A drawing of a young boy with an oversized head, a character from BLA BLA, an interactive website produced by Vincent Morisset in 2011.

Press Releases & Media Kits

BLA BLA online

Press release

2011/05/18


An interactive tale by Vincent Morisset,
produced by the National Film Board of Canada

blabla.nfb.ca



Montreal, May 18, 2011 – BLA BLA, a new “film for computer” about the principles of human communication, is the fruit of a collaborative effort between Vincent Morisset, a Quebec filmmaker and pioneer whose interactive work for the band Arcade Fire is world renowned, and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). This new creation takes viewers on an extraordinary adventure that they control interactively. The film has already garnered considerable buzz in the blogosphere and on social networking sites. BLA BLA, developed by AATOAA, is produced by Hugues Sweeney, Senior Producer of Interactive Productions for the NFB’s French Program.

BLA BLA places the viewer at the centre of the experience. His or her mouse clicks guide this story in six chapters populated by characters created via a variety of methods, from traditional to high-tech, including xerography, drawing on paper, ActionScript-generated animations, puppet stop-motion and real-time 3D mapping. Each chapter explores a different facet of human communication: learning a language, making small talk, having social exchanges, expressing emotions, etc.

Morisset’s latest work stands apart in its emphasis on achieving an emotional response in the viewer. Through the very format of the work, the director and inventor also addresses the challenges of telling a story with the spectator as participant. Lastly, BLA BLA features a one-of-a-kind soundscape that relies on “controlled randomness”: the music and all of the characters’ speech were fragmented into discrete clips and then scored through programming. All these elements combine to make BLA BLA a unique, enveloping experience that offers a new vision of communication and of how our natural behaviours and interactions with others play out in the world.

Team

Vincent Morisset, Director – Filmmaker, programmer and inventor Vincent Morisset has been exploring the narrative potential of interactive art for 12 years now. His pioneering work in the field has included several collaborations with the group Arcade Fire, including “Neon Bible,” widely considered to be the first interactive music video, and Miroir Noir, a documentary portrait of the band. With BLA BLA, he has created another one-of-a-kind experience that bears his hallmark: re-imagining “once upon a time” for the digital age.

Caroline Robert, Visual Designer – Caroline Robert is a graphic designer and illustrator who also practices etching. She was one of the six talents to make Creative Review’s “Ones to Watch” list in 2011, and she created artwork for Arcade Fire’s album The Suburbs. She designed the characters that populate BLA BLA.

Philippe Lambert, Sound Designer – Fascinated by the potential of the human voice as an instrument, Philippe Lambert regularly performs under the name Monstre (experimental/noise) and has composed for the project “Les esprits frappeurs.” He designed the soundscape of BLA BLA.

Édouard Lanctôt-Benoît, Programmer – An aficionado of new media and digital art, Édouard Lanctôt-Benoît has won awards at Webjam and the International Multimedia Seminar in China. He created the programming for BLA BLA.

Hugues Sweeney, Producer – Hugues Sweeney has been a producer at the NFB since 2009, developing interactive works rooted in the great traditions of documentary and animation. His projects as a producer for the NFB include Holy Mountain!, an interactive documentary about our relationship to the sacred, explored via a journey through Mount Royal Park.


About the NFB

Canada's public producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada creates interactive works, social-issue documentaries, auteur animation and alternative dramas that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. The NFB is breaking new ground in form and content through interactive and mobile media, community filmmaking projects, programs for emerging filmmakers, stereoscopic film and more. It works in collaboration with creative filmmakers, digital media creators and co-producers in every region of Canada, with Aboriginal and culturally diverse communities, as well as partners around the world. Since the NFB's founding in 1939, it has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 2 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. Its NFB.ca Screening Room features over 2,000 productions online, including high-definition and 3D films. The NFB also puts the experience of cinema into the hands of Canadians everywhere through its acclaimed mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android platforms, as well as a pre-loaded app in the new BlackBerry PlayBook.


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For more information, please contact:

Pat Dillon, NFB Publicist
Telephone: 514-283-9411
Cell: 514-206-1750
E-mail: p.a.dillon@nfb.ca