Modular Cinema interviews creators of The Trip: The Kissinger Twins

The Trip is inspired by a real life event. The Kissinger Twins explain.

The Kissinger Twins are Kasia Kifert and Dawid Marcinkowski

How did your latest project come about?

The Trip is inspired by a real life event. During our holiday we randomly met a guy who introduced himself as Jack Torrance. He was a laid back 80-year-old with an unforgettable voice. 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. His story that day became the story of this movie. We did what he asked…”spread this story on fuckin iphones, mephones, youphones. Let people know”.


What motivated you to make an interactive film?

Our motivation changes from project to project, with Sufferrosa it was freedom of choice. We wanted to create a Cinematic Labyrinth. An immersive, interactive, non-linear world, where you can spend as much time as you want, similar to the long hours spent playing video games. It is all about exploration and atmosphere.

The other approach was Forget Me Not our interactive music video… instant reward. It is short, you have to interact quickly, make random decisions: instant reward, instant fun, instant surprise. The whole structure is random, it changes every time you watch it.

The Trip is unique.  It is a whole trans-media package. We approached one story in a few different ways. 

You can watch, interact and listen to The Trip. 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.

The 10 minute cinema version starring the American actor Dan Dunlop has different edit and visuals than the interactive one. The rhythm of the narration is down to the thrilling performance of Dan as Jack Torrance. It is short but epic.

Another thing is the soundtrack to The Trip by Smolik. It is an immersive 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.

And finally a large-scale photo series made by Kasia. It is great to watch The Trip on the screen of your iPad, but imagine looking at images 2x4m big!


How many crew members were working on the interactive elements? Also, what technology platform did you use?

This time the crew was small. Only Kissinger Twins and Otto Nascarella. He is a cool programmer and musician.

We love Flash, but The Trip is above all a mobile experience, an iPad interactive film, so there was no other choice than HTML5.

What would you like to tell us about your background – and how did you become interested in making interactive films?

Our backgrounds are entrenched in cinema and fine arts. The storytelling is crucial. From the moment when we started to mix classic cinema and photography with digital, it was only a small step to the longer interactive narratives and films. The idea of a cinematic labyrinth excited us then and now.

TheTrip_Mosaic_1 Now our projects are more linear, but one day we will return to the maze [of non-linear story-telling], for sure.

Will you make more interactive films – if so, in what genre?

Yes. We’re currently working on a film inspired by 1970s sexploitation films. Something like Emmanuelle meets Dirty Harry. Our goal is to make a ground-breaking interactive erotic film. A very exciting project, less conspiracy theories, more sex and fun!

Do you know of other creative interactive films being made (in the UK) this year?

Yes. The one that is of particular interest is a new film made by Martin Percy: Lifesaver.

Lifesaver throws you into three life-threatening emergencies: one shows a woman who’s choking; another shows a young guy who’s had a cardiac arrest and has stopped breathing; another shows someone who’s collapsed in a car park. Then it’s up to you to do the things that will save these people’s lives – or not.

Lifesaver combines film with interactivity to teach skills in a whole new way.

What is holding back other film-makers in the UK from going down an interactive path do you think?

Time and cost. It is much easier to make a classic linear film. It is always more complex to write a nonlinear script and then to shoot all that footage. The other thing, which is weird…it still seems less prestigious to be an interactive filmmaker than a filmmaker. No fame, no budgets, no rock’n’roll. But it will change one day.


What interactive video genres or categories will do best do you think?

Music videos, Mystery and Erotic films.

What is your favourite interactive film or genre?

That’s a tough question. The Requiem For A Dream website made by Hi-Res was a ground-breaking interactive story-telling experience. It was ages ago, but it is a timeless classic. We love games as well, such as Another World or recently Kentucky Route Zero. Both of them blur the line between a film and a game in a brilliant way.

What is your next project, if we may ask?

The Bee Girl. We are reworking Sufferrosa on iPad. It is a very time-consuming process, but we’re close. It is very different from the original with a new edit and a new interface. It has been very interesting to see the evolution of this project. If you know the desktop classic version you will be surprised [once the new one is out].

How do you see the interactive video scene developing in 2013?

No idea. We want to be surprised. We want to see the next big thing (or make it).


Take The Trip

Thank you Kasia and Dawid. Good luck with the Bee Girl and new projects!



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