How can aspiring young actors and filmmakers take a greater part in the production of professional quality films?
SiDE has been working with TryLife, a charity that produces interactive online drama to help young people explore social issues relevant to their lives.
TryLife’s work involves young adults in the research, scripting and filming of a “choose your own adventure”-style soap opera in which the viewer tracks a character and makes decisions for them at various points in the story.
SIDE researchers have developed a portable video capture and editing system that allows young actors, filmmakers and scriptwriters to collaborate with professional crew-members in editing complex branching narratives.
TryLife is designed for users aged 18 to 24, and guides users through situations in which they are encouraged to influence the plot by making important decisions relating to sex, violence and drugs. The interactive project secured investment totalling £145,000 from Northstar Ventures in 2012. The project has been developed by social media and welfare professionals, many of them aged under 25.
The first episode focuses on the experiences of 17-year-old Sophie, who must decide whether to go to a party or stay at home to prepare for her exam in the morning. The project’s creators say the aim is to tackle subjects and issues “honestly and realistically”, rather than “telling youngsters what is right and wrong”.