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Mobile Users Become The Movie

by Tom Moccia | February 8, 2011February 8, 2011 5:00 am PDT

Cell phones could soon help in the production of movies where people follow pre-determined paths, all the while filming their actions with their phones.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine attended the Sundance Film Festival and saw some amazing films, even some with technology integrated. Movie goers were actually able to participate in the movie by using their smartphones.

Blast Theory, a U.K. based company designed the location based application specifically for the movie called A Machine to See With. Participants register online and enter their mobile phone number which enables them to get directions to a particular street corner. As viewers arrive, their phones ring and they get a message that leads them throughout the city and into the scene of a bank robbery. They must then deal with the robbery and its aftermath. Imagine a digital version of a scavenger hunt, but implemented in a movie. Players will encounter other players, all different kinds of pitfalls, as well as scrupulous decisions that will determine the course of the overall user experience.

“The work mixes thriller cliches with the reality of the urban environment and explores the tyranny of choice and the financial crisis,” the company said in a statement.

This concept is different from others that have been attempted in literature, film and television in the past. Our own Sean Aune discussed how there used to be a children’s book series in which readers could continually choose different scenarios hence moving the story in many directions. Apparently they wanted to adapt these to work with television and movies. Like Sean, I can’t see this working, but what was going on at Sundance actually put you in the movie as a participant.

I think this concept is super cool and can see this taking off in larger cities across the country. Road trips to Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York to literally participate in a movie with your smart phone. No longer will you be asked to turn your cell phone off when the movie begins, on the contrary, make sure your smartphone is on, other wise you will be left behind.

What do you think about this movie concept TechnoBuffalo readers? Do you think this will catch on or was it just a novelty for Sundance? Let me know in the comments below.


Tom Moccia

Tom Moccia is a native of Stamford, Connecticut and moved his family west in 2000 and now calls Stockton, California home with his wife and two...

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