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What are the Sevens: interactive video at its best

What are the Sevens

Now this is how to do an interactive movie website. We look under the hood of Secret Location's interactive Flash experience and find out what went right.

Words: Paul Wyatt

You've probably seen interactive cinematic experiences presented online before, but you may not have seen one as well-executed as this.

Secret Location’s What are the Sevens? is an interactive story about a girl who discovers she has magical powers. Secret Location founder and executive producer James Milward explains that to tell the story "everything, the film, interactivity, mobile and narrative, has to work flawlessly together". And it does - particularly in terms of the small load time and its execution of mobile.

Use of Flash

Flash was chosen over HTML5 early on in the project

 "We decided early on to use Flash," explains SL’s technical director Ryan Andal. "The experience relied on immersive video. Things like cue points, adaptive streaming, load sequences and profiling are easier in Flash and AS3."

The interactive points in the experience were heavy; Secret Location wanted to play with particle simulations and embedding 3D objects and needed the capabilities and frame rate offered by Flash over using Canvas or animated HTML elements.

"We wanted to have as much room for experimentation as possible,” continues Andal. "There were a lot of things that were figured out in the process, and had we specified everything up front, we could have decided what limitations we might run into while building in HTML5; but because we didn’t want to have limitations and wanted to experiment, we opted to build in Flash."

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