It can be hard to explain what you’re doing for work when you’re constantly breaking new ground in the digital landscape, but for Charles Anderson and Alan Walker it’s all a day’s work. .. Using new technologies such as interactive applications, virtual reality, and augmented reality, they use office hours to create projects located at the “vanishing point” of the horizon.
In previous life, Anderson was a journalist who put “pen on paper” and relied on traditional tools to tell stories. But with technology changing so much about how people consume media and content, he felt there might be a way to make better use of his time.So in 2017 he partnered with Walker – the other half Vanishing Point Studios – And now, dynamic duos are pushing the boundaries of developing new and innovative ways of storytelling.
“At the heart of our hearts is helping different brands and organizations overcome the noise of online by creating digital content experiences that viewers love to interact with,” Anderson said. increase.
“But at the start of our venture, people didn’t always understand what was possible, and you were trying to convince them of something that didn’t exist yet, so it’s a bit difficult to sell. was.”
Fortunately, they were given a spin-off and a kick-off project funded by NZ On Air, an interactive documentary on the New Zealand housing crisis. Of course, it was a topic that had already been taken up from all angles, so Anderson and Walker’s challenge was to come up with new ways to present data that would allow people to stop, see, and participate.
And they did. done. And now they continue to work with organizations around the world and some of New Zealand’s top media companies.
Their work has been placed alongside Vanity Fair, CNN and Fortune at the recent Webby Awards (“Oscars on the Internet”). We also wiped out the Innovation in Digital Storytelling category at the recent Voyager Media Awards. Ironically, he worked on almost every finalist project. Not bad for a business created with a “shoelace budget” born of equality from frustration and belief in what they are doing.
“We were inspired by some of the things we saw happening around the world in this space, but that wasn’t happening much here yet.
“So what can we come up with by combining my background in storytelling (and my interest in new ways to convey a message) with Alain’s web development / UX / web design experience? I thought it would be an interesting experiment to see together. “
Anderson is pleased to have an old school friend to get into business. It helped to relieve fear. He also said that it would not have been possible without Walker. Both brought a completely different skill set to the agency.
Thankfully for the pair, their religious leap was a soft landing, and they are currently leading a team of eight in Brenham, Nelson and Wellington. They are also punching far beyond their weight and are working on several projects that are very popular with their clients and their collective audience.
To commemorate the March 15, 2019 terrorist attack in Christchurch, Anderson and Walker provide an interactive memorial wall, tell the story of the aftermath, and love the victims and their families from the community. I cut out their work to catch the overflow of. Some of them are honors and have been collected and packed in the Christchurch Library archives. The result is a place where people around the world can leave their own message of solidarity and virtual flowers.
Recently, one of their projects involved creating a virtual art festival that people could experience. It has technology that makes the viewer feel like they are on a boat floating on the surface of the water.
And perhaps one of Anderson’s most memorable projects to date was a tribute to New Zealand’s 125 years of women’s suffrage. A historian was hired to study some of Kate Sheppard’s speeches, and eight famous women gave each speech in a different wardrobe for ten years. The result was like an “interactive music video,” Anderson says, but more than that, the audience was able to dig deeper into this important part of New Zealand’s history in new and interesting ways.
“It was technically difficult, but when all the elements came together, I was very proud, and it’s very hard to see how people use it and it’s related to it. It was a special experience for me. It’s always icing on the cake. “
It’s no exaggeration to say that the situation has been pretty good since Vanishing Point Studios made its first major entry into digital storytelling games, but some learning had to be done along the way.
For Anderson, there was always concern that he didn’t really want the experience people were offering, or vice versa. It means they can’t actually provide what they want. So they had to find a balance between always trying to be innovative and rhythmic to the type of work they were good at. He is also wary of the temptation to tell people what they think they need.
“We encourage you to tailor each project to a specific problem or goal. Whatever it is. From how to understand different data, create an in-house experience for your employees or about your brand. Even how to make a noise.
“And as customer and audience expectations change, our challenge is to meet those expectations about what hasn’t been done yet, but we’re positive to continue. It’s about partnering with an organization that wants to offer innovative services. “
A story created in collaboration with the Marlboro District Council.
Innovation nation A series celebrating the story of innovation and entrepreneurship across New Zealand.
Vanishing Point Studios push the boundaries of digital storytelling – NZ Entrepreneur Magazine
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