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17th May 2013
The interactive trip
Title of film: The Trip
Director: Kissinger Twins
Kissinger Twins take us on a journey around the moon and their Webby-winning interactive project featuring Jack Torrance's story

‘In space, no one can hear you lie.’
Meet Jack Torrance, the man who in 1969 took America to the moon.

Watch, Interact and Listen to The Trip.

What is the origin of your latest project?

“It all starts off with the Goddamn moon.
That’s where they wanted to go, y’know.
They turned to me to make it happen.
My name is Jack Torrance. In 1969 I took America to the moon.
On a studio back-lot, with six actors, in North Western Nevada.
It was all a movie. I was…its director.”

The Trip is inspired by a real life event. The story originates in a dimly lit hotel bar on Tutuila Island.
The man we met over damp cocktail napkins at that bar gave us the name of Jack Torrence.
We could tell right away that he was singularly original. His step, his manner, his easy smile, all gave hints to a man who had lived an interesting life; his fine suit betrayed the fact that he had been well compensated for that life. Jack, a laid back 80 year old with an unforgettable voice.

The next day he took us on a ride across Tutuila Island. A passing comment we made about the NASA Mars project annoyed him, and it provoked him into telling us a tale of how the moon landing was fake. Listening to him was a bizarre experience.
The line between fiction and reality blurred. But the facts and details of his story were logical.

His story that day became the story of this movie. We did what he asked… “spread my story on fuckin iphones, mephones, youphones. Let people know”.

You tell this story across many mediums each medium tells the story in a different way. Can you tell us please why you wanted to express the story in so many formats?

Yes, The Trip is unique. We knew that we had a thrilling story and we had to find a way to reach the audience in an unusual way.

We approached one story in a few different ways. So you can watch, interact and listen to The Trip. You can watch a 10-minute cinema version; The rhythm of the narration here is down to the thrilling performance of Dan as Jack Torrance. It is short but epic.
(A limited special edition is also available on VHS), if you want more, you can spend almost 40 minutes listening to the soundtrack by Andrzej Smolik.

It is a concept album full of references to the music from the 1960’s and 1970’s such as Stan Getz, Astrud Gilberto, Lalo Schifrin and Ennio Morricone. Narrated by Dan Dunlap (There is an iTunes link)

Finally, you can immerse yourself in the interactive version where you decide how long it takes to go through the story. The interactive version of The Trip is a road movie consisting of 11 chapters. It is an immersive, chill out experience built around audio and video loops.

You can watch the film many times,discovering new visuals with each viewing. It is one of the first interactive films for the iPad, and it has just won Webby Award in Best Use of Interactive Video category.

There is one more thing… a large scale photo series made by Kasia. It is great to watch TheTrip on the screen of your iPad, but imagine looking atimages 2x4m big! It makes a difference!

Of course we all realise now that Neil Armstrong landing on the moon was all a hoax, but why did Jack Torrence decide to tell the truth now?

Let me quote Jack:

I know my story won’t change anything.
Christ, I might even sign my death sentence here.
But I couldn’t give two shits about it right now.
I can’t let these bastards live in the shadows any longer.
I know them. Yeah, I know their methods.
They rely on the fact that people haven’t gotten any smarter.
But the technology has.
Back in the 1960s all I had was a couple of cameras and a few archaic computers.
And that was enough to fool the whole world.
And now…what are we?… two thousand and fucking twelve.
How ‘bout that, Stanley??

This story about a moon landing, is in fact, in a broader perspective about technology and media manipulation.

The project asks about their role in our lives, in the 1960s and in the present day.
In 1960s it was easy to fool people using a relatively simple technology, so how about now, when governments and corporations have tools which Stanley Kubrick couldn’t even imagine?

The other thing is how willingly people expose every aspect of their life on Facebook, Twitter etc. Isn’t it a perversive dream of any Secret Policy?
When we combine all those facts together we can realise what Jack meant telling us that society has never been under such unbreakable control.

And what was behind your decision to use found footage? What were you looking for?
And where did you research the footage – was it a long labour of love?

We wouldn’t like to make a classic documentary film, you know, with a guy sitting in the shadow and telling about all those things. Our goal was to achieve that particular nostalgic retro feel that you can get only by using found footage.

It is great that we can now use lots of amazing footage for free, but it is not an easy process, sometimes we have to spend the whole day, literally the WHOLE DAY searching for one particular scene… or even more. This is a laborious sampling process and it’s exactly the same with the music.

Working together, how does your creative process work? Do your ideas usually work in agreement? What lessons have you learnt from this project that you’ll take over to your next – and what will that be?

As we told 1.4 some time ago, our collaboration is based on a principle… Dawid complicates, Kasia simplifies.

It is great to work with found footage, but after 15 months with the Trip we definitely now plan to go into a live-action direction.

Our next project is titled Bee Girl and this will be an erotic thriller, a 1970s sexploitation pastiche where Emmanuelle meets Dirty Harry.
We have just done a shoot with the leading actress and it looks great!
A very exciting project, less conspiracy theories, more sex and fun!

What’s your vision on how interactivity will evolve in the future?

No idea. We want to be surprised. We want to see the next big thing (or make it).
We are focused now on touchscreens and are developing what we call ‘Touching Interactvity’.
We want the spectator to believe that the character on the other side of the screen is
really feeling his touch and responds to it. Our goal is to create mood with sensual imagery and music and generate emotions and suspense through interactions. We are exploring a new territory, where the story is literally in the spectator’s hands.

What about Jack, how are things are going for him now?

We have to protect his real name and place he lives, this is a part of our deal.
So all we can say about that is another quotation from the film.

“These days I’m more partial to the Sun than the Moon.
Feels good on my skin.
I bask in its early morning rays, watching my grandson play in the way only a four-year old knows how.
I sip my favourite drink.
A Blue Moon, of course.”

Credits