Idea for Future Project

‘The Layers’:  Interactive Narrative


First part of the narrative: ‘A Day In the Life of Andie’


  • The first part of the interactive narrative series will be a day in the life of Andie; her daily routine. It will be shot on Go-Pro so that the viewer can interact from Andie’s perspective.


  • As the day unfolds, the user will be given a choice of two options which will direct to the result of choosing a scenario. At first, these sets of videos should present a relatable set of scenarios particularly accurate for the 16-25 year old demographic we are targeting.


  • There will be hints throughout the narrative, which will be information about Depression and Anxiety, as links to information sources. For example, one of the options to click on that will appear when the user is navigating Andie on the computer.


Second part of the narrative: ‘Depressive Episode’


  • It will become more apparent in the second part of the narrative, when Andie will have a major depressive episode. The user will then be able to go down the route of either dealing with the episode in a constructive or a negative way.


  • Moreover, each option will indicate that this isn’t the first time Andie has had a depressive episode. The fact that in the next part she has the option to ‘wing it’ and go to Southend, signals that the protagonist has had enough and wants to start again.


  • However, if the user selects the option to remain in her monotonous life, then the user will be transported back to the first half of the narrative, where they’ll have to go through each scenario again in order to see what happens if you click the Southend option.


  • This will also aim to show the user that Depression is a part of Andie’s life, and she deals with it over and over again.


  • Finally, by clicking the option to go to Southend, the user will be directed to a trailer for ‘The Layers’ film.


Motivations for the Interactive feature


  • The reason why we have included an interactive narrative feature, as well as the film, is to give the user an interactive experience of life for someone with High-functioning Depression.


  • Our final film will be to show Depression as a visual metaphor, represented by Alison. Alison will not be visible or appear at all in the interactive narrative. This will remind the viewer that even though they were ‘playing’ Andie, inevitably Depression can only truly be felt by one’s individual experience of it, and thus the signs are not always obvious.

Looking Back

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At the end of summer 2016, I was sure of the fact that I wanted my Final Major Project to be personal, and reflecting my own journey of self-discovery. I scribbled the above note about some pivotal moments in my life that have made me, me. The reason I did this is because, I didn’t just want whatever I made to lack depth, I knew I’d have to search within myself for purpose and meaning. So there you have it: the beginning of ‘The Layers’. 

Tutorial Feedback

So far: we have all the footage we need. There is no need to re-shoot which is a huge relief. We’re happy with the shots, and we don’t necessarily need extreme colour grading, as the feel is there already.

A couple of concerns: the footage on the train is quite shaky- might need to stabalise it. We also need to sort out the reflections and light marks from the lens.

The next step is to do a rough cut, and take a look at the continuity sheets to pick out the good scenes.


Overgeneralisation: Cognitive Distortions

How you think can have a lasting impact on mood, and it can influence one’s view of reality , as our world is reflected by our thinking. When we become self-critical with negative thoughts, this can lead us to a negative image of ourselves.

The term ‘Overgeneralisation’: refers to viewing a negative event as a pattern of your life. Because of the fact we connect new experience to past ones, it is common for us to generalise based on our past experience.

An example in ‘The Layers’, is in when Andie is cooking and she is being distracted by Alison. Alison, who is Andie’s ego, rips pages of a book more and more frantically, which makes Andie irritated to the point of stopping what she’s doing, to tug the book out of Alison’s hands. Andie becomes upset because of the tempered way she is provoked by Alison. Thus, Andie believes that she is a failure because Alison is able to easily wind her up.

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Above: Andie feeling defeated

Another example of Cognitive Distortion is ‘Arbitrary Influence’. An example is during the office scene, where Andie believes she is incompetent, due to the fact that she struggled to pick up the phones in time. This thought is further reinforced, when Jessica rescues the situation by answering the phone, which causes Andie to believe that she’s a failure. This is illustrated by Andie not being able to carry on with her work tasks, and hunching over.

An additional example of Cognitive Distortion is ‘Personalisation’. Another example in the office scene, is when Andie believes that her supervisor is cross with her, because when she enters the room, she seems cross, by the stern look on her face, and authoritative entrance.  When in fact, there isn’t sufficient evidence to prove that the supervisor was cross solely with Andie. Even though she instructs Andie to complete a task for her, she walks away, distracted by her phone- signalling that there were other things she needed to which had more priority. Therefore, the supervisor could have just been busy, and not necessarily cross just with Andie. In actual fact, the supervisor could have had the most trust in Andie, so that’s why she instructed her with the task, and not the others. This is also an example of ‘Selective Abstraction’- feeling responsible for a cross person, even though Andie is just one of the colleagues in the office that’s a part of the work atmosphere. 

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Above: Andie feeling like a failure

This incident is also an example of ‘Magnification and Minimisation’. Magnification is illustrated by Andie believing in the worst case scenario, and minimisation is putting aside the fact that Andie could be the most valued worker, and doesn’t believe she is worthy of success. 

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Above: Andie believing that she is responsible for making her boss cross


Sharpley, C. (2013). Understanding and treating depression. 1st ed. Prahran, Vic.: Tilde University Press.

Choreographing the Exterior Scenes

The movements for both the pier scene and walking to work scene were very similar: as both would involved Andie walking in a singular direction.

Except for the fact that the scenes were filmed parallel to each other, which would reflect the match on editing style that we envisioned. For the commute scene, Andie walked in a 3 o’clock direction. For the pier scene, Andie walked in a 9 o’clock direction towards the end of the pier.

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Grouped shots of the pier and commute scene above

Left picture: Andie walking in a 3 o clock direction towards work.

Right picture: Andie walking in a 9 o clock direction towards end of pier.