INTERACTIVE - Bla Bla is an Interactive Experimental Animation Masterpiece by Vincent Morisset

Vincent Morisset's BLA BLA is an interactive tale that explores the fundamental principles of human communication.  The viewer makes the story possible : without user interaction, the characters remain inert.

I can't think of another interactive and experimental web based animation that has ever drawn me into it in the way this one did.  I can't say exactly why I was affected the way I was, but it's definitely something people should check out for themselves.  So head over to the NFB and immerse yourself in BLA BLA.


For BLA BLA, an interactive tale that explores various facets of human communication, the viewer is integral to the work. His or her mouse clicks guide this story in six chapters, populated by characters generated a variety of methods, from traditional to high-tech.
While developing BLA BLA, director and creator Vincent Morisset (whose credits include the documentary MIROIR NOIRand the interactive music video for Neon Bible by Arcade Fire) extensively researched interactive narratives, seeking a visual language specific to the online realm. He also worked with talented creative collaborators for this project, including graphic designer Caroline Robert, composer Philippe Lambert and software developer Édouard Lanctôt-Benoît.

BLA BLA stands apart in its emphasis on achieving an emotional response in the viewer and in its grammar of non-linear editing. Through the very format of the work, Morisset addresses the challenges of telling a story with the spectator as participant. With the support of the NFB, he has forged a new vision of communication, of how our natural behaviour and interaction with others play out in the world. BLA BLA is a one-of-a-kind experience that bears his hallmark: re-imagining “once upon a time” for the digital age.

Design and development: AATOAA
Production: National Film Board of Canada

Hugues Sweeney (production), Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit(programming), Vincent Morisset (direction), Caroline Robert (visual), Philippe Lambert (sound). © Minelly Kamemura


Vincent Morisset 

Vincent Morisset is a director, programmer, and inventor. He is regarded as a pioneer of interactive music videos and the creator of bicolorama and synchronized artwork. Arcade Fire’s interactive video, be oNline B, received a Gold Pencil from the One Club in New York and was among the Best of the Digital Decade presented at MoMA in January 2011. His interactive videos were screened at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal and the British Film Institute. Since 2004, Vincent has developed six interactive projects for Arcade Fire and directed the documentary MIROIR NOIR. He also designed The Chromatic Variations of Glenn Gould and a web trailer for Peter Greenaway’s Tulse Luper Suitcases and directed projects for Sigur Rós, Émilie Simon, Jean Leloup, and Malajube. His work has been showcased in WiredGuardianCreative Review,Rolling StoneQ MagazineInterviewLes InrocksCreativityand Boards. He is also the founder of AATOAA, an organization specializing in alternative projects.

Philippe Lambert 

For more than 12 years, Philippe Lambert has been exploring the outer limits of the human voice. Obsessed by voice as pure sound, he regularly performs in the Montréal experimental scene under the name Monstre (Alien8Recordings). He also has been collaborating with NY percussionist Will Glass(Dirty Projectors) as Monkey King. With his psychedelic rock bandGoa, he recorded 3 albums and played multiple festivals in Canada and the US. Lately, he has been composing for Les esprits frappeurs, a project focusing on digital voice and 16 mm film projections with musician Alexandre St-Onge and filmmaker Karl Lemieux (Mamori).

Caroline Robert
Caroline Robert, originally from Lyon and now living in Montréal, is a graphic designer/illustrator and practices etching. She has worked for Radio-Canada, Toxa/Urbania, TV5, Télé-Québec, Développement et paix, and Dare to Care. Caroline has designed several projects for AATOAA, including interactive videos for Émilie Simon. She is also behind the corporate identity and interactive experiences of The House of Fairy Tales, a team of London contemporary artists who organize events aimed at fostering creativity in children. She has collaborated on several design projects for Arcade Fire, including artwork for the album The Suburbs, the documentaryMIROIR NOIR, and the Spike Jonze film Scenes from the Suburbs. Her illustrations for the Corporation de développement économique communautaire won a Lux prize. She is among the six creative talents identified by Creative Review’s Ones to Watch in 2011.

Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit
Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit, an aficionado of a new media and digital art, specializes in web and interactive special effects programming. He is rapidly making a name for himself through his architectural projection mapping work and his teams’ triumphs at local and international competitions such as Webjam and the International Multimedia Seminar in China. By the age of 20, he had already worked at Moment Factory, and created special effects for the world tour of DJ Tiësto and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Since joining Vincent Morisset’s team, he has programmed Web projects for Arcade Fire and, more recently, NFB’s BLA BLA.

Hugues Sweeney
Hugues Sweeney has a background in philosophy (Dominican College of Philosophy and Theology, Ottawa) and multimedia (UQAM). From 2000 to 2007, he worked as head of Radio-Canada's Bande à part multi-platform project (Web, radio and television) before going on to head programming at Espace Musique from 2007 to 2009. He has since joined the NFB, where his work includes developing interactive productions anchored in the great traditions of animation and documentary.