In 2013, J.C. collaborated with renowned transmedia director & experience designer Lance Weiler to help create Body/Mind/Change, an extension of David Cronenberg: Evolution, a multi-platform celebration of the iconic filmmaker's work. The project stars Cronenberg himself.
Body/Mind/Change is a descent into the brainbending, and often nightmarish, world of Cronenberg’s films and storytelling. In the experience, a fictional Los Angeles-based biotech company called BMC Labs has licensed the technological concepts seen in Cronenberg's sci-fi horror films Scanners, Videodrome and eXistenZ, and used them to create a new lifestyle product. This product, called POD (Personal On-Demand), is a biotechnological "recommendation engine" implant designed to help its human hosts effortlessly discover their needs, loves and desires.
To participate in this ambitious multimedia experience, audience members "volunteered" to become hosts for their own PODs. The Body/Mind/Change site presented them with three increasingly strange and distressing simulations to calibrate the personality of an artificial intelligence companion, which would then be transferred to their PODs.
As the episodic narrative unfolded through video, gameplay, and a subversive Alternate Reality Game, Body/Mind/Change's system tracked participants' reactions to the questions and stimuli. These reactions informed the creation of a unique real-life POD generated from their behavior. As Body/Mind/Change unfolded throughout November and December 2013, an installation in Toronto's TIFF Bell Lightbox building displayed these "growing" PODs (created by 3D printers).
In addition to writing Body/Mind/Change (along with creatives Chuck Wendig and Atley Loughridge), J.C. helped develop its story. A longtime Cronenberg fan, J.C. prepared for the project by reading extensively about the filmmaker, watching nearly all of his films (again), and speaking at length with creative director & experience designer Weiler and others on the Body/Mind/Change team. J.C. crafted screenplays and transmedia scripts for the experience, and helped develop its main and ARG storylines.
Body/Mind/Change is a co-production between Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and CFC Media Lab. Presenting Partner for Body/Mind/Change is the department of Canadian Heritage's Canada Interactive Fund, with support provided by the Government of Ontario. Executive producers are Noah Cowan, Ana Serrano and Shane Smith. Ana Serrano is its producer.