I started college as a Cinema major. I’ve been making films since I was 10 years old, so I was excited to go to film school and learn the industry. However, after taking a computer science course, I found myself just as excited about coding. As a technical person it came easy to me. I decided to create an interdisciplinary major that encompassed both film making and coding. With the internet becoming the most popular medium for video, I saw new possibilities in the intersection of film and code.
The most obvious intersection is in Web Design. Websites can display video in a customized layout of textual and visual content. My music blog Tapedrop.com is an example of this. But in the last year of my studies, I wanted to go further. So I asked the question: How can code be used to program the content of the video itself?
That’s when I created Perennial. Perennial is a Mac application for making Variable Audio Movies. I came up with the idea after watching The Neverending Story. It’s a great movie, but it had one problem - it ended! I began thinking about what an actual neverending movie would look like. It could just be a story that loops perfectly, maybe by involving time travel or parallel dimensions. This would be cool and all, but it would just be the same movie again.
I wanted to write code that took individual scenes and added variables, in this case the audio, making each rewatch entirely unique. Thanks to permutation math, just a small amount of variables could result in a massive amount of unique combinations. If done right, a filmmaker could make a film with a seemingly neverending timeline.
For my example I made a film about a guy waking up everyday and doing various things around his apartment. With each loop he listened to a different radio station, played a different song on his piano, and read a different letter he’d received in the mail. These variables gave the illusion that he was actually living in the computer screen, going through variations of his daily routine forever.
Harry is a web developer and programmer with a focus on using technology to empower local artists and communities
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