Percepto! The Birth of Haptic Cinema Public
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This project examines the history of The Tingler (1959), the first motion picture to incorporate haptic (tactile) sensations. It surveys the career of its director, William Castle, a legendary Hollywood huckster famous for his use of gimmicks to attract audiences to his low- budget horror films. Our particular focus is Percepto!, the simple but effective gimmick created for The Tingler to deliver physical “shocks” to viewers. The operation, deployment and promotion of Percepto! are explored in detail, based on recently-discovered documents provided to exhibitors by Columbia Pictures, the film’s distributor. We conclude with a proposal for a method of recreating Percepto! for contemporary audiences using Web technologies and smartphones.
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