Submarine Channel


Film Chrome Experiments

Self-described as a lab for showcasing the creative potential of cutting edge and open source web tech, like HTML5, WebGL, etc., we envision Chrome Experiments more akin to a playground packed with digital tricks that tickle your every passion. Except these are playful, and they’re all based on a new-found love and curiosity for the Chrome browser. This has resulted in a gallery of hundreds of user-submitted test and trials to date, comprised of experiments, games, and artistic projects.

We’ve come to appreciate the space of Chrome Experiments. After all who could forget one of the first Chrome experiments that started it all – the interactive music video Arcade Fire did for Wilderness Downtown (featured on 2Pause), becoming a viral sensation and redefining what interactive could mean for music vids.

In a day and age when the browser is more than just a browser, it is playing a role in redefining the extent of what interactive storytelling and film experiences can be on the web. This month, we sifted through a range Chrome experiments and present you with our pick of Top 5 film and video-related ones.


1) The Peanut Gallery: Silent Movies = Silent No More

Some of Google’s latest work on voice-recognition has been wonderfully integrated into a fun experience called Peanut Gallery, developed by the Creative Lab Data Arts Team in San Francisco. In a matter of a few clicks, anyone can add Intertitles to old black-and-white movies using a simple Web Speech API. Record using your computer’s microphone and Google transforms it into written text embedded into an old movie. We imagine this is just the beginning of voice controlled experiences. Go have a play around. (And if you’re struggling coming up with lines for silent films, this inspiring Tumblr is here to the rescue.)


2) Find Your Way to Oz

Curious on how to get to Oz? What if the Web could help you?

Inspired by the feature film Oz The Great and Powerful, Find Your Way to Oz was developed by Walt Disney & UNIT9 to be an interactive adventure that sets up the feel, characters, and storylines of the film but stops short of being a trailer. Launch the experiment and feel as you’ve time-traveled to a carnival where a long but visually stunning journey awaits. Dig deeper into various narratives of the film, make your own short movie using the browser, and discover a vast universe that blends visual and sound effects with interactive elements, all at your own pace. Experience it.


3) The Hobbit – A Journey Through Middle Earth

With the The Hobbit movie launch still more than six months away, this Chrome experiment looks to be a kind of stepping-stone designed to have audiences experience the journey through middle earth well before the film premiere. It has potential. For now, only a trailer of the Chrome experiment was posted on May 15th, with the launch slated for Fall 2013. Still, the Chrome Hobbit debut is a few months away and we can’t help but think of this experiment as a trailer for the trailer of the real thing. At least it gives us something to do while we wait.


4) Cirque du Soleil’s Movi.Kanti.Revo


The most unusual of collaborations often tend to produce truly eccentric projects. Such is the case with Cirque de Soleil’s latest Chrome experiment that explores a new way for people to journey in a digital world using tones and gestures. An entirely sensory experience that requires audiences to move, sing, even dream, the app is a fun way to discover a hidden world of acrobatics and dance. Get your mic and webcam ready for the full experience.


5) Chrome World Wide Maze

It’s all in the name. The excellent Chrome World Wide Maze experiment, developed by the Google Chrome team in Japan, does just that – transforms any website into a playable 3D maze where you control and navigate a marble ball. The experiment neatly demonstrates the glorious functionality of ‘tab sync’, where by syncing the Chrome browser across your devices on desktop and mobile, your smartphone becomes the game controller. Okay, technically speaking this might appear to be more of a game, but with experimentation and play we can envision this tech applied to innovative storytelling projects on the web. In the meantime, ready to take your browser out for a spin?

By @k_yudin

Katy worked at Submarine Channel as an editor, social media manager and digital producer. She's now contributing as a freelancer from her home in NYC. Katy is a new media thinker and film junkie with a passion for digital storytelling.

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