A Look At The World of the Clockwork Watch << Prev Next >>
Our good Professor returns to the writers chair and pens a review of the transmedia experience of t...
By professor on Apr 17 2012 Category:Media, Art/Photo, Literature
Possibly the greatest thing about the steampunk genre and aesthetic is that it pulls you in and almost forces you to interact and create. Exquisite craftsmanship or an outlandish device will catch your eye and often inspire you to put your own distinct spin on an idea. The Clockwork Watch does exactly this and to such a degree that seems insulting to simply be called "immersive".
This humble correspondent had the pleasure of interviewing Yomi Ayeni, the creative lead of Clockwork Watch Films, the team that is crafting The Clockwork Watch. Yomi has spent the last 10+ years designing immersive media. He created the first truly transmedia narrative where a film was shot with entire “holes” in that were filled in later with live interaction from the audience which reaped accolades from his peers and the public alike. He drew upon his Masters degree in Interactive Media from Westminster University and 25+ years experience in designing media in various platforms to try and create something that is unique.
Yomi drafted the first three film scripts that tell the background story of Clockwork Watch of which The Arrival is the first. Corey Brotherson adapted the scripts from a film format to a graphic novel format. Jennie Gyllblad provided the astounding art. But there is so much more to Clockwork Watch than just the graphic novel. The Arrival is the beginning of a 3 year long process. Funded by $10,000 from Indiegogo, this skeleton crew has architected an experience that will incorporate films, live action role play, steampunk themed products and possibly even a MMORPG.
On May 6th, Yomi and his compatriots will host a life action event called "Tomorrow's World Today" at the Arch 10 underneath the London Bridge. This exposition is ripped right from the pages of the storyline and the events that happen there will directly influence events in Clockwork Watch. This is a chance for anyone that wishes to attend to contribute to the storyline. Additionally, contributors are encouraged to create their own sub-plots and storylines in a blog that is curated by Yomi. Events on the blog will help fully populate the world. Those fellow collaborators are free to use any of those ideas under the creative commons license to further produce content that exists in that world and even do so for profit.
At the core, Clockwork Watch is a story about people and how the hard choices that they make to preserve their way of life. The Arrival starts at the birth of Clockworks, automatons with a spark of artificial life. Their creation is born out of desperation to save the sagging economy of England. In the midst of all that technological wonderment, we find the story of Janav, who is destined to play a bigger role in determining how society treats its newest members.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the story is that all of its story elements are grounded in historical fact. The aternative history twist is quite believable and doesn't feel contrived. The only uncomfortable elements are those that are intention such as the sudden and abrupt violence that erupts when Janav is bullied while touring a museum with his own personal clockwork.
It foreshadows that there are plenty of societal problems to be addressed and that technological evolution do not replace morality and ethics, only augment them.
All in all, The Arrival is a good introduction to the world of Clockwork Watch. I eagerly await their next release and I'm more than a bit saddened that I will not be able to join them all on May 6th in London. I strongly suggest that if you are in the area, attend. It promises to be enlightening, entertaining and immersive.
You can find more info on Clockwork Watch at:
You can find more info on Yomi Ayeni at http://uk.linkedin.com/in/yomster
Vernard Martin, aka The Professor, is Interim Crafts editor for the Steampunk Chronicle and co-Cogspinner for the SPC website. He spends his day time hours pondering the mysteries of the Aether at the Emory Center for Comprehensive Informatics. His night time hours are dedicated to the enlightenment of students at local universities.