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Interactive Annual 15:
entertainment

Eagle Eye: Free Fall

Launch Live Site

“A great use of technologies to get the Web audience living the story. This project has renewed my faith in movie Web games; I was hooked and actually sort of scared!” —Michelangelo Capraro

“OMG! Best site ever! An incredibly immersive online experience that utilizes mobile and video to emulate the movie plot in a visceral way.” —Amber Bezahler


Overview: Just one marketing component for the film Eagle Eye, this interactive site acted as a prequel by establishing the film's concept and introducing its main character. A break-through in online alternate reality gaming, it’s an immersive experience integrating mobile voice recognition and Flash. Essentially a series of videos that creates a profile for the main character, the segments are strung together within the context of several fictional Web sites that create the illusion that the user is tracking the character through the Web and eventually catching up with him in the real world. After entering a phone number, the journey begins.

  • • The technical obstacles included telephone-to-Web connectivity and syncing, voice recognition and keeping participants engaged in a narrative structure that requires ten minutes to complete.
  • • The most unique interactive feature is the use of over-the-phone voice recognition to trigger events on the site.
  • • Because the site is a real-time narrative it doesn’t use a traditional navigation structure; users are instructed to click links and provide information but each case is a unique interactive element.

Comments by Michael Rivo

How did time constraints affect your final solution? “The project happened very fast. We had six weeks to design the story around the script and develop the backend integration, so we had little time to look back. That said, we were always making sure that the experience held together; since the development of a piece in the middle could impact an earlier scene, we spent a lot of time going back-and-forth between scenes to resolve and improve things. We're used to agile development but agile storytelling was something new to us.”

How did this project compare with others you’ve worked on in the past? “We really hadn’t done or seen anything like this before and that was super attractive to us. We were pretty psyched to take it on. We like all of our projects to take us out of our comfort zone and provide us with an opportunity to learn. Given the complexity of this project, it looked as though it would prove to be a great vehicle for learning from a technical, visual and storytelling perspective.”

Did the response to it surprise you? “The ARG (alternate reality gaming) forums blew up. It even produced an unexpected viral component on YouTube; people videoed themselves playing the game and made mash-ups with their own live footage.”

Credits

Malea Gadoury, art director
Brandon Herring/Michael Rivo/Sean Stewart, creative directors
Michael Rivo/Tony Sheeder, principals
Arrel Gray, interactive technical director
Chad Altemose/Gil Polguere/Vitaly Yurchenko, developers
Elan Lee, lead designer
Shawn Myers, motion graphics
Chris Bunney/Eric Oldrin, producers
Jim Stewartson, executive producer
Breana Canton, project manager
Gino Nave, sound designer
Telefon Projekt, development partner
Fourth Wall Studios, project design and development
17FEET Interactive (San Francisco, CA), design firm
Paramount Pictures, client