Hind Kammourieh

Abstract

After the success of the TV series BLACK MIRROR1 and with Netflix’s reach, popularity, and financial resources, the platform managed to produce a costly experimental production called BLACK MIRROR: BANDERSNATCH, which may be a potential crucial step for interactive digital narrative films. Following many different interactive projects streamed on the platform, Bandersnatch became one of the most spoken about projects they have produced; and following it, Netflix has announced that it will invest more into interactive narratives from romance to other genres (Roth & Koenitz, 2019, p. 247), making Bandersnatch an important first step to theorize how future productions are going to be based on. But this advancement in filmmaking leaves us with the question about how the audience reacts to this type of production. Is it going to be the future of filmmaking? Or is it just an experiment that will fade away with time?

This thesis investigates the interest of the audience in such formats of films and whether it would replace single pathed narrative, or not. By collecting data and opinions from a sample of viewers from different countries and age ranges, this study narrows down and explores if Bandersnatch is a revolutionary kick into an interactive future of filmmaking. The data shows that the audience are interested in viewing similar projects in the future, and gaming audiences are more intrigued by such formats of film, but they prefer having a smoother bond between the narrative and the interactive aspects to provide the audience with greater viewing experience.

Currently Netflix is on the right track as it started collaborating with gaming developers and created Netflix Games with several games based on already produced series, such as Stranger Things (Bondarenko, 2021).

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