In 1987, the Apple Multimedia Lab was founded as a research branch of Apple Computer aimed at generating the future of electronic media. One of the projects the group created was Moss Landing, a nonlinear examination of life in the small town of Moss Landing, California.
The footage for the project was all captured in a single day, giving a multiform view of everyday life in the coastal town. Using a structure that was leading-edge at the time, Moss Landing producers uploaded video clips to a database and strung them together using a hyperlinked system driven by ‘hotspots’ on the video images – clicking a hotspot would take the user to another clip in the database.
A precursor to the next generation of interactive web documentaries, Moss Landing stands out as the project that introduced many people to a new kind of visual storytelling untethered from a single linear format—one that beckoned the user to take part in creating what would come next.
While the original site is not online, a history of the Apple Multimedia Lab and it’s “Golden Age” of multimedia creation is still maintained at the following site: