CAMPAIGN-I: Private surf - Simon Waterfall, the creative director of the DeepGroup, weighs up the pros and cons of film websites

From past experience there has been nothing harder than for

websites to compete head-on with their big screen cousins who have

paying audiences, Dolby on tap and deep pockets. But try these for

size.



Visit starwars.com and see if it lives up to your childhood memories of

the film. The site doesn't meet any of the interactive expectations that

a sci-fi movie could set up - feathered montage images and floating

boxes just don't cut it.



The Expanded Universe section is simply an advert that dilutes the

integrity of the epic. Maybe this is the standard for the lowest common

denominator that should be adhered to in order to maximise time spent on

the site. Maybe the ever younger target market needs a simple and

idiot-proof site, or maybe the length of time that Star Wars has been

exposed to a myriad of marketing styles warrants a non-approach to the

website production. No - it's just bad!



Center-of-the-world.com is another matter. Timing is everything for

strip-tease and movies, both make you wait. They balance what you see

with your own imagination - even entering this site you have the usual

door trouble - brilliant!



The story line may be linear but each click makes you feel that you have

your own private dancer. The web designers have managed to get behind

the camera on set and new footage extends the story, uniting cinema goer

and web user.



It's unfair to compare a family movie to a soft porn film but, apart

from the obvious light sabre similarities, I think this exercise

demonstrates that if expensive films are a balance of creativity and

content, why aren't the websites?



www.starwars.com

Owner: Lucasfilm

Launched: November 1996

Developed by: Lucasfilm

www.center-of-the-world.com

Owner: Artisan Entertainment

Launched: February 2001

Developed by: Hi-Res