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By combining computer-generated imagery with kinesthetic navigation, we have managed to simplify the interface to such an extent that the experience comes close to being transparent and immersive.
Stan Douglas, Creator, in artist statement
Circa 1948 is a photorealistic 3D storyworld that transports users to postwar Vancouver, a city caught between the ruins of an old order and the shape of things to come. Co-created by the National Film Board’s Digital Studio in Vancouver and world-renowned artist Stan Douglas, the universe of Circa 1948 revolves around an immersive, interactive “art app” for iPad and iPhone that uses touch and gyroscopic navigation. It also includes a website that frames the project’s story and characters and an interactive projection-mapped installation that premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival’s Storyscapes program.
Users of Circa 1948’s mobile apps are able to navigate two locations that no longer exist: Hogan’s Alley, a working class district in Vancouver’s East Side populated by immigrant workers, drifters, corrupt politicians, and cops; and Hotel Vancouver, a crumbling grand hotel occupied by newlyweds, grifters, and homeless war vets. Scattered throughout the locations are highlighted objects that trigger 45 different scenes of dialogue along with the appearance of ghost-like flares representing each of the characters.
Loc Dao presents the concept for Circa 1948 and other NFB Digital Studio productions at Tribeca Film Institute Interactive Day 2013: