Go Into the Woods with 'Way-to-Go'

Here’s an update on one of the projects I mentioned last month while rounding up the Canadian stuff at Sundance. The interactive web project Way-to-Go by Vincent Morisset, Caroline Robert, Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit and the studio AATOAA, is now available online and I just gave it a whirl. It’s really cool.

Way-to-Go is a walk through the woods using different levels of senses, consciousness, and experience. Let the controls be your guide and chart a map through the woods (walk or run, your pick) and then jump down into the woods and retrace your steps (or walk them for the first time) to see the trees anew. This part is where the odyssey becomes really interesting since the film takes a little stickman thing with a box head as your guide. Way-to-Go lets you see both the forest and the trees as you angle your guide’s viewpoint through the panoramic coverage of the forest and move along through the woods, bouncing to a contemporary beat. The sun shines through the tree tops as the guide looks up at the sky—I’m not really sure at what point I stopped controlling him and he started guiding me! (Perhaps my loaner Toshiba is just really out of date.)—and Way-to-Go provides a perfect escape from the winter chill.

At some point you’ll blink at the boxman will now be flying and the colours will melt from grayscale to psychedelic. Way-to-Go has a hallucinatory feel to its immersive experience as it lets the user look at the woods with a new perspective—it’s sort of like a fish-eye capturing old photographs underwater, mixed with documentary realism and trippy animation—and the experience washes over you like something completely strange and new.

I’m not entirely sure what I just experienced… but I really liked entering this zone after a few hours at the desk!

Try the experience at www.a-way-to-go.com. (Best viewed in Google Chrome.)