An indie film group just exhibited a quirky piece at the Sundance Festival — a film created via a computer algorithm. Something of a "film clip roulette," the team shot unique scenarios, voice-overs and music clips that end up spliced together for a unique film that is different at each viewing.
Eve Sussmam and her collaborative team at Rufus Corporation created a film called, "whiteonwhite:algorithnoir" and as you might expect, the plot is intended to be something of a film noir. It's centered on the main character of a geophysicist working in the Orwellian-like New Method Oil Well Cementing Company.
The feel is definitely creepy, but that's not the strangest part.
The strange part comes in with that algorithm. The scenes (some 3,000), the voice-overs (80) and the music (150 pieces) are each tagged much like you'd find tags in Pandora. When a clip is tagged, their Mac G5 tower computer will search for other items with that same tag and randomly string them together.
Given the number of options for each category that could be tagged, it is little wonder no two showings of the movie would likely be the same. That's what the film company was hoping for, believing the random pairings of the clips helps create the suspense in the plot along with the environment.
In addition to the crazy computer algorithm, the amazing amount of scene variations, and numerous versions of the end product there is also the fact the filmmaker and the film's other star, Jeff Wood spent two years in Khazakstan filming.
We don't want to know what the budget was.
Whether or not the final product makes sense or even resembles the trailer they created hardly matters. They've shown some serious dedication to the craft, and an interesting new approach to filmmaking to boot.
The film is slated to appear at this week's Berlinale Film Festival in Germany.