Remember Lost, that lengthy show with tons of characters and a sprawling narrative? If you still like dissecting it, designer Santiago Ortiz has created an elaborate interactive of all 115 episode scripts, visualizing the anatomy of dialogue and character relations in an overly elaborate way that, well, is just very, very Lost.
In a project called "Lostalgic," Ortiz uses scripts from Lostpedia, the Lost wiki, to visualize the way conversations were written and the social network connections of characters. The first page interprets the scripts as bar graphs, with individual lines represented by a photo of the character. To see it up close, press down the mouse and spread your fingers to zoom in. "Graph" mode shows a floating globe of connections between characters by episode. The darker the line, the more scenes the two characters shared together. You can switch episodes by hitting the up or down arrow on your keyboard. And then "Matrix" mode also shows the scenes characters share with each other, except in a graph mode where character photos grow by episode if she has more lines.
Ortiz explained to Creative Applications Network that the basis of Lost epitomized social network connections by exploring all the possible connections between different characters, riding "a big zeitgeist wave" of social networking in pop culture.
That’s in its DNA, it’s basically how they wrote the scripts, by combining groups of characters, inventing narrative excuses to place different groups of characters in different parts (or times!) in the island, like if they were bacteria placed in different petri dishes exposed to differentiated environments. Kate+Sawyer in a cage, Locke+Boone in a crashed plane, Locke+Desmond on a hatch… a big etcetera, and that’s only for pairs. ...If you want to ‘feel’ these combinatorics going on, just open Lostalgic in matrix mode, and press the ↓ key several times, you’ll see how the relations patterns change dramatically episode to episode.
To check it out, go to Lostalgic.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.