An Interactive Film Puts You in Charge of a Couple's Breakup
It's like a choose-your-own-adventure, but with Alex Karpovsky's heartbreak.
We're big fans of Daniels. For years, the daring directorial duo comprised of Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan have dazzled us with their rule-breaking combination of deft technical expertise and inimitable panache. Their tastes range from the Kafkaesque (see a man get marooned on an escalator in Battles' "My Machines" music video) to the daring (read their rejected pitch for Beyonce's "Countdown"), to the downright destructive (the Best Director VMA-winning "Turn Down For What"), imbuing Daniels' commercials, music videos, and short film worlds with their hyper-creative, deconstructive style.
Daniels created Possibilia, a "choose-your-own-adventure"-style nonlinear narrative experience that asks audiences to decide on a star-crossed couple's fate—while watching the film. Produced by digital media company Interlude in collaboration with Prettybird, and featuring Girls star Alex Karpovsky acting alongside Zoe Jarman from The Mindy Project, Possibilia allows viewers to switch between 30 different scenarios, all while the couple's consistent dialogue links the narrative together on-screen. The interactive experience results in a seemingly infinite number of combinations wherein the results of Karpovsky and Jarman's breakup is placed at viewers' fingertips.
The project won the Future of StoryTelling and Time Warner's FoST Prize in 2014. Google Creative Lab Chief Creative Officer and FoST Prize panelist Robert Wong say, "Possibilia is absolutely brilliant! The story is about hard choices, and by placing the user in that experience and allowing them to pick which story to follow—without being gimmicky—actually underscored and enhanced the story in a way that resonated with me long after." No stranger to alternative forms of filmmaking, OK Go's Damian Kulash agrees: "Possibilia by the Daniels is one of the few pieces I’ve seen where I was truly wowed by the art itself. It’s great story telling, not just great tech. They found the story that could only be told this way, the story that needs the tech, rather one that merely shows it off. For me, that's the difference between 'Yeah that’s cool,' and 'I wish I had made that.'"
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The article was originally published on October 2, 2014.