Parsons MFA Design&Tech

Muhammad Babar Suleman

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Like Life Itself

Blurring the distinction between fiction and reality in the Four Broken Hearts transmedia storyworld

  • narrative-storytelling
  • time-based-multi-media
    Thesis Studio

    Anezka Cecile Sebek

    Nicholas J. Fortugno

    Writing and Research

    Barbara B. Morris

    Christine L Prentice-Popken

    Tragedy engenders new beginnings and love becomes political in ‘Four Broken Hearts’, a Pakistani-American transmedia storyworld encompassing film, live performances, social media and location-based experiences.

  • Project website

  • Transgressing the boundaries of the real and the virtual, the temporal and the spatial and the personal and the political, Four Broken Hearts is a hybrid storyworld encompassing film, live performance, location-based experiences and social media. The project is scheduled to premiere at the 6th Annual New Media Film Festival taking place in Los Angeles this June.

    The story of FBH is being told by taking each of the classic elements of fiction – character, setting, exposition, climax and denouement – and bringing them ‘to life’ in the medium that conveys them to the highest degree of mimesis: characters are built and explored through social media, setting is experienced through location-based storytelling, the backstory is fleshed out using film and the climax is performed as an immersive drama. By taking advantage of what each medium does best while complementing the other mediums, FBH is presented in the form of a rich transmedia experience that allows audiences to explore the storyworld across many different platforms while still tying it all together within a cohesive narrative.

    My thesis paper that backs this project was published in the Journal of Media Practice and can be accessed here:

    You can watch an interview with the team here:

    Muhammad Babar Suleman

    Muhammad Babar Suleman is a Fulbright scholar from Pakistan currently residing in New York City. He is a director, experienced designer and writer. His diverse work experience and past credits include a NYC Media Lab/Hearst fellowship, design work awarded by Intel and Hyperakt’s Re3 StoryHack, design and marketing for Unilever (TONI& GUY, CLEAR), nationally recognized fiction work, design writing (published by California based The Daily Egg), user experience design for educational nonprofit Shaheen (in collaboration with Harvard and MIT alumna), art direction and editorial for the LUMS Business Review and film work that has been screened for audiences in Paris (NUMA) and New York (Parsons). With passion project FBH, he is finally able to combine all of his different interests and skills into a cohesive storytelling experience. MFA Design and Technology, Parsons The New School for Design. MBA, Lahore University of Management Sciences.

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