Taking movies to the next level

So I was just at the cinema with a friend. We saw Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug — a nice action pic with some good eye-candy. But before the movie we were discussing when the next level of movies will arrive. That is, the interactive movie.

The cinime app has brought a small degree of interactivity to the premovie experience, using smartphones to involve viewers in pre-movie trivia. But what about using smartphone during the movie to enhance the experience. Not only would this be very interesting, it would make copying films more difficult. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

(1) A simple way to enhance the movie-going experience would be to stream the movie to your phone, so if you need to run to the washroom, you could still watch. Yes, there are all kinds of copying-related issues in this, but it wouldn’t be hard to find some kind of compromise.

(2) Augmented reality films. Your phone becomes like the Wii U video controller. Watching a detective/spy movie? Aim your phone at the screen and look for clues, or hidden enemies. A horror/supernatural movie? Search the screen for demons before they pop out.

(3) Choose you’re own adventure movies. A great way for companies to give repeat viewers a new experience each time. Consider a story where characters diverge throughout, following their own plotlines. Currently, film makers have to decide how much of each story to tell so it all fits in the time limit. But imagine if the audience voted on their phone which plotlline to follow. If there were, say, 2 divergences of 3 character groups in the movie (I’m thinking here of a story like Empire Strikes Back, where the characters diverge in plotlines, but return to a common place), then there would effectively be six different movies to watch. Yes, this would bother some people — especially if you don’t know which version you’re going to see, but there could also be abbreviated versions that contain bits of each plotline, as per now. And cinemas could advertise they’re showing AC version at a certain time, for example. This could greatly increase the lifespan of a movie, as the voting version would be released first, and the cinemas could do the fixed versions later.

Anyway, just throwing out some interesting future, interactive, movie ideas. What do you think? Do you have any other ideas? Let me know in the comments.

Insight and longevity

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