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Dustin Callif's Touching Stories Adds Interactivity to Films

Digital executive producer,
Santa Monica, California

Callif, 35, produced Touching Stories, a four-film app that gives viewers new power.

"We represent directors who create film-based advertising, and we recently expanded to work with some top artists on digital projects, where our niche is interactive live action. The iPad presented an opportunity for all of our directors to work together on Touching Stories. We shot specifically for the device, using features such as the accelerometer and touch screen to add a layer of interactive storytelling on top of traditional video filmmaking. For example, the film Sarah and Jerry gives the user godlike control over the characters — it's like The Truman Show spun on its head. Sarah is sitting on her couch, and if you touch the magazine on her table, she'll pick it up and smack herself in the face. In another film, All Ends, Ends All, you are the character and you need to run away from people. The faster you shake the iPad, the faster you run. We created this to be a conversation starter. This is the beginning of active audience participation, and the future of storytelling."

A version of this article appeared in the November 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.