Overlap - Investigations in new and forgotten storytelling

The Anti-narrative of Film – Interview with Mark Cousins

Speaking with Mark Cousins during his tour of The Story of Film, the director outlined how he sped up his 900 minute film to turn its flaneur-like walk through a hundred years of movie history into a frantic dance. But since his early television work presenting Moviedrome and Scene by Scene through to more recent directorial work on the films The New Ten Commandments and The First Movie, Cousins’ projects have been characterised by this arm around the waist of a personalised celluloid. And it’s an approach that sees plenty of exposure in Cousins’ most recent project.

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Most Hauntology – The Unknowable Terror of August Stars

 

“I think the mind makes its own places…”

From ‘The Signal-Man’ by Charles Dickens

The first thing to consider when approaching August Stars’ fearsome new EP ‘Invisible in the Dusk’ is how to listen to it. Sebastien Wright’s dark ambient project is deeply entwined with, and inspired by, frost-bitten, horror-tinged train journeys through Northern England landscapes. Placing it on the lounge stereo feels wrong somehow, like being in a room with a broken window. But with a little set dressing – a Dickensian gas lamp here, a Jack ‘O’ Lantern there – Wright’s barely-there music, described on his blog as “journeys across the desolate Pennines, train rides through rainswept northern towns and the loneliness… which comes with moving to a new city…” can be teased and tamed to warm itself at the fire. And the Dusk reveals its spectral secrets…

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Announcing Overlap S0E2: ‘The Secret Agent’ with Russ Stearman


Following the hugely successful and only slightly uproarious Episode 1, the second in Overlap’s pilot season of live events investigating new and forgotten forms of storytelling, ‘The Secret Agent’, will take place in Sheffield, UK on Tuesday October 11th from 7.30pm.

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‘Jenga Apocalyptica’ – User Generated Content in Grand Theft Auto

Luridly splashed across the headlines of 14 years,  Grand Theft Auto has evolved from the exploits of a literally faceless psychopath engaged in a ‘race n chase’ for a crime lord to the ambitious tale of a Serbian emigre in New York-alike Liberty City. Mouthy, assured and occasionally inspired, the scripts of the main storylines would brighten the corners of all but the gutsiest of B-movies. But here, in this most influential of videogames, they’re a sideshow. The true Rockstars of Grand Theft Auto are neither the celestially-named producers nor the sidewalking, starry-eyed avatars. They’re the players.

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Frank Rose Interview – The Art of Immersion

Frank Rose

Frank Rose’s book The Art of Immersionis ostensibly a field guide to new storytelling across the web, film and TV. Featuring explorations of landmarks from Grand Theft Auto’s Liberty City to Mulholland Drive’s ink black asphalt, it’s an attempt to work out where we are and where we might go as storytellers and audiences alike.

All the same, charting this new landscape is a little like mapping sandcastles on a beach. One of the few defining characteristics of new story forms such as ARGs is their mayfly-like lifespan. Happenings such as The Dark Knight’s Why So Serious – which saw players descending on New York bakeries to pick up layer cakes as part of a recruitment drive for the Joker’s gang – are devoured by fans before the icing is even set.  Even the millennia-old granite of Lost’s colossal four-toed statue quickly crumbled upon its discovery by the show’s marrow-sucking audience.

Smartly, The Art of Immersion avoids the need for FIFA or Madden-like iterations by remembering it’s a book. There’s a hero in game designer Will Wright and his brave and foolhardy war cry of ‘support the user’s story’, while Immersion’s narrative line cuts through the Dickenian morass of platforms with airport thriller gleam.

Our interview with Frank, recorded before his keynote at Sheffield Doc/Fest earlier this month, looked at the part he played in the tale as well as offering a chance to discuss games, stories and the places in between.

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About us

Overlap is a place for investigation, discussion and events about new and forgotten storytelling. We focus on emerging and undiscovered platforms for stories and narrative – everything from videogames, augmented reality and role-playing games to flash mobs, social media and more.

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