Walking Cinema: Murder on Beacon Hill

Directed by Michael Epstein, Untravel Media
Based on a film by Eric Stange
Visit Film Site: parkmanmurder.com
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A location-based storytelling iPhone application developed by Untravel Media.

“‘Walking Cinema: Murder on Beacon Hill’ is an audio and video tour detailing the notorious 19th-century slaying of a wealthy Bostonian, George Parkman. Real-life relics, a skull here, a weapon there, will be placed in stores and other buildings on Beacon Hill, serving as waypoints for the tour.” -Boston Globe

This walkable story recounts a Brahmin beef that became one of the strangest crimes in American history. On a warm afternoon a week before Thanksgiving, 1849, Dr. George Parkman, one of the richest men in Boston, went missing. A massive manhunt uncovered pieces of a body in and under Harvard Professor John Webster’s laboratory.

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walkingcinema_presski_02Starting above the obscure remains of the original Harvard Medical College building on the Massachusetts General Hospital campus, this walkable film reveals how Boston’s landscape stillholdsclues to this historic crime. From morality board games planted at the Liberty Hotel (exCharles Street Jail) to video overlays on Parkman’s house, this GPS based production allows for personal and hands-on exploration of the case and its central characters.

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Untravel Media started with research CEO Michael Epstein conducted as a graduate student at MIT looking at storytelling techniques, audiences, and technologies. His thesis focused on industry and experimental projects bringing mobile technologists and storytellers together. He was awarded a grant from the European Union, Motorola and Dell to create a walking tour in Venice Italy from 2004-5. From there the concept of terratives developed into a Business and in 2006 he incorporated Untravel Media, Inc. a unique production and software company focusing on mobile storytelling. Working with a range of clients and grants, the company has grown to a diverse, Boston-based studio of developers, designers, writers, and producers.


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