We are all exhausted from staring at our screen for a year. We are craving real human contact and intuitive understanding more than ever. To be seen, to be recognised and to be entertained. The kind of connection that a beautifully crafted film gives us. A window into a world that draws us in, invites us to explore and engage with the story and keep watching. And because of the pandemic, we are hungrier than ever. And we know when we are being short-changed.
Up until very recently, interactive video was a word for flashy buttons on a screen. Click here, buy this, hit this, swipe that.
But also until recently, there were no authoring tools that helped you create this content more thoughtfully. When we built Stornaway.io, we focused on story. We wanted to make an interactive video tool that enabled creators to communicate more intuitively with their audiences, to practice and play in real time. To make that communication fun and playful. Yes, it drives engagement and there is lots of interesting data and analytics about how audiences lean forward to connect with this kind of content, but what we saw, with a background in theatre, TV and film, was that this form created a unique opportunity for storyteller and audience to connect.
The magic was in a more intimate experience where the audience find themselves drawn into the story, moving through it, inspired and empowered to engage.
And so, this intuitive interactive video tool that we have made is enabling storytellers from different sectors : marketing, education, film, TV and games to start crafting more complex interactive stories that their audience responds to. It is a dialogue. And it feels ‘immersive’ in all the best sense of the word.
A Hollywood producer I spoke to recently called it “a playground for filmmakers” – where the good stuff happens.
Open up your Story Map in Stornaway.io, and you have a blank canvas, but you don’t have to be afraid of the blank page. You lay out your Story Islands, our term for a scene, sequence or location depending on what you are working on, and join them in multiple ways. Then, before you’ve even spent money on film, animation or storyboards, you can simply play through your story idea. You can feel what it is like to be in your audience and by doing that you can think about what they might want to see next – what would excite and delight them.
It recognises the human relationship at the heart of good content. The relationship between creator and audience. Interactivity with a human touch.
Like any good working tool, Stornaway.io gives you the ability to keep crafting, keep watching and refining, making the story better, until you’re satisfied with the story flow.
And then, unlike any other flow chart or game design tools, you simply deliver your story out to the world, using our player on your own website, in a Powerpoint or, if that prized commission has come in, to your team of developers for more bespoke design or game design.
After a year of working with us on Stornaway.io, our project manager watched an example of multiple clips connected and crafted with our tools being uploaded to YouTube at the click of a button. “It felt like magic” she said “It felt like the future.”
If you have any questions about projects you would like to create in Stornaway, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d be happy to help.