For Secret Cinema’s production of The Shawshank Redemption we helped out with the pre-narrative and designed the digital system that led the audience from buying a ticket, to being in a court room having your life stripped away from you.
Weeks before you attended the show, our microsite for the fictional State of Oak Hampton, took your ticket number and delivered you your new life. This would be in the form of a FaceBook cover image detailing your new name and particulars. Everyone was from America, and everyone was male (as in the film). The system, developed by our always excellent pal Stephen Emslie, generated over 12,500 realistic men’s names and profiles. You could also use a Twibbon to style your profile photo so it appears to be stapled to your profile.
Extended versions of these profiles were then printed out and handed to you when you receive your sentence in court. Which we then used throughout the experience for example if you’re dragged before the parole board, or attend a work gang.
The site was a very non-nonsense institutional feeling experience, with a simple form for your details and links out to further news and information from the State of Oak Hampton. Learning from our work with the Prometheus show, we streamlined the options available to the audience to make it as simple as possible, but still a unique and mysterious experience for all.