Increased Spatial Proximity = Increased Cultural Proximity.
I envisage a city that promotes exchange, rather than existing as a series of walled ghettos.
THE NEW MECHANICS
So far, I have imagined Le view and the personalised view to be mutually exclusive. You either live in your own world, or in the averaged city – thus necessitating the event (the festival, or the lens hack) to transition between the two. However, I have realised this doesn’t need to be the case… what if the transition between a personalised view and a hybrid view was dynamic – and dependent on who you shared a space with? If your filter bubble was literally a ‘bubble’ or at least a sphere of influence over the city’s appearance that you brought with you, spaces where you were alone would appear completely personalised, and where people’s bubbles intersect, a hybrid AR environment (between those people) would be visible. Crowds would be palimpsests and deserted streets would have no augmentation.
Again, like before the contents of a person’s bubble are not chosen (at least entirely) by the individual. They are determined by a merging of (like today) targeted advertising, the consumer habits of those in a close social circle, and a history of behaviours and preferences. Thus, by seeing a person’s filter bubble, you would be able to infer characteristics about their habits, lifestyle and values (to a degree…)
SOME SCENE IDEAS?
Tripod shot of an empty street. It is the unaugmented view. Two people walk through it in succession. Two disparate virtual worlds enter and exit the frame around the person as they walk.
A woman sees a stranger on a train. She walks up to him and sits down beside him. As she does, wine bottles and Spirits appear in her view. “Alcoholic?” She playfully teases him. The man is taken aback. “What?” he says. Embarrassed the woman replies “Sorry… I just thought… you know.. the wine?”. “Sommelier, actually” the man says. “Vineyards are pitching to me to try to get into our restaurant”.
Two tipsy teens at a party bump into each other. Amid the shifting worlds around them they notice with surprise that very little changes in their views when they step close to each other. They have very similar preferences/world views. They lock eyes and go for a kiss.
Children run through a street. It is a fairytale castle. Mothers watch their children playing. They stand in a busy downtown market place.
A person (identifiably belonging to a minority group – TBC?) walks into a street/alley. Immediately they notice the architecture has changed. A group of people who are antagonistic toward the minority are loitering. The walker notices the environmental shift and fearfully backs away. The group turn to stare first at the intruder’s impact on the alley’s architecture/atmosphere, then stare at the newcomer.
A street protest. The architecture around has identifiable traits of multiple religious/regional styles, all layered together in a palimpsest of iconography/form.
A man sits in meditation on a busy high street. Crowds of people flow around him. His eyes look up at the city changing around him.
Here’s a link to Baraka – the urban scenes from 36min to 46min seem particularly relevant in terms of their shifting scales and organisation by thematic more than by narrative.
For reference: the images from the jury are below too.