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Here's a Behind-the-Scenes Look at How 'Black Mirror' Made 'Bandersnatch'

"There were several points during the whole process where I thought, 'This is madness.'"

by River Donaghey
Jan 3 2019, 8:43pm

Screenshot via Netflix

By now, the world has had a week to watch (and then rewatch) the incredible mindfuck that is Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. Netflix's choose-your-own-adventure movie is a haunting and wholly original feat of filmmaking—but it's also supremely frustrating, because the thing is so complex that you probably won't ever be able to see every possible permutation of it, no matter how hard you try.

As brain-bleedingly wild as the experience of watching Bandersnatch may be, that's apparently nothing compared to how difficult it was to make the goddamn thing in the first place. On Thursday, Netflix released two behind-the-scenes featurettes about Bandersnatch, and it seems like Black Mirror mastermind Charlie Brooker almost lost his shit as much as Stefan himself trying to pull it off.

"There were several points during the whole process where I thought, This is madness," Brooker says in one clip.

According to Todd Yellin, Netflix's vice president of product, the streaming service first approached Brooker with the idea of an interactive Black Mirror movie. "We tried a couple of [interactive] kids specials," Yellin says. "Then it was time to roll up our sleeves and go, ‘How about if we do something bigger? How about if we did it for adults?'"

Brooker originally passed on the concept, but later, an idea blossomed that he thought might pair well with the choose-your-own-adventure format. "When I started out I thought, ‘Well, this will be fairly straightforward. I’m sure I’ll have to draw a flowchart at one point,’” Brooker says. “Cut to several months later, it kind of exponentially started to balloon."

"Charlie got enamored with the butterfly effect," Yellin says. "'If you change this little thing, imagine what it will do here. But if you change this little thing, imagine what it would do here.' To really understand how it all fits together needed whole new tools invented."

The actors, producers, and editors involved in Bandersnatch also sit down for interviews in the pair of featurettes, and the consensus is basically the same across the board: It was hard as shit to make. Somehow, though, they managed to pull it off, and hopefully this will just be the first in a long line of interactive Netflix movies to keeping breaking our brains.

Give the short clips a watch above and then go watch Bandersnatch again, since there's at least another ending or three you haven't seen yet.

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