I’ve just got back from town, Birmingham city centre that is, where I experienced the wonderful Reliable Witness multimedia story. The story was commissioned for this years Birmingham Book Festival (which is on now) and brought together novelist Mez Packer and play write Rochi Rampal to construct an interactive story across different media. The blurb promoting this claims that you will ‘…get right inside the story!’ and you do.
The story was launched at Arts Fest last month where Darren proposed, live, on stage, to Amy in front of a large crowd, who were innocently waiting for the next band to come on. Amy turned Darren down and rushed off in floods of tears. Many of the onlookers thought this was real, it even warranted a half page splash in The Birmingham Mail and scores of videos popped up on YouTube and other social media sites. Both characters have been very active on Facebook with people following them and interacting with them as the story develops. The final stage of this piece is an interactive experience that brings the story to a chilling climax, well the route I took did.
A shop in the ground floor of the Pavilions Shopping centre has been taken over be Reliable Witness where you will be greater by a very friendly member of their team who will recap the story so far for you with video footage of the proposal and the article from the Birmingham Mail. Next you sign up on a touch screen and choose who’s story you wish to follow. I chose Amy as I was curios as to why she turned him down. Amy then called me via a video link and begged me to get some stuff for her from her flat. The flat door opened and I entered.
The Adhere Creative team have done a very good job in setting up a believable space with touch screen computer, iPad, CCTV and speakers. Once in the room I received another video call from Amy and she explained why she turned Darren down.
I won’t go into too much detail becauseI don’t want to spoil it for you but all I’ll say is that there is a sinister twist in the tail and that I left the flat in a hurry.
The writers and the creative team have done a great job in creating a believable and immersive world that pushes the possibilities of story telling. A must visit for readers and writers in the area but more importantly for those people who don’t necessarily consume books but spend their time facebooking and googling, you guys really have to go see.
So, when you’re in Birmingham go to the ground floor of the Pavilions Shopping Centre and enter the Reliable Witness space, you won’t be disappointed.