Monday, September 10, 2007
'Its All in Your Hands' Lets the Viewer Dictate the Story
Here's a neat twist on the Internet serial that I've come across lately. Remember the old "Choose Your Own Adventure" books? They would read like a normal book and then come to a fork in the prose that would allow the reader to make a decision for the main character(s), spinning the story off in a direction influenced by that choice. Several of these junctions would appear, and as a result, there were more than a few places you could go. It was a lot of fun backtracking and finding all of the different endings that were possible.
Some enterprising folk have taken that idea into the web serial realm at the literally-named It's All in Your Hands. There you can choose from one of four series that run short episodes ending with a choice for the viewer. All the shows are different in type, creating something for everyone. There's a thriller, a sci-fi fantasy, a romantic comedy and a mystery. The only thing really separating them from the aforementioned book series, is that you have to respond while the episode is current to help decide which way the story goes.
The one that seems to be getting the most attention is Satacracy 88. This story centers around a woman named Angela (Diahnna Nicole Baxter) and a drug that everyone is taking to make them "smarter and stronger". The plot thickens when it becomes apparent that the drug is more about mind control, and Angela is some kind of programmed hitman. What are those strange visions about, and what is reality here? I've watched three episodes of Season One (Two is already going), and have to admit it is pretty compelling.
If you have an idea for a series of this type, you can even "pitch a show" via a link at the bottom of the page. This is a cool way to link filmmakers together, but I have to wonder if you would be giving away the farm here. There are obvious ads (and requests for more), with no indication of what would be shared with the content providers. Of course, this would most likely be shared in the pitching phase if it exists at all. I guess you'll have to try it to find out.
Overall, this is a cool idea to get people involved and returning to your story. If you had a hand in which direction the plot would go, wouldn't you return to see how it played out? Wouldn't you tell your friends? It's unfortunate it can only be done within a specific time slot, but it's also an incentive to get involved so you won't be left out next time.
Posted by Scott Eggleston