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Jennifer Elster Headshot

An Opening of Consciousness

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In the Woods is a mysterious, existential film journey: a walk into the unknown. The experience is a seduction into our own existence. What's the plot? Who knows? The film crawls into and explores the crevices of the minds of its subjects and myself. Hmmm...? Should I go there? I don't know. I kind of want to. Maybe I will. How far can I go? How far can I push it?

The brave cast includes Terrence Howard, Moby, Will Shortz, Famke Janssen, Will Oldham, Temple Grandin, Debra Winger, Jorgen Leth, Rufus Wainwright, Rosie Perez, Alan Cumming, Marlo Thomas, Ahmir Questlove Thompson, Karen Black and Dave Matthews. For the first time, Yoko Ono has contributed original vocalizations for a film: an unconscious force beckoning us to go further inside.

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The territories that the film exposes are at times scary, even terrifying. These unruly excursions go so far into internal dialogs of the mind that a viewer might think: "how did I end up inside Terrence Howard's head?" It's as if you are at a party that you are having a blast at, but you're not sure why (and you kind of shouldn't be). In the Woods definitely errs on the side of danger, existing outside the bounds of how we are expected to behave.

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The film itself always takes the non-formulaic route. The unusual structure is a collection of disparate moments woven together to create uncannily unified and emotionally charged narratives while various plots unfold.

Our first portal into this world is ITWPathway.com: a 3D interactive online experience pushing the limits of the website medium in unexplored directions. New pathways will appear that lead to plot twists and peculiar interactivity, providing clues and advancing meaning.

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A game has already begun.

Yoko Ono reveals Clue Number One on the ImaginePeace.com website via a Twitter feed entitled "I did something I've never done before...".

Will Shortz reveals Clue Number Two on WillShortz.com, leading you into the woods to find a hidden-puzzle; the answer will open future pathways.

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In addition, encoded "pieces" that provoke mental and emotional game progression can be found online.

My fantasy was to share the experience of In the Woods as an open communication with an audience in real time. This article is yet another piece in the storytelling puzzle of In the Woods. Yesterday in my studio someone said "but we have to know where we're going?" I replied, "no, if we do this right we won't know where we're going and it will be an exquisite, mind-bending ride." This approach continues to wildly excite me. It is so unpredictable that the experiencer's own input can change the course of where the film goes.

An opening of consciousness: the future pathways will bring us into unexpected places in our hearts and minds. The experience of In the Woods is one of multimedia interactivity, and will at first be accessible through online adventures and private events. Along this journey, an episodic film experience will be unleashed. Come play with us...

ITWPathway.com
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