How interactive video is changing the future of social awareness?
Her name was Kitty Genovese. It was an ordinary 3am stroll in Austin Street, New York. In mere moments, the girl is stabbed, raped and left to die at the doorsteps of her home. This happened in a neighbourhood, not the deserted woods. Still, it happened.
This tragic story has been sensationalised since its perpetration in 1964. According to reports by the New York Times, 38 people had either watched or heard the commotion. They did nothing. Some assumed that it was the noise of drunkards, others blamed a domestic dispute. No one did anything till Kitty bled out.
This became the phenomenon known as the bystander effect: a kind of ignorance that affects how people react towards the world; a type of unfeelingness or selfishness.
In this age of touch-screen technology and global connectivity, it has become easier to get drowned in information. We have become passive. We watch videos as audiences whose responses are unnecessary. We have more reason now than ever to be detached from earthly things. Streamed virtual content and armchair audience mentality are the flavours of our day.
But does it have to be?
In 2011, a little girl in China was knocked down by two vehicles. She knew no better. The kid was just wandering away from her mother who was doing the laundry, as children do. 7 minutes elapsed…7 long minutes involving two hit-and-runs until someone helped.
Was this kind soul a businessman, a young educated executive or schoolchildren?
No, in fact, she was a humble garbage collector. Has technology ruined the human condition? Has social awareness been compromised?
Again, I reiterate, it does not have to be.
Technology is within our fingertips, from home, from our desk at the workplace, even from the little screens of our mobile devices. We can unite our collective consciousness and human spirit through visual means.
What drives humans to learn fastest is through experience, not passivity.
Take for example, Shell-shock is a type of mental trauma that veteran soldiers face. Violent battle scenes are replayed repeatedly in the mind because the human brain remembers best through experience. The greater the stimulation, the deeper the impression. The same may be applied for happy occasions like a wedding. An active participation is a huge factor in awareness.
In 2014, a volatile 21-year old youth slashed the commuters on a train of the Taipei metro system with a 30cm long knife, causing serious injury to many on board and claiming four innocent lives. The perpetrator was finally tripped by a proactive passenger and overpowered by security officials.
The tripping may have occurred faster if people were more socially aware. This is arguable but think about it for a moment.
Image taken from facebook.com/wwyd
A popular television series from the ABC channel provides proof that the human spirit is very much intact and alive. The show, titled What Would You Do? (WWYD?) hosted by John Quinones, captures the essence of social intervention.
There are multiple scenarios that go on daily. Society is an ever-moving diorama of issues and situations. WWYD? tackles the knotty social situations in everyday life.
In the series, actors are planted; confederates. These actors then play out a scenario that depicts a real-life issue. The oblivious public within the setting are then observed on their candid responses. Scenarios include: the open verbal abuse of a Downs Syndrome sufferer and how a mother condemns her child publicly over gender-specific toys.
All kinds of public reactions are recorded. The sneaky host then emerges from behind the scenes to speak to the public on their recorded actions.
A lady tears up over the Downs Syndrome episode, explaining she was a teacher of mentally-challenged students. A man lectures the narrow-minded mother in the toy store. He said that parents should not stifle creative energy but fuel it.
WWYD? is an amazing show with a great viewership but what if we took the concept a step further?
Let us get our thinking caps on. The goal is to abolish the bystander effect, to erase idle viewership.
What if the online community was encouraged to act collectively, to execute a move or agree on a choice?
Imagine a world where the storyline of videos is determined by…you might have guessed it…YOU, the audience. It is time to place some control into your hands. Consider a world where ideas are constantly being discussed by an online community and infused with the personal contributions of the viewer.
Information overload is one reason why people of this generation are unable to think for themselves. There are too many distractions that impede social awareness, we cannot process accurate information.
Traditionally, videos have been monologues. It has always been about what the content-builder wishes to showcase to the audience. It never was a conversation. It lacked social dynamism.
Enter Premise TV.
Premise TV is an unique crowdfunding platform with gamification elements built solely for films.
Premise TV attempts to challenge convention.
To be aware is to feel. Without feeling, we begin to desensitise ourselves. Kitty, the two-year old toddler, those four unlucky Taiwanese commuters — there is a way to care enough that it matters.
