FUI (Fictional User Interface) is an important element of the world of every modern film and television production. FUI is a way in which the characters communicate with each other, often an important narrative element. A well-designed fictional UI can amplify the production’s realism and conveys vision of the director.

Can we imagine a crime story without police tracking systems, or cavernous computer files in which investigators search for criminal’s fingerprints? Also ordinary activities, such as displaying a text message or sending an email, involve designers of fictional user interfaces. 

Often, creating these types of panels is quite a challenge - in productions that are supposed to be realistic, models have to recreate those known from reality. For science-fiction movies, designers create solutions that have no counterparts in our time. And in production embedded in specific realities - for example in year 2000 - the emphasis is placed on the appearance of the user's panels or web pages reminiscent of design from those years.

How does the process look like?
The process of creating FUI may start already in the pre-production stage: the creators of fictional user interfaces get a brief or the entire script and on this basis they are creating projects in cooperation with the director.

After agreeing on the vision and purpose, the creative stage begins: FUI designers look for the right solutions and present the design of the panels. When this type of project framework is created and accepted, creators work on their interactivity or animate them - depending on what is needed. This stage is related to the film production stage - the interface must be ready to play in "its" scene.

A large part of FUI is also created in post-production, but often designing them at the production stage saves a lot of money, and also makes the actors play more naturally - when the screen that provides them with valuable information really does it.

Who does it?
In FUI creation involved are graphic designers and animators - specialists who can create the most reliable interface. To give the application interactivity, you also need a programmer - front-end developer, thanks to him or her the actor on the set will really use the device, not just run the video file pretending to be a real UI. 

Global trends
FUI is currently a hot topic in the discussion about modern forms of film design. The old concept of the film prop is becoming more and more capacious and it seems that we cannot limit ourselves in its definition only to the material objects used on the set. The technology development makes screens in film and television to appear more and more often and it is not surprising that creative studios specializing in delivering such solutions arise.

High-budget productions usually require many FUI projects. In films such as Blade Runner 2049 or the Avengers series, we could admire interfaces created by the London-based Territory Studio - one of the most experienced specialists in this field. There are also some new companies specializing in FUI. Filmnovation: onScreen has been designing screen solutions since the beginning of 2018, focusing primarily on interactivity and ease of use on the set.

About Filmnovation
Filmnovation was established in 2017 with the idea of implementing new technologies and solutions in the field of film and tv production & distribution. In addition to the development of innovative media projects, we support producers and distributors by delivering consulting & management services. Mainly: budgeting and scheduling, film-marketing and new-tech.