Below are some of my rough sketches for the computer interface that will feature in the opening scenes of The Last Bookshop. These are a mere guide to get Alaric’s juices flowing.
And below is a suggestion for how the interface could be animated to progress from a simple flat projection on a wall, into a dynamic hologram in layers between the wall and the seated character.
Of course, this sort of hologram interface type thing has been seen many times before in Hollywood sci-fi blockbusters. But our film is a very different kettle of fish. We don’t want this hologram to seem like a big showy gobsmacking sight, but instead to be as ordinary as a TV or a computer screen.
For example, the clip below is from Iron Man 2. The hologram is similar to ours in that it responds to gestures like the Kinect, and it evolves and changes shape. However, unlike ours, it is far too busy being the centre of attention and being all 3D and in-your-face.
See? It’s not very British is it? Having technology that shows off quite that much. We want our hologram to represent the way in which TV and Internet is currently consumed. In other words: on flat squares and LCD screens and cathode ray tubes. So, a little more like the hologram in the clip below from Minortity Report…
Except without the pointless perspex. Or the silly gloves. Or the little Scientologist fella. But you get my point.
So in other words, what we’re looking at should be not unlike the display of windows you get on a Mac when you press the F3 key (or the F9 key, depending on your keyboard; the one that shows you all your windows at once basically). Except, as per the pencil sketches above, we might like to try having a few windows grouped by physical connections, so they aesthetically resemble blobs or clouds. Our character could then expand or minimise them or whatever with gestures.
Roughly speaking, it might look something like this…
Except that’s a little dark. We want the room to be slightly brighter and more clinical and un-homely.
And the one above is too bright, and looks like it has a gateway to Heaven because of the window.
We will be filming the scene in this living room, but we will be facing the opposite direction (without the window in shot) and we will have cleared all the junk out of the way, leaving just a sofa and our character (in roughly the same position where Jan is pictured reading her book).
We’re hoping to follow this up with a mood-board for the film, and with a storyboard for individual scenes very soon, while Alaric and Mr Droy mull over the above and tell us it’s all impossible to achieve…