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Tribeca Film Festival 2014: New High-Tech Ways to Tell Stories Shown Off at Innovation Week

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The Tribeca Film Festival's Innovation Week shows off new high-tech ways for stories to be told. NY1's Adam Balkin filed the following report.

What is Robert De Niro doing with that thing seen above on his head and face? Well, at the Tribeca Film Festival he helped found, De Niro is checking out some of the new high-tech ways to tell stories being shown off during the festival's Innovation Week.

One exhibit, called Storyscapes, features a handful of projects for getting viewers out of their seats, or, at the very least, interacting with the story while in their seats.

"Technology's everywhere now," says Ingrid Kopp of the Tribeca Film Festival. "We all have technology in our hands when we're using our phones, and I think what we're trying really to do is really say to filmmakers, say to artists, ''What does that mean to you as an artist? What can you create now when you have a camera but you also have all these other tools like code?'"

Those tools yield everything from immersive virtual reality experiences to stories that you help tell by moving.

Choose Your Own Documentary is probably the most traditional storytelling method. Moviegoers watch a documentary about choose your own adventure books, and then, with a clicker they're handed before being seated, get to actually choose which direction the movie takes.

"There are 1,566 different possible versions of the show," says Nathan Penlington of "Choose Your Own Documentary." "The biggest problem with this project, and the thing that gave us the most headache, was trying to work out how you tell multiple true narratives at the same time."

Just to show how wide a range of projects we're talking about here, one project, "On a Human Scale," is pretty much a human piano.

"We've been filming people across New York singing notes and then putting their notes into an instrument that anyone can come and play," says Matthew Matthew of "On a Human Scale." So each key on this 49-key harpsichord triggers a different person singing that exact note. So you can play it just as you would any piano."

Developers say in such a diverse city and world, this project is designed to show how literally and figuratively different people from different backgrounds can come together in harmony.

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