Open Hypervideo is about interpreting the organizational concept of hypertext for a film environment. Imagine the World-Wide-Web (as a hypertext system) where all the interconnected text fragments are replaced by film. The resulting web of film fragments becomes the organizational structure and the basis for document access.
From Hypertext to Hypervideo on the Web
The first hypertext ideas are based on Ted Nelsons assumption that any form of text is part of a "system of interconnected writings", which means that in between all existing documents, there are visible and invisible links and references. The foundation for all hypertext implementations is thus an ubiquitous but mostly invisible universe of already interconnected documents.
However, text is always built out of a certain system of words, symbols and grammatical rules. This system guarantees that the medium itself is fragmented, open and re-usable (even if a sentence only exists on a photograph, it can easily be transferred elsewhere through written or spoken language). In this context, moving images can be described as a closed medium that consists of one big entity, whose fragments can neither be explicitly referenced nor remixed in a way that does justice to text. To be able to apply the idea of functional intertextuality to film, one has to create at the very basis a surrounding that is as fragmented and accessible as possible.
This surrounding already exists within film editing software, where the film can be accessed with all it's raw fragments, cuts, text overlays, effects, etc. This state has to be preserved to be able to integrate film in an open and extendable information structure. Moreover, all that normally happens in an editing environment, must be part of the information architecture itself in order to be accessible beyond the frontiers of proprietary software, as well as to allow the any changes at runtime. Or in other words: Film shall be "programmed" with Open Web Technologies, rather than rendered out of an editing interface.
Hypervideo as Information Architecture
As luck would have it, current developments in the field of open web technology (particularly HTML5 Video and Media Fragment URI's) enable the integration of film in the basic architecture of the largest existing information structure: the web. This circumstance allows, for the first time in history, to implement a hypervideo idea that solely relies on the operating mechanisms and standards of the open web. The medium film can be thought and used as a non-linear and extendable information architecture
Conclusively, the open hypervideo idea goes far beyond interactive film ON the web. It describes an approach towards hypervideo AS a new layer of the web, that integrates other web contents & services into film and not vice versa. The thoughts and technological considerations provided in my thesis and prototype are thus only a small first step in the direction of moving images as narrative information architecture.
Critique, Questions, Comments, Ideas & Collaboration?
reciprocation | at | open-hypervideo | dot | org