Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Mental Episodes - Rough Story Structure

9 Stage Story in Sequence

1. First Encounter: (walk in)
The cell door closes and the blackness begins to take over the cell, the sound of prisoners and the outside world are playing on the prisoners mind but begin to fade into nothingness.
Audio: Soundscape outside the cell increasing in volume.
Visual: Darkness
Interactivity: Begins the loop
Time: 30 secs

2. Personal Reflection:
The prisoner looks back on his/her previous life and all the memories, good or bad of what life was like outside. The back-story and memories of the prisoner is illustrated by a number of sounds and visuals.
Audio: series of events, sounds, then lead to Soundscape outside the cell (presenf time)
Visual: P.O.V Murder - Newspaper, Knives, Police, Court Date (series of events leading to confinment.
Time: 30 secs

3. Anxiety:
The fear begins to set in as time passes within the cell; the prisoners begin to go inside themselves away from the world. Their heartbeat and breathing increases the walls begin to feel as if they are closing in. Sound intensity and visual intensity increase to a point of physical and mental discomfort.
Audio: Heavy Breathing, Heart Beating.
Visual: Walls Moving in around them, Bricks moving in/out (room closing in around him)
Time:30 secs

4. Sleep Deprivation:
The lack of sleep is beginning to set in; the prisoner is drifting in and out of consciousness. The line between reality and illusions are beginning to blur. The passing of time is becoming hard to measure.
Audio: sound of scraping into walls intensity rising.
Visual: cross hatching increasing, Bright intense colours, changing hue,
Time: 30 secs

5. Paranoia:
The feeling of being watched and something bad is going to happen is playing through the mind of the prisoner over and over again. The prisoner doesn’t know if what they are seeing and hearing is inside their head or in the cell with them.
Audio: voices in his head, whispering increasing in intensity,
Visual: Eyes, maybe looking back at himself, voices in his head, people laughing at him.. smiles,frowns.
Time: 30 Sec

6. Hallucinations: Good to Bad
The prisoner begins to experience or relive memories from the past. Happy memories and happier times are illustrated through audio and visual. The walls of the cell begin to fall down and freedom is right in front of their eyes. The user flickers in and out o happy and bad memories. The
Audio: birds chirping, freedom sounds, wind, laughing kids,
Visual: Godly Apparitions symbolizing a life of sin and death, kids and open meadows, family members
Time: 30 secs

7. Suicidal Thoughts:
The experience is becoming too much to handle and to carry on living will mean to carry on experiencing this form of mental torture. The prisoner contemplates committing suicide and feels as if this is the only escape from solitude and his mind. This is the lowest point of the prisoner’s time within the cell where hope is lost and nothing can change.
Audio: Priest giving funeral speech about who they were. church bells
Visual: Ropes, Self Harming, graves, rosary beads, after life, family crying into a grave.
Time: 30secs

8. Forgiveness/Self Curing
The prisoner seeks forgiveness for all the wrongs that they have gone through and wants to lead a life out of sin. The mental effects and hallucinations have made them realize there is more to life than this. The prisoner has accepted that they have done wrong in life and wish that they could be forgiven for the sins they have committed in a their life outside. The prisoner has been through a traumatic experience that has changed his mind for better and for worse. The Prisoner is beginning to cure the criminal aspects in them but
Audio: Church bells, wailing, praying for forgiveness, crying.
Visual: Church, Crosses, Rosary Beads, Statues,  A Cured version of himself looking back at him.
Time: 30secs

9. Freedom
The long journey through the mind of a prisoner in solitary confinement as light begins to fill the room and the cell door opens.
Audio: piercing sound, high pitched, shackles opening, sound from outside, freedom
Visual: White light fills the room. Shackles open up. children in the distance, silhouette of figure standing in the door way.
interactivity: Light and Hydraulic door.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Visual Soundscape

This piece is a visual soundscape. It represents the thoughts and pains that go through the prisoner’s head while stuck in solitary confinement. The patient suffers from many mental illnesses. The eyes represent paranoia; the shots of gravestones and religious symbols represent the patient questioning their life, what they have done in the past and where they are going in the future. The shots of the prison show claustrophobia and a feeling of being trapped. The images of flowers represent hallucinations, the shots of the landscape represent a want to be free and in the open world. The shots of the broken glass and windows are the prisoner’s escape plan.  The chain and crow sounds are sounds from the prison. The voices and laugher are sounds that are in the prisoner’s head; they don’t know whether they are real or not. The church bells and bible represent repent and sorrow. The background sounds represent madness building in the prisoner’s head. It builds as they are going crazy and softens as they start to hallucinate. 

Narrative Development

Narrative – Solitary Confinement
Sam Miles

The purpose of this story is to take the visitor on a journey through the mind of a prisoner in solitary confinement. The piece is fictionional but incorporates elements of factual knowledge surrounding the experiences that people have gone through whilst locked in solitary confinement. The story will be presented in a non-traditional manner using abstract visuals and audio that reflect the mind of a prisoner rather than a narrator speaking to the user or using textual information in a linear fashion.
The user will be able to interact with parts of the story whilst they are brought through a series of mental episodes, portrayed using metaphors and reality. The mental episodes will be in sequence of how a prisoner may feel as time passes with an ongoing theme running throughout.  The piece is built up of a number of short stories, which are tied together with a running theme of regret, self-torment and craving for escape.

Point of View – Inside the mind and body of the prisoner

Steps – Mental Episodes:  
  1.       Personal Reflection:
  2.         Anxiety
  3.         Sleep Deprivation    
  4.            Paranoia
  5.         Hallucinations
  6.         Suicidal Thoughts
  7.         Acceptance
  8.         Forgiveness/self curing

Common Theme:
Self Loathing, Fear and Repentence


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Possible Narratives Styles


I have been looking at different ways in which we can bring the user through our immersive experience in cork city gaol. Here are some starting points and angles to consider which I feel may aid the development of a narrative.

Possible Styles:

Person enters the cell a bad person and leaves cured by solitary confinement. Making the experience a medical treatment for the prisoner. This approach is tied in with the beliefs of the judicial system in the time when cork city gaol was active.

Person enters cell a good healthy person and leaves traumatised by experience. This approach is tied in with the beliefs of doctors and psychiatrists in todays world who believe that solitary confinement is unhealthy and cruel for prisoners

Put the user into the Shoes of a prisoner - Sound effects and visuals of prison life i.e doors slamming, prisoners shouting in other cells and keys jangling.

Put the user into the Mind of the Prisoner - Sound effects and visuals inside the mind of the prisoner i.e The inner thoughts of the prisoner and the hallucinations/dreams of the prisoner

The sequence of psychological effects that a prisoner goes through in solitary confinement. Bring the user through every mental episode whilst in solitary confinement in order of when it happens based on research and reports provided by ex-prisoners.

The life cycle of a prisoner in solitary confinement in order i.e Morning to night and everything in between.

Use of Metaphors both visually and auditory to tell a story, Using forms of media that people associate feelings or emotions with i.e. a noose represents suicide, the sound of a clock ticking represents movement of time

Using research on how sound and visuals affect the human mind to tell the story. Telling a story with non linear abstract sounds and images that trigger emotions and feelings in the user. Let the user develop all the imagery and thoughts in their own head with the aid of visual and audio cues.

Angles to Consider:

The discourse of Time: Will the story be over the length of days months or years, how will we show the passing of time in our piece. How long does our peice need to be to get the narrative across successfully

Ways to tell a story:

The life of a prisoner in the past tense (i saw this I felt this)

The life of a prisoner in the present tense (I see this I feel this)