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Interactive Annual 20:
Websites/Microsites

Find Your Way to Oz

Launch Live Site

“This is my kind of circus!”
—Ana Serrano

“This was the first WebGL experience that didn’t feel like WebGL to me.”
—Sean Klassen


Overview: Find Your Way to Oz is an interactive trailer commissioned by Disney to promote the film Oz the Great and Powerful. It’s part of an effort to bring the film to an audience that is interested in technology and games. UNIT9 chose to combine the richness of the cinema with the technical abilities of the Chrome browser in an entirely new way. An interactive journey through a Kansas circus leads users to be swept up in a massive storm and transported to the Land of Oz. The project was launched as a Google Chrome Experiment and it runs entirely within the browser.

  • • The project timeline was about three months, with the first month dedicated to pre-production, prototyping and concept development.
  • • The team included people from different disciplines, in locations around the globe.
  • • Dynamic 3-D and several layers of traditional filmmaking effects create a near-realistic scene.

Comments by Anrick Bregman:

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “Using the viewer’s own computer processor to render the visuals, live, while they are interacting with the site. Creatively, that meant bridging the gap between films and games, without losing sight of director Sam Raimi’s vision.”

What are some of the site’s core features? “Freedom is at the core of the experience; freedom to look around and explore, rather than be stuck in a linear narrative. Find Your Way to Oz is a rich, immersive world that you move through at your own pace. We used a sound engine built by Plan8 that really makes the experience feel special. In cinema, sound and music are essential to creating suspense. In websites, that’s more difficult to achieve, but the final experience is groundbreaking.”

Describe any special interactive features. “You are first exploring a circus, with some fun attractions. There is a classic cut-out, where you can put your picture into the scene, take photos and share them with friends. You can compose your own song on a vintage music organ, and the music becomes the soundtrack of the circus. And there is a virtual zoetrope, a classic film mechanism from the past, that lets you take a series of images of yourself and play them back as a short film.”

Credits

Marcus Punter-Bradshaw, art director
Fredrick Aven, senior art director
Michael Ho, user experience designer
Neil Canterbury/Nic Groot Bluemink/Sophie Langohr/Matt Morris/Meghan Pattern, 3-D designers
Francesco Bernabei, motion graphic designer
Jarrod Castaing, senior designer
Anders Andersson/Elena Lombardi, design team
Moritz Helmstraedter, software engineer
Fábio Azevedo/Sam Brown/Kamil Cholewinski/William Mapan, developers
Thomas Pedoussaut/Daniele Pelegatti, senior developers
Mariano Cigliano/Dmytry Lavrov/Jordi Ros/Maciej Zasada, interactive developers
Silvio Paganini, technical lead
Gilles Boisselet/Yates Buckley, technology directors
Marco Scabia, interactive technical director
Robert Cheetham/Dan Evans/Adam Kuczek, illustrators
Anrick Bregman, director
Sam Cundall, animator
Tor Castensson/Carl-Johan Sevedag/Calle Stenqvist/Martin Wiklund, Plan8, sound designers
Andreas Jeppsson, Plan8, sound engineer
Phin Glynn/Jules Stevenson, Kettle, post-production producers
Alessandro Pula, executive producer
Paul Hyman, project manager
Peter Law/Jonas Simkus, quality assurance
Kettle, post-production company
UNIT9 (London, United Kingdom), project design and development
Disney, client


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