INTERACTIVE MOVING IMAGE WORKSHOP                                              




Lecturer: Chris Hales (SMARTlab, UK) local host: Ruttkay Zsófia (KTL)


This is a self-contained workshop about the 'interactive moving image' involving the design and actual production of a prototype in which interactivity and video imagery are combined. Lectures and case-studies at the beginning of the workshop will provide background about the ways in which moving images have been, and could be, made interactive - and why.

During the workshop, students will be expected to present a concept for an interactive film in response to the techniques and ideas shown in the lectures, and several of these will actually be produced as functional prototypes. Depending on the class size it will be possible for a student to work as an individual or in a small group. Video cameras will be used to create footage which will be digitised and prepared and subsequently combined with interactivity. Adobe Director will be recommended, demonstrated and fully supported as a suitable authoring software tool, although students are welcome to use other programmes such as Flash, DVD Studio Pro or Quartz Composer. Interaction technology might involve audio input, sensors/Arduino, keyboard, fiducial markers, or video imaging. Basic instruction will be given in using cameras, basic editing and preparation of video scenes, and in the use of the software programming environment Director, and where appropriate, in the technical implementation of basic sensor technology.

Web site:


Precondition:  Communication in English. Knowledge of an interactive software programme would be an advantage, as wouldexperience with filming, digitising and editing video, but none of these are prerequisites.

Outline of Schedule

Day One: Introduction, Lectures showing many examples (good + bad) of works made from the history of interactive moving images. Examples of Chris’s work and his concepts forrethinking the interactive movie”. Presentation and explanation of the required task and the big variety of outcomes that are possible.

Day Two: Further lectures, looking at various possibilities for interactive movies. Summary and advice to participants. Examples of workshop-made films.

Afternoon: Individual presentations of concepts/proposals from each participant. Discussion and development of ideas.

Project development and planning. Further screenings (where relevant to the student's proposals).

Day Three: Meetings with project groups, with help and advice. Advisory lecture on filming, editing and digitising (if necessary). Filming and digitising takes place. Editing and preparation of scenes for the programming stage.

Day Four: Lecture on how to use Adobe Director software. Filming, digitising, editing, postproduction continues and the software authoring stage starts. Project authoring with constant help from Chris. Late evening session if required.

Day Five: Morning: completion of prototype authoring. Afternoon: Final Presentation of projects.



Research Group Leader / PhD Supervisor (0.4 FTE) SMARTlab Research Institute, UCD, Dublin.


For many years Chris has been internationally renowned as a specialist of theinteractive moving image’, as practitioner, educator and researcher. The interactive films that he creates are often influenced by experimental film and by videoart, rather than by traditional dramatic narrative forms, and are usually one-man productions with all aspects of filming and use of technology carried out by the artist himself. Based since 2006 as an academic staffmember of SMARTlab, Chris is involved with running the doctoral and master's programmes and supervises several PhD students. Under the banner of SMARTlab he has set up interactive film installations at London's Science Museum and at Trinity Buoy Wharf (in the London docklands). Through SMARTlab Chris succesfully carried out an AHRB-funded research project to rediscover the 'Kinoautomat' from 1967 - the world's first interactive movie,  created in Prague - and to publish the findings and make an interactive DVD of the film itself.

Before SMARTlab he taught full-time in UK higher education for many years in the crossover of art and design with computer technology, and studied MA Interactive Multimedia at the Royal College of Art, London. His PhD “Rethinking the Interactive Movie”, which developed the concept of ‘movie as interface’, was successfully completed at SMARTlab in 2006.

Around 1995 Chris began producing cdroms and installations of his interactive films, including a touch-screen installation (showing a dozen or more films) that was presented in Seoul, Helsinki, Warsaw, Nagoya, San Francisco and Sydney (amongst other places) and was included in the landmark 2003 ‘Future Cinemaexhibition curated by the ZKM. In summer 2008 he exhibited a retrospective of most of his films in a 9-room exhibition as part of the Prague Triennale of Contemporary Art. More recently, either

alone or with a Finnish colleague (under the name 'Cause and Effect'), he has shown interactive films as a live event in cinemas and theatres in the form of a programme of different short films with which the audience can interact together in a variety of ways.

Chris has published widely in the field of interactive moving image, including several book chapters, and given numerous conference presentations. In a freelance capacity he has taught over 100 short workshop courses in many institutions throughout Europe, usually to students of film, art and design, and new media.