d f
  Moviestar honours the still young, but illustrious history of Animated Cinema
and its identity as a major patron of suspension of disbelief, in the most playful way possible.

Stedelijk Museum s-Hertogenbosch
d d

Moviestar is a Cinematic Interactive Installation that combines audience participation in conjunction with both classic and novel film techniques, creating a reallife moving Filmset. Visitors play the main role in this installation, and find themselves inside a filmset surrounded by cameras and lights, projected into a world that consists of otherworldly creatures, Unidentief Flying Objects and other surreal events.
By using motion control techniques, visitors are controlling the events that unfold around them by moving in front of the camera.

The installation utilises classic celluloid film and animatronics, technologies stemming from the early days of film, together creating a film scene by layering both pre-animated footage and realtime filmed scenery.
Novel technologies such as motion tracking and surround sound transform the installation
into a realtime interactive movieset.Visitors are part of the installation and added to the film scene, animations pop up that are controlled by the visitors movements thus turning them into the activators and main stars of the film scene.

Visitors are invited to move in front of a green screen and see themselves projected as a smaller version of themselves in a layered filmset.
This filmset is made from custom-made animatronic creatures moving around in a jungle,
and features a celluloid backdrop projection of clouds moving by.
This filmset and its moving animatronic creatures, forms the backdrop for the installation.
Although small in reality and present in the room, they are projected as large creatures, transforming the visitors into small entities.

The visitors, moving in front of the green screen, see themselves projected into
this world. Their movements are tracked in realtime and used to control animation, light and sound.
Animated creatures and events unfold as the visitors move their arms, legs and position in the installation.
Blurring the line between the 'audience' and the performer inside the installation, Moviestar aims to create a playful environment brought to life by the visitors who are no longer
mere spectators, but active participants in the surreal scenery of the installation.

Tapping into the history and future of Cinema, the installation aims to visualise the evolution of filmmaking that allowed for actors to interact between pre-animated and live recorded footage, filmsets and characters which introduced a new era of fiction and fantasy films.

In the early 1950s new methods for filmmaking were explored by filmmakers that allowed them to produce imaginative movies by putting together diffrent filmed scenes; blending real actor recordings with stopmotion animations and prerecorded material.
Allthough films using these technologies looked far from realistic, they graduately gained acceptance from the public, and changed the way we looked at film forever.

Filmmakers were able to create characters and filmsets using physical materials and utilities for their imaginative movieplots. Visualising elements of the supernatural and the imaginairy,
introducing the fantasy genre, which previously only existed in literature, to film.
Fantasy films are films that belong to the fantasy genre with fantastic themes, usually magic, supernatural events, mythology, folklore, or exotic fantasy worlds.
The genre is considered a form of speculative fiction.
Speculative fiction encompasses narrative fiction with supernatural or futuristic elements,
including science fiction, fantasy, superhero fiction, science fantasy, horror, utopian and dystopian fiction, supernatural fiction as well as combinations thereof.
Speculative fiction as a category ranges from ancient works to both paradigm-changing and neotraditional works of the 21st century.
These examples highlight the caveat that many works now regarded as intentional or unintentional speculative fiction long predate the coining of the genre term; its concept in its broadest sense captures both a conscious and unconscious aspect of human psychology in making sense of the world, and responding to it by creating imaginative, inventive, and artistic expressions.

Suspension of disbelief is a semi-conscious decision in which disbelief is put aside and the premise as being real for the duration of the story is accepted: the sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment.
According to the theory, suspension of disbelief is an essential ingredient for any kind of storytelling. With any film, the viewer has to ignore the reality that they are viewing a staged performance and temporarily accept it as their reality in order to be entertained. Early animated films provide an obvious early example that audiences are willing to suspend disbelief, no matter how implausible the images appear, for the sake of entertainment. Suspension of disbelief is also deemed to be essential for the enjoyment of films and television shows involving seemingly unrealistic plots and characterizations.

"Moviestar as an interactive installation, offers a playful experience in the field of cinematic evolution and invention, as liable to charm as entertain. A tribute to cinema and its history as both a mediated spectacle and controlled illusion."
Melkweg Mediaroom Amsterdam

-Stedelijk Museum, s-Hertogenbosch, NL
-Zaal5 Filmhuis Den Haag, NL
-Melkweg Mediaroom Amsterdam, NL
-Todays Art Festival Den Haag, NL
-IMAL Centre for Digital Cultures and Technology, Brussels, BE
-European New Media Art Festival, Oberhausen, dE
-Meteor Festival Bergen, NO
-Norwegian Filminstitute Oslo, NO

-Moviestar & the history of suspension of disbelief- Harvestworks New York, USA
-Moviestar & the history of suspension of disbelief- Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, USA

Winner BNG Workspace Award




Moviestar is a project by Marieke Verbiesen

in collaboration with Stan Wannet, Trond Lossius, Håvard Pedersen, Neeltje Sprengers

Supported by the Super8 Reversal Lab, Bergen Centre for Electronic Art & Jamoma Software Collaboration Platform

Thanks to Manon Bovenkerk (Filmhuis Den Haag) Frank Bruinsma (Super8 Lab) Jan Hiddink (Melkweg Mediaroom Amsterdam) Elly Stegeman (Stedelijk Museum s-Hertogenbosch) Lars Ove Toft (Bergen Centre for Electronic Art) Sita Jacobsen (Norsk FilmInstitutt) Sven Åge Birkeland (BIT Teatergarasjen)