It is time to settle the bystanders into the seats of drivers. The new online video platform showcases short films that are funded and moderated by the audience. Additionally, original topics are constantly dealt with since they stem from diverse sources, from the opinions of netizens.
No more cliched themes or predictable plots from a single dimension of thought. The difference in opinion from each unique individual primes Premise TV as a novel style in online videography.
Through the concept of Premise TV, the audience is treated to a sequence leading up to a powerful decision. This is more than just an arrangement of scenes. You, the viewer, is inexplicably drawn into the premise of the film to make a conscious choice that affects outcomes.
Hear what the audiences have to say about Premise Original Series: ILL
In the Pilot video of Premise TV, titled ILL, the audience runs through the motions from start to finish. What does a bystander do if all information is available, none left to guesswork? How does a bystander decide the flow of the events?
What would you do if you encounter a social misfit? Your vote have the power to change the fate of the characters!Inspired by true events.《ILL》is a premise original series. It is about a social misfit (Wen Jie) who began hunting for his target upon being triggered by recent news, but will all this change during his encounter with a business woman (Ashley) and an uber driver (Robin)? What lies affect depends on you! Be the director and vote for the ending you want! Click "LIKE" 👍: Kill the GirlClick "LOVE" ♥️: Show CareClick "WOW" 😲: Be a HeroNote: For shared posts, please refer back to the Original Premise Video Post to vote!Share and tag a thriller fans!The ending will be released once we reached our first 1,000 followers!Check out premise.tv for more Premise Original Series! #interactive #film #interactivefilm
Posted by Premise on Thursday, 7 June 2018
Premise Original Series:《ILL》Pilot Video
You follow the path of a potential madman. It could be a mundane or special day. Thoughts enter your head: “Is he crazy’’, “Is he lonely?’’, “What does he want?’’ Then, you explore other characters in this manner too. Slowly, these bland archetypes transform into specifics, you begin to understand what they do and what they stand for. Just like movies, the audience pieces the puzzle together with the bits and traces. But, unlike movies, the viewers choose who to believe or discredit and this line of thought holds truth, it shapes the onscreen world. Opinion becomes fact.
Afterwards, a woman is introduced but who exactly is she? She could have been anyone you wanted her to be. The way she dresses, the way she talks, and walks may be fickle as the film progresses. The audience might make her a femme fatale, a victim or just lets her blend in with the alley wall. Unsurprisingly, there is a story structure, there is a narrative, but these are fluid, they are not stagnant or predestined. Nothing gets restrained, the audience is liberated.
A third character is roped into the story but likewise, we know nothing of his personality or intentions. He is a Grab driver who transports the lady but that information itself is like a suit, a disguise. We see that each character is mysterious and naked all at once.
The three characters ultimately meet but nothing happens. There is some friction between the woman and our strange opening character but even this may be resolved by the audience.
Vote for the ending on facebook.com/premisetv
Then, comes the pivotal moment at the conclusion: liking the video results in a specific response, the same is done when clicking the love or wow emoticon reactions. As the response data gets pooled, the trajectory of the next episode is determined. What happens in the following video? The film-maker is as clueless as you are. The excitement is stowed away inside a platter with a lid, awaiting the big reveal all in due time.
This is all an exercise of freedom, the respecting of the opinions, of the lens of the viewer. This is not equivalent to the dusty comments section of an online video neglected by the uploader. Countless audience feedback has gone ignored, maltreated or trivialised. Premise TV intends to change that.
Dealing with various topics online will improve the response and creativity of the viewer. There is no room for uncertainty because certainty is defined by you. Imagine interacting and sharing on matters of global warming, on the political crisis around the world and societal problems that have daunted the government for decades. Fostering audience participation is the crux of Premise TV.
This could not happen at a more appropriate moment. Seas of people are active on social media, making the online world a major provider of news coverage and community activities.
This platform could lead to audience polls and concrete movements in society. Through interactive film, people may be comforted that their voices matter and in doing so, may they echo this belief in reality.
However, do not let me cloud your judgment. Experience the magic for yourself and forever break the chains of social apathy. Take the first step in this rewarding journey. Let us empower the audience.
“ILL” is an original content of Premise TV, available exclusively in the site gallery.
Do check back regularly for new videos with insightful content on a wide range of topics. Get in with the action today!