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T Time discusses Bandersnatch’s impact on storytelling


Netflix’ first interactive show Black Mirror: Bandersnatch has made quite a splash. It has already attracted a lawsuit. How did the story work, what was the experience like, and can the approach be used elsewhere?

In this episode of T Time, Tracy and I discuss Black Mirror: Bandersnatch with interactive TV expert Nick DeMartino.

Reed Hastings Bandersnatch Frosties vs Sugar Puffs

Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO

[Update 1/17/19: During the Netflix Q4 2018 earnings call on January 17th, the company gave fresh details about Bandersnatch. Ted Sarandos, Netflix CCO, said that a total of five hours of produced content was created for the interactive show. Read Hastings, Netflix CEO, said that 73% of show viewers opted to have Stefan, the show’s protagonist, eat Frosties for breakfast. Clearly, Netflix is carefully monitoring, collating, and correlating all the selections in the interactive experience.]
Nick DeMartino

Nick DeMartino

Chapter 1: About Bandersnatch (1:45)

What was Black Mirror: Bandersnatch about and how was it put together and delivered to viewers?

Chapter 2: Some completely new approaches by Bandersnatch creator (5:40)

While interactive storytelling is nothing new, Bandersnatch broke new ground in a couple of areas.

Chapter 3: Limitations of the approach (9:20)

Some aspects of the show worked very well; others were not as successful.

Chapter 4: Why the production was so costly (12:45)

It turns out the production costs per viewed minute for an interactive story like Bandersnatch are very high.

Chapter 5: Was it a game in disguise? (13:30)

The story was about the development of a video game but was the episode a game masquerading as a TV show?

Chapter 6: Problems with the experience (15:00)

All was not smooth with the delivery of Bandersnatch. We discuss some of the problems that we encountered.

Chapter 7: Who is in control of the story? (16:00)

Charlie Booker, the creator of Bandersnatch, created a multilayered storyline that makes it difficult to figure out who is in control.

Chapter 8: Applicability of the approach to other stories (17:20)

The multi-layered storyline works well in an interactive approach and is a good fit for the Black Mirror audience. However, does the same approach apply to other types of stories and audiences?

Chapter 9: Inconsistent experience across viewing platforms (21:30)

It was not possible to watch Bandersnatch on all the devices upon which the  Netflix app runs. Figuring out on which device to watch is problematic, and a viewer may encounter streaming performance problems depending on which device they choose.

Chapter 10: Chooseco Netflix lawsuit (23:00)

We discuss the Chooseco lawsuit against Netflix over Bandersnatch.

Chapter 11: Marketing opportunities in interactive storytelling (25:00)

Bandersnatch uncovered some novel ways for advertisers to reach their audience.


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