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After Kids, Netflix Launches First Interactive Movie For The Adult Audience

After Kids, Netflix Launches First Interactive Movie For The Adult Audience
Netflix has launched the first ever interactive movie for the adult audience called “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” where users can choose their own path through a story from a number of multiple-choice questions which can be chosen with the help of the TV remote control device.
The story of “Bandersnatch” is set in 1984 and its main protagonist is a geeky teenager Stefan who gets engaged in transform a multiple-choice science-fiction book of the same name into a unique computer game which also offers the players multiple choices at various stages.
The creators of “Black Mirror” Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones were approached by Netflix in early 2017 with the unique idea of transforming the film into an unusual multiple choice film for adults. This was a result of the streaming service experimenting with interactive kids content where the young viewers were offered the ability to choose between multiple options to go ahead with the story. 
However initially, the two creators were not very amused with the idea and turned down Netflix’s offer.
“To me, they always felt a bit gimmicky,” said Jones.
However they realised after a few weeks that their plans for plot of the future episodes were a perfect fit for an interactive movie. “At that point, it was pretty simple,” recalled Brooker.
The original author of “Bandersnatch” book reportedly had turned eccentric while penning down the multiple-choice adventure and had ended up killing his wife. In a similar manner, the protagonist of the film Stefan is also fighting with his own inner demons while trying to transform the book into a highly complex multiple-choice computer game.
Brooker said he could empathize with those feelings. “What we were trying to do was what Stefan was trying to do,” he said. “There were many points where we felt it was driving us crazy.”
But since Brooker and Jones was aided in their efforts of creating a interactive movie by the Netflix product team, it was much easier for them compared to the original writer and even the main protagonists Stefan.
The project was headed by Netflix director of product innovation Carla Engelbrecht who had the prior experience of working with interactive kids films like “Puss in Boots: Trapped in an Epic Tale” and “Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile”. “There is so much more that we can do than just linear television,” she said.
One of the challenges of the project was to create more complex choices for the adult audience compared to the more simplistic choices suited for kids. This forced the streaming company to develop its own in-house script-writing tool for branched narratives. 
There are five possible endings in “Bandersnatch”. The film gets over in about 40 minutes for vi\ewers who choose the fastest path. The average viewing time is around 90 minutes.
On the overall, there are over a trillion unique permutations of the story.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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