Most sci-fi fans would scream and stand at attention when they hear the words “Black Mirror”.
Science, glorious science. (Credits: Pixabay)
The Emmy-awarded Netflix series is an episodic mashup of highly convoluted plots that test our perceptions of reality.
Thus, it was nothing short of an earth-shaking announcement when media agency Bloomberg hinted at online audience interactive features for the upcoming fifth season of Black Mirror, scheduled to be aired by 2018.
This however, is not a novel concept for Netflix, who has experimented with audience interactive material with children programs such as Puss in Books, and special choose-your-ending episodes in the series, Flex Fighters and Stretch Armstrong.
The general concept is similar: about granting audiences the power to determine the unfolding of the plot based on their preferences. As such, there exist more than one ending and the content has a stronger replay value.
The biggest challenge for interactive films is the requirement of lengthier scripts and additional resources necessary for the alternate scenarios/scenes. However, these arrangements may prove to be vital in revolutionising the industry. Through history, we have witnessed the birth of coloured films and sound, why not add to that golden list of milestones?
In Puss in Books, audiences are enabled to select the villains they wish to face and the order of each confrontation. The story becomes dynamic, which adds to the vivid colours applied to the animated content.
Anyone can become a superhero! (Credits: Porapak Apichodilok)
In the aforementioned Netflix superhero series, audiences are invited to pace the flow of the story, picking the ideal scenario for each respective crime-fighter. Watch how the heroes behave based on selected scenarios and watch a different conclusion each time.
It is far time that films incorporated the interface of audience interaction, considering how other medias have been applying the tried and tested method:
In the world of books, author R.L. Stein has been entertaining readers through his widely-sold Goosebumps teen horror series.
Through the books, the reader is informed to decide and play the role of the characters, flipping to respective pages based on their choices. Some progressions are happy and eventful while others lead to premature demise and sad endings. All, however, is relied on the interacting reader.
“One of the friendly faces from the world of R.L. Stein.”
The art of audience interaction is even more prominent in video gaming. RPG or role-playing games are titles that allow players to assume an identity. With this new identity, the in-game world is affected by the decisions of the avatar.
Game developer, Telltale games, took the idea to a whole new level. Pairing up with cult series such as The Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, to produce video games that allowed dedicated viewers to immerse themselves in the onscreen story and interact alongside popular characters in the TV series. The gaming company had a winning marketing formula but due to other factors like toxic management and the culture of data-crunching, it found itself at the deep end.
However, do look out for its swan song if you are a Minecraft fanatic, the project is slated for completion this year.
As one might see, the time really is now for films to join the fray. Let us make interactive films a mainstream reality!
This is precisely the approach that we take on Premise TV. We are an innovative online interactive media company that creates film for filmmakers. We invite people to pump their creative juices to suggest and work out the perfect content. Regardless of your role as an ardent audience or aspiring filmmaker, this is the sweet opportunity for you to hop on board and give yourself the chance to realise your vision!
Premise Original Series: ‘NAMI’ — What if sex doll comes to life?
We have an exciting line-up of original content for you to explore! There is NAMI, the story of a creepy sex doll who seems to know more than she lets on. There is LIVE, the series about the dangers of cyber bullying and the extent of wickedness that online communities might exhibit. And ILL, focusing on the trend of Media-reported violence and its effects on the psyche of violent people.
THERE IS MORE!
“You thought that was it did you not?” (Credits: Alexander Krivitskiy)
We are constantly expanding our gallery, with the help of loyal subscribers and fundraisers. With your support, we may establish an online hub for filmmakers where ideas are bounced off each inspired mind to create a cohesive creative force.
And we listen to you!
Got a brilliant idea that you have been obsessing over but no platform to launch it off? Piece of cake, just head over to our site and discuss with us how we can help bring life to your conceptualization.
With a parting reference to Black Mirror, the future is now, how shall we deal with it?
Author: Laurenzo Jude