The Nines feature film and “cross media game”

On August 20, 2007 by Christy

The Nines is the directorial debut of John August, screenwriter for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Go, Big Fish and The Corpse Bride. 

It is a “highly anticipated” film that is described as:

The Nines consists of three short films, each featuring the same actors in different — and sometimes overlapping — roles.

“The Prisoner” tells the story of a troubled television star (Ryan Reynolds) who finds himself under house arrest, with his chipper publicist (Melissa McCarthy) and disillusioned next-door neighbor (Hope Davis) providing his only links to the outside world. Mysterious events lead him to question whether one or both women are deceiving him about the nature of his incarceration.

“Reality Television” is a half-hour episode of “Behind the Screen,” a Project Greenlight-style documentary series tracking the process of creating a network television drama. Having shot the pilot, creator/ showrunner Gavin Taylor (also Ryan Reynolds) faces post-production with the help of his best friend (and lead actress) Melissa McCarthy and development VP Susan Howard (Hope Davis).

“Knowing” finds an acclaimed videogame designer (also Ryan Reynolds) and his wife (Melissa McCarthy) facing car trouble deep in the woods. Their daughter (Elle Fanning) uncovers information which leads to a difficult and irrevocable choice.

Together, the three stories form a single narrative that explores the relationships between author and character, actor and role, creator and creation. Alternately funny and unsettling, The Nines is like a riddle where the answer is the question: “How does it all add up?” [source]

It is this type of fragmentation at the level of the subject or story (the apparent splintering across time and space of a person) and at the level of the discourse or plot (three separate stories), that lends itself to cross-media exploration. So, it is interesting to note that there is “cross media game” that has been created by Newmarket Films to market the film (can’t wait until the writers get more into these extensions). There are nine puzzles that “blends the virtual and the real” just like the movie apparently [source]. I haven’t seen the film and so I can only speculate about any possible relationship between the film and game. I like to imagine that the film is so complex it leaves unanswered questions that only the game can answer. So far, four puzzles have been released.

The first puzzle is at Underground Online:

Puzzle 1

 

The second puzzle is at Coming Soon:

puzzle2

The third puzzle is at Movie Web (and you can also see it when you solve puzzle two):

Puzzle3

And there’s some more descriptions of the “cross media game”:

The movie The Nines is a puzzle that explores intersections between multiple media platforms, and calls into questin the boundaries between virtual and physical worlds. It is the sort of movie that appeals to people who like to solve puzzles and figure out riddles. This is precisely the target audience for casual cross-media games, and it happens to describe a large part of the population in Second Life.

The fourth puzzle is at Gabriel’s Blog (and you can also see it when you solve puzzle two):

Puzzle4

I’m actually quite enjoying this “cross media game”. I’m enjoying it because the film seems well-written and complex. I therefore look further into clues. I also enjoy it because it crosses many websites, the “virtual and the real” (hint hint) and it looks like a few live events are coming up. My experiences after discovering the target location glimpsed in the second clue was good. I found a lot of things that had me thinking about the puzzle but more so the narrative of the film. I’m trying to figure out the plot of the film before I see it. The game has only just started…Although four of the nine puzzles have been found, the third and fourth have not be solved yet. It is up to you/me/us.