"In case I dont't see ya. Good Morning. Good Evening. And Goodnight!"
--The Truman Show (1998)
produced by: M. Gan
"Exit Hyperreality" aims to explore computational art as a way of story telling. It tries to visualise the final scene from the film, The Truman Show (1998), by the way of projection mapping.
The Truman Show (1998) tells the story of an ordinary salesman, Truman, learning that his entire life is a 24-hour live reality TV show. By the end of the film, he sneaks out and sails out on the sea looking to escape the “reality”. The TV show crew find him and try to stop him by creating storms and giant sea waves. But none of them prevent Truman from getting closer to the stairs which leads to “exit”. The moment I saw that the projection mapping model, a staircase, I thought of this famous scene from The Truman Show (1998). So I selected some representative elements from this part of the film, such as rain, cloud, sea wave, etc. And I recreated these elements by using computer generating. I also included two of Truman's lines. For instance, "Good morning" appears at the beginning of this work, which is the most iconic line of Truman says throughout the film. While in the end, "in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight" is the most well-known line from The Truman Show (1998), it has many symbolic meanings and it also serves as an echo of the openning scene. Additionally, I used this part's original film footage and reproduced it by coding, which has been projected on the side of the staircase.
Hardware: laptop & projector
Software: OpenFrameworks + ofPiMapper
Due to the limited exhibition space, the distance between the projector and the model is too short that the model couldn't be fully projected on. And the projector has been tilted so it was a really difficult angle to map the images. I tried my best to line up all the materials but it still looks weird sometimes. As for difficulty I encountered with the software, cloud scene is a great example. Different from pre-recorded video playing, this work is real time rendering. Because of the large amount of data in the cloud scene that needed to be processed, the cloud moves quite jumpy.
To be honest, I think I only reached 50% of the expectation. Nearly all the scenes didn’t work in the same way as what I originally designed. For instance, it is quite difficult to get Truman (the red circle) moving to a certain point at an exact point of time. I tried to make the Truman as a sperate scene so that I can layer it on other scenes, but I didn’t manage to make Truman’s background transparent. As for the lightening scene, the background needed to not be refreshed every drawn, so the lightening can be draw from top to bottom and it gets refreshed whenever the white flashes. However, if Truman moves in this scene, it will leave a trail. I asked around but found no solution. So I decided to make Truman standing still in this scene. Which resulted in the change of timing. This lightning scene is very short and the next raining scene is quite long. However, in general, this piece of work did has a clear narrative. And some of the audience recognised that this is related to The Truman Show (1998)
The Truman Show (1998). Director Peter Weir.