For five busy days in May, Faculty of Media and Communication academics Jim Pope, Brad Gyori, Kay Stonham, and Rutherford worked with local youngsters to produce a fully-working, online interactive narrative. Using a bespoke software package (Genarrator) developed within FMC with Fusion funding, five young people at the AIM community arts centre, Kinson, created a twisty tale of cyber-romance.
The project was a collaboration between FMC, and the staff at AIM central, the Bournemouth hub designed to give opportunities for self-expression and personal growth via performing arts, to unemployed teens, at-risk children, young offenders, and local young people more broadly. Jim Pope liaised with AIM leaders, Celeste Engel and Richard Newland, to bring together five young people, three of whom were ‘NEETS’, to work as a group to create a narrative that would blend film, words, music, graphics, and online interactivity. With a varied skill set, Brad (scripting and filming), Kay (scripting) and Rutherford (photography) were able to catalyse the enthusiasm and abilities of the young people, and from a standing start a plot emerged: all the writing, filming, recording, photography, and Genarrator design was completed in the five days that were allocated at the centre.
With support from the Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community, we were also able to involve three of our BA Multi-Media Journalism students, who documented the whole week, and have produced a short video of the event. See the You Tube video here: https://youtu.be/PSSvcKL3GbU
See the finished interactive narrative here: http://genarrator.org/view/7jf4el44s70pvpgy
Given the success of this small project, Jim and the AIM team are discussing funding sources to develop a larger project which can give opportunities to more BU undergraduates and more young people from the community.