Der Grund Unter Berlin

Final Project by Lucas Brunelli Donnard | MA Digital Narratives
Germany 2020 | Interactive Series Concept
8 x 22 min to 42 min | Drama, Comedy | Dark Humor, Magical Realism

As the summer’s heatwave falls over Berlin’s warmest night, eight interconnected stories clash deep inside the city’s U-Bahn system.

Vision Statement

This anthology of modern urban-life chronicles is divided into 8 episodes, each telling the story of a different “Berliner” as they unfold parallelly, altogether during the same night, deep inside Berlin’s “U-Bahn” stations and trains.

A city’s underground is the perfect sandbox for the storyteller: all genres, races, beliefs, statuses, ages… all come together, standing side-by-side, for at least the duration of a few stops inside the “U-Bahn”. With dark humor, heavy drama, and enchanting storytelling, »Der Grund Unter Berlin« dives into the city’s zeitgeist and asks: what hides underneath the surface of modern days of Berlin?

Inside the MA Digital Narratives program, this series concept was reimagined as an interactive digital narrative, employing the concept of expanded television.

Interactive streaming interface

Through a dedicated HTML5 interface, the audience can not only stream episodes in a non-linear, interactive fashion but explore the serie’s story world in seemingly real-time.

Transiting through storylines, exploring connecting points, and interacting with story events is made possible by a comprehensive set of features, designed to enhance the feeling of being present inside Berlin’s “U-Bahn” as much as this serie’s characters.

Alternate reality experience (ARX)

To blur, even more, the boundaries that separate the story world from our (real) world, an ARX was designed as an expansion-experience of this serie’s core narrative.

By using the proposed streaming interface to navigate through both reality and fiction, participants (or players) are propelled to venture into the real Berlin “U-Bahn” and assist the serie’s characters in their journey.

Developed alongside the Pretty Good Ideas Screenwriters’ Collective (
Creative Producer and Head Writer: Lucas Brunelli Donnard
Screenwriters: Ljubica Luković, Matija Dragojevic, Michael Griessler, July Rodriguez, and Michel Kiwic
UX and UI Designer: Markus Santner
Script Consultant: Kirsten Loose
Consulting Producer: Christian Kaps


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