Have you seen the latest episode of Black Mirror on Netflix?

It’s called Bandersnatch, and unlike other episodes, this one is interactive. The viewer gets to choose what happens throughout the story.

Set in the 1980s, it’s about a video game programmer named Stefan (Fionn Whitehead) who’s trying to create an eponymous interactive video game based on a fictitious choose-your-own-adventure book of the same name. As the viewer, you get to control Stefan’s actions.

In turns frightening and funny, Bandersnatch is essentially a discourse on free will. As such, it’s rather self-referential, since neither the protagonist nor the viewer really get to exercise free will.

But what’s most interesting to me is that Bandersnatch is a variation on the Personalized Video work we’re doing here at Allied Pixel. In fact, in my 2017 TED Talk, I predicted this exact kind of interactive storytelling.

Whether you call it Interactive Film or Personalized Video, it’s a way to engage with the viewer on a more meaningful level.

Here’s the trailer:

You’ll be seeing a lot more of this kind of thing in the future, both from Netflix and from us.

Bill Haley

P.S. Have a question about video? Let me know and I’ll try to answer it in a future post.

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