Seize the MOMENT with launch of new brain controlled film

24 May 2018 10:00:00.000

A new brain controlled film, ‘The MOMENT’, has been launched which picks up reactions from the viewer via an EEG headset and switches the storyline depending on their response. 

This uniquely interactive film has been developed by University of Nottingham Computer Science PhD researcher and Creative Director Richard Ramchurn and is being officially launched at Sheffield Doc/Fest on the 7th June. From there it will tour the country in a specially adapted caravan that has been transformed into a mobile cinema.

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a recording of brain activity. During the film viewers will wear small sensors attached to the scalp to pick up the electrical signals produced when brain cells send messages to each other. As people watch the film small drops in attention will alter the signals and trigger a change in the story the film shows. 

Click here for full story

Responding to brain activity 

Richard says: “The MOMENT is an interactive film which is controlled via data from a EEG headset which picks up unconscious reactions and changes the narrative thread in response. The story explores three narrative threads in a dystopian future world in which brain-computer interfaces are both a source of social threat and potential revelation. As a piece of science fiction the film speaks about the present. Our relationship with each other via social media and the facilitation of rise of far right ideologies.”  

Multiple story combinations 

The MOMENT is different each time it is watched, as the media adapts to the viewers attention levels, when the system detects a drop in attention it will cut to another narrative thread. Each scene has a possible of six combinations, which means in over 18 scenes there are 101 trillion possible combinations for each viewing.  

Richard explains: “Where the viewer has a lot of variance in their attention the film will cut quickly between the primary and secondary narrative threads, if the viewer sees more of the primary thread the next scene will remain in the same combination, if however, they see more of the secondary thread the next scene will replace the primary thread with the unseen thread. 

The data from the viewings will form Richard’s PhD thesis, he says: “The intention of making this work now, is to study how people react to the trend of real-time personalisation and myriad possible recombination’s of. This platform will allow us to study interactions with a system that allows for passive interactivity, and how that can be used to produce narrative work, add value and encourage multiple viewings.  

From interrogating the practice of making The MOMENT we are able to explore what considerations and implications are implicit in the construction of an interactive brain controlled film. The film and interactive system builds on previous work carried out in 2016. we have made a film that both minimises narrative disruption from interactive behaviours and encourages comprehension by utilising familiar filmic storytelling techniques.” 

A trailer for The MOMENT can be viewed here 

Social Media links: 

Twitter - @MindMovie

FaceBook – The Moment Film

— Ends —

Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

For up to the minute media alerts, follow us on Twitter

Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Story credits

For more information, contact Richard Ramchurn on or 07946 181 278

Jane Icke - Media Relations Manager (Faculty of Science)

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Related articles

The 3D selfie is here

Published Date
Tuesday 26th September 2017

Interactive dining experience where three isn't a crowd

Published Date
Monday 16th July 2018

The world of virtual reality comes to Nottingham

Published Date
Tuesday 20th September 2011

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798