Movies & TV / Columns

How Will Netflix’s Bandersnatch Be a Gamechanger?

December 31, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

It’s been a good week for Netflix. First, the Sandra Bullock-starring thriller Bird Box became the streaming service’s most-watched movie over the course of seven days, being viewed by over 45 million accounts, the company reports.

“Took off my blindfold this morning to discover that 45,037,125 Netflix accounts have already watched ‘Bird Box’ — best first 7 days ever for a Netflix film!” the service’s official Twitter posted on Friday.

Then Netflix got the internet buzzing with another installment of Black Mirror with a choose-your-own-adventure event called Bandersnatch.

Already many are hailing the movie as game changing and opens up a world of possibilities for future viewing entertainment.

Black Mirror has achieved a reputation for giving the future of technology, free will, social media, mental health, and more a dark twist. In Bandersnatch viewers are able to select narrative options that guide the story along numerous paths. It’s interaction on a completely new level.

The film has a total of 312 minutes with five different endings. Or not

The movie has so many different variations based on what choices you make that Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker says he has “forgotten” how many different endings there are, going so far as to reject producer Annabel Jones’ claim in a Hollywood Reporter interview that there are five “definitive” conclusions.

Bandersnatch presents a path for an entirely new way to experience content and interactive television. Netflix, among others, is looking for methods to broaden the user experience and continues to spend millions customizing algorithm feeds to viewer preferences.

Netflix invested major funds and created a brand new in-house tool for Bandersnatch, called Branch Manager, in order to accommodate Brooker’s massive, nonlinear narrative. “You couldn’t do this in a flow chart because it’s dynamic and tracking what state you are in and doing things accordingly,” Brooker explained, who could “input and deliver his evolving script directly to Netflix” with the tool.

Now it seems like they want to make each viewers experience unique all on their own. Imagine you and your friends watching different versions of Game of Thrones or Stranger Things?

Kids shows, dramas, comedies, all now have a new way to engage with the audience. While some might dismiss this as a novelty, don’t be surprised 5 years from now everyone has formatted a show or two with the choose-your-own-viewing-experience option.

Advertisers could tailor their marketing based on your choices, much like they do now with your search and social media habits.

Are you ready? What did you think of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch? The future of interactive TV?