Workshop Archive

Interactive Film Lab @ Impakt Festival

7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 December 2005

7 dec 2005
11 dec 2005

From 7 to 11 December Mediamatic organizes a workshop on online databased film in co-operation with the Impakt festival and the Utrecht Academy of Arts.


Michel de Meere - Club Monza - Interactive Film Lab Utrecht Impakt-Festival 2005

In this 5-day workshop you and 15 other film-, tv-, radio-, and new media makers from all over Europe use your own footage to make an online interactive film and explore how to integrate the viewer's choices in a meaningful way.

Thematically the participants are invited to explore their notion of local truth: market forces and and political processes can less and less escape their global grids, and media are becoming more and more personal and intimate. Can we only look for truth and authenticity locally?

To make your own on- or offline interactive film the ever-evolving Korsakow software will be used. The Korsakow software is developed by UdK Berlin in cooperation with Mediamatic. The Korsakow software is very powerful, but also easy to learn.


This workshop starts the 7th of December with speakers that present a selection of interesting interactive film projects. During the next four days you’ll work on your own project with personal technical and theoretical support from trainers and teachers. At the end of the workshop a selection of workshop projects will be presented to the audience.

Date and Place

The workshop will take place from the 7th of December until the 11th of December. Sessions will run from 10:00 until 16:00, on Sunday the 11th from 10:00 till 18:00
The workshop takes place at Oudenoord 275.

Workshop Report

by Lonneke Theelen

During the Utrecht Impakt-Festival 2005 a beautiful but deserted 13-story office building on Oudenoord was the inspiring site of one of Mediamatic’s workshops on database narratives. On the fourth floor Mediamatic set up its mobile workshop stuff.

The six-day workshop on interactive databased stories, narration using the authoring software Korsakow-System was a highly inspirational workshop led by the inventor of the Korsakow System, Florian Thalhofer, and Klaas Kuitenbrouwer from Mediamatic. They were supported by several trainers from Germany, both from the Berlin based UdK (University of Arts) and the German Literature Institute in Leipzig. The goal was to help and train the participants from many different countries (Latvia, Rumania, and more) to make a databased film project, based on their own material, and using the Korsakow-System.

The starting lectures were delivered by the video artist and initiator of the first European Videoblogger Festival, Duncan Speakman (UK) and by media researcher Mirjam Struppek (Germany). Duncan Speakman
introduced the participants to the intricacies of blogging with video - a quickly growing new media practice and important cross section of cinema and new media, that exposes many of the issues of databased film first hand.
Mirjam Struppek explored another fast developing cinematic new media phenomenon: the urban screen - demonstrating that the broadcasters proportionally fill less and less screen space, and forcing the participants to consider wildly different possible media context of their projects.

Then a series of the best Korsakow-projects was screened to introduce the participants to the screen lay-out and strategies of Korsakow supported databased film.
A Korsakow-project allows the user to see movie clips in the main window and small preview images and links are offered at the bottom of the screen – thumbnails to further clips related to the movie. By choosing and clicking on a link the user accesses another movie clip and more links to further movie clips. All of the movie clips are related to one central theme and may be watched in linear or random order, depending on how the author organizes and connects the movie clips. Each participant had brought either ideas, many brought (loads of) material. The participants were introduced to Korsakow and its easy-to-handle keyword system and subsequently developed strategies for the projects they wanted to pursue during the workshop.

Ola Vasiljeva - One Legend

On the second day of the workshop the participants really got their hands in it. Their concepts were first discussed in a roundup to ensure that they could be developed within the timeframe of the workshop.
Each participant had a trainer who helped him expand ideas, select material and develop storylines for the non-linear form. Again, two lectures – delivered by Mediamatic, Klaas Kuitenbrouwer and the American programmer and interaction designer Michael Murtaugh gave the participants a more theoretical approach to databased stories. Whereas linear storytelling strongly focuses on the author as the key to meaning, non-linearity emphasizes the user’s role in the development of meaning. A database acts as a space for potential story experiences, out of which a user creats his personal thread.
Then the workshop entered the phase of editing, trying out, cursing, debating, throwing-everything-away-and-starting-all-over-again.

Ruud Bakker - no title (Dostojevski)

At december 11 in the evening, the particpants re-surfaced and five of the finished projects were publicly screened on the workshop’s last day. Michel de Meere’s first-hand account of a (actually quite exciting) night at the Club Monza made excellent use of Korsakow’s non-linearity and created an interactive club-experience, with the navigation working like a jackpot, shooting the user into little flirts, bathroom conversations, free champagne and more. Jeroen de Vries, a Dutch curator and photographer, collected stories and imagery relating to the lullaby that his mother used to sing: Tamo Daleko. His project amounted to a personal version of the history of middle-Europe, unfolding back and forward through time from the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and always returing to the tune of Tamo Daleko to allow the user to follow another thread of events and experiences. Musician Clifford Dunne created a project that focussed more on the audio-level than on the visuals, and using recordings of his enhanced flute in the Gothic Dom Church, made a Korsakow project that could be played like instrument that had a sense of direction of its own. Jelle Munk, a HKU student, used video shots of his travells through Europe. He used a subway trip as narrative binder, with every stop in a diffrent European city. The Utrecht-based filmmaker Ruud Bakker juxtaposed video footage shot in the building with audio material from Dutch reality soaps and a voice-over that read Dostojevsky. In his project the building was the protagonist, lamenting (in Dostojevski's words) the behaviour of its users. Latvian artist Ola Vasiljeva researched pictures of Latvian teenagers identifying with- and imitating hip-hop-icons - the boys posing with guns, the girls as cats. She organized the material by strict visual elements like present objects, colors and texture patterns, and then combined it with a fictional Latvian myth about hybrid half-humans, half-animals, creating a subtly seducing perspective in the user of watching home-made snapshots as samples of strange footage of rare creatures. All projects were screened again at the main auditorium of ther HKU at december 19.