Jellybone (british slang for telephone) by Kate Pullinger is a story reflecting the medium
through which it is told. Smartphones are the most important tool of communication of our
time and from a special value for our protagonist.
A London millennial, Florence ‘Flo’ Evans, 24, is used to receiving strange, garbled
messages on her phone since childhood. Are ghosts trying to reach out to her? She ignores
those as best as she can, facing more urgent real-life problems. Being an unpaid intern at a
magazine, she struggles with debts and a crush on her best friends boyfriend. Former
boyfriend, as her best friend Lana has gone missing three years ago. But is she really dead?
Flo suddenly receives a message including information only Lana could know. Is this another
ghost message? Flo who had no real purpose in life until now, decides to investigate who
sent her this message and what happened to Lana.
A dangerous adventure with a paranormal twist, a coming of age story told in 10 episodes
using different media in the unique interactive oolipo format.
Jellybone is told from a first person point of view but opening up the story through third
person perspectives. You can read these perspectives in a kind of parallel narrative, or
decide not too, without missing out on the main narrative.
While reading this story, your phone will come to life – messages appear, it vibrates and
rings, so that you at some point might not be sure anymore if you’re reading a story or
became part of it yourself. You receive the messages Flo receives on her phone and
experience exact the same things she gets with those messages. The narrative is told
through text, when an emotion of Flo is very strong, handwriting is used. Flo does also have
an Instagram account (https://www.instagram.com/jellybone_flossie/), which she uses as her
public diary and where she shares more about her life.
To create the right atmosphere, we use sound effects and video collages which show where
we are and what the circumstances are. Collages like this are also used to give the reader
the chance to see what Flo can see in a special moment. The oolipo format is capable of
reacting on where on a screen you are, using surprise effects like suddenly appearing gifs or
ghosts for example (this gets more on later episodes).
inner voice: handwritten
Flo’s public diary: Instagram – real Instagram account
ghost messages: chat module – imitating phone messages (text, images, soundmessages)
action scenes/atmosphere: gifs/videos and sound
In a next step even more interactive possibilities will be implemented. Later this summer and
before the exhibitions, the commenting feature and something we call user-threads will be
released. User-threads enable people to contribute to the story by themselves. They will be
asked to write a backstory or even new parallel narratives. The open end of the last
Jellybone episode will for example be picked up by readers.
Team working on Jellybone
Author: Kate Pullinger
Art Direction: David Löwe
Producer: Solveig Pobuda
Producer: Dorothea Martin
VFX: Jan Schütze
Designer: Daniel Pankau
Please read the story on an iphone
Jellybone is available on the iPhone (all 10 episodes), on Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.oolipo) and you can have a look on the web as well (https://www.oolipo.com/stories/jellybone)