Casablanca: A Digital Critical Edition

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Casablanca: A Digital Critical Edition

The Casablanca Digital Critical Edition was completed while I was a master’s student at Georgia Tech from 2004-2006 under the supervision of Prof. Janet Murray. Although somewhat dated now, this project was ahead of the its time, exploring web 2.0 concepts such as user generated content before  they were popularized. The interface links DVD content to annotations and commentaries stored in an online server and enables home viewers of the 1942 film to access them while watching the film on DVD. The online user generated content can also be accessed through two alternate interfaces: a commentary explorer and a document explorer. By linking the web-based annotations to the local DVD with a uniform information structure the project reconciles the needs of copyright holders and film scholars. Students can access specific segments of the video without resorting to costly or illegal reproduction. Scholars can link targeted film segments to other primary materials such as shooting scripts, production memos, and never before seen outtakes. The Casablanca Digital Critical Edition was supported by the American Film Institute,  Warner Brothers Home Video,  InterActual, and with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The project is divided up into two primary components: the Front end user interface and the back-end authoring environment. My primary role was the development of the user interface which provides three entry points into the film: the commentary explorer, film explorer, and document explorer. Through these interfaces the user is able to easily access information added by experts and film scholars via the back-end authoring environment. By creating an infrastructure that allows for dynamic, on-the-fly updating of film commentaries and annotations, the Casablanca Project takes the interactive DVD to a new level; It integrates high resolution DVD content with dynamic web content to create a seamless,and enhanced experience for the movie watcher, facilitating complete immersion through contextual exploration of a film.

DESIGN ROLE

Interaction Design
UI Design
Wire Frames
Design Comps
Graphic Design
ASP.NET and VB.Net
Java Script
HTML

PRIMARY DESIGN CHALLENGES

  1. Provide a seamless and unobtrusive method for alerting the viewer of additional content without disrupting the immerse experience of watching the film.

  2. Provide access to encyclopedic data about the film in a manner that is not overwhelming and displays only the most relevant content to the user.

  3. Provide a method for seamlessly switching between any of the three interfaces (Film, Document, or Commentary) while enabling the user to track and return to previously viewed content. 

SAMPLE SCREENSHOTS


Document View


Commentary View


Film View