For this Lunchtime Talk we are joined by Kate Dimbleby and Ru Howe from Stornaway.io, an interactive story editor and platform. Kate and Ru will be discussing how Stornaway.io enables its users to simplify interactive filmmaking.
Stornaway.io empowers creatives and teams to write, produce and publish interactive films and video story games – without coding. It was designed and launched in May 2020 by Bristol-based filmmaker and technologist Ru Howe and writer/performer Kate Dimbleby after many years of waiting for somebody else to do it first. In order to develop the tools, they wrote and produced Life Moves Pretty Fast (released at Immersive Encounters 2020), an interactive short which follows Wolfie (aka Howe’s old vlogging alter ego) across Bristol on several different journeys to work on his birthday. Originally mapped out on their kitchen wall with pieces of paper, they used the writing and production process to design and prototype Stornaway.io as an authoring tool which would put the creative process at the heart of its no-code vision. You might think of it as a Wordpress or Square-space for Interactive.
The company now has projects in development for TV and streaming platforms and are partnering with universities and film schools. Stornaway.io's online subscription means that individual producers can sign up for licenses affordably, unlocking a new wave of interactive film and story games for the 2020s. They are currently beta testing their "YouTube Uploader" which will let producers deliver interactive films created in Stornaway.io direct to YouTube.
In this Lunchtime Talk, they will demo the application and discuss the potential and challenges of this kind of interactive storytelling, with references to specific mainstream examples including Netflix’s pioneering interactive specials (Bandersnatch; Bear Grylls; Kimmy Schmidt) and more.