Case Study: The Secret Dancer
Phuse were commissioned to produce an interactive film that would engage visitors and give them an exciting way to enjoy and appreciate art. The fairy-tale story takes place in the Tate Modern and centres around Degas' famous sculpture 'The Little Dancer'. Using a number of cutting edge interactive processes and Martin Percy's exquisitely shot video, Phuse create a completely interactive experience taking users on a journey through the gallery. Users interact throughout the film, solving puzzles and exploring some mysterious locations along the way in order to unlock the many secrets behind the intriguing sculpture. The website was nominated for a Webby Award in 2010 in the category of 'Best Use of Interactive Video'.
The brief was to create an interactive video based game that used the space in the newly decontaminated oil storage area at the Tate Modern. The aim was to show people in a fun and engaging way the areas that will soon be opened up to the public before said areas are renovated. The creative director created a story based around Degas' famous Little Dancer sculpture, which comes to life and leads a new security guard on a journey around the site.
During the game key decisions need to be made by the player. Clues are uncovered and puzzles solved leading the user to a magical finale in the main oil tank. As part of a large development we were tasked with taking all the video footage and developing a Flash environment to show the footage linked by some simple games.
Our approach to this project, as with many projects that have many people needing to approve or have input, is to modularize all the component parts. This allows us to be flexible and respond to change quickly without needing to rebuild from scratch each time. This way of working allows us to great prices even on bespoke work.
Below are the modules we created in order to pull this project together.
We decided to develop a completely non-linear video engine that is triggered via hotspots on the screen giving the user freedom to navigate around the virtual environment of the hundreds of short clips as if they were one seamless video.
To allow progress to the different levels of the game we created a number of mini games that related to the story.
As the game moves towards a climax there is a section where the user navigates around an area using the interactive video engine. Added to this is a treasure hunt style game where items are placed in the space and discovered zooming in to the detail on a certain clip.
The project was extremely well received when launched on the Tate Kids website. In 2010 The Secret Dancer was nominated in the 'Best Use of Interactive Video' category at the annual Webby Awards.