On July 25, 2011 Christina Perasso was kidnapped and the world watched her agaony via the internet.
While Christina posted on facebook, tweeted and uploaded videos via Youtube, over 55,000 users offered round the clock comfort, brain power to decode clues and helped to fuel the phenomenon known as social film in the Inside Experience.
The Inside Experience is the product of social media and film; directed by DJ Carusso who also directed box office winners Disturbia, Eagle Eye, and Taking Lives and starring actress Emmy Rossum of The Day After Tomorrow and Phantom of the Opera fame- it was sure to be a captivating experience for socially savvy movie-lovers. The film is hyped as a live entertainment experience blending film and social media- a completely new genre of Hollywood-class entertainment where the audience can play a part in the plot and interact with the characters in REAL TIME through various social media platforms. Little by little thousands flocked to YOUtube posting their auditions to be a part of the film and more joined in on Faecbook sharing clues and ideas with others users also following Christina’s harrowing story. With noses glued to the computer screens, cell phones and mobile devises over 55,000 people logged in faithfully to get the next post or update from Christina.
After 11 days of captivity and combing through clues, online audiences were treated to the long awaited video marking Christina’s move from victim to heroine as she escaped the confines of her little prison only on August. 4. It was announced that the final film would be posted and completed on August 14, 2011.
The posts stopped. August 14th came and went and the film heavily marketed as social suddenly became very anti-social.
Many users disappointed, posting comments such as:
“You know, this started out as an incredibly creative and innovative idea. This was the first project of its kind. You captured the attention of over 20,000 people, and you brought together over 20,000 people. But now that you are leaving us without answers, and not a clue as to how long we have to wait to have them answered, you are slowly losing the attention of over 20,000 people, and a group of over 20,000 people is separating once again. You made a big mistake in leaving us hanging. Regardless of whether or not there was a large amount of participation, you should have at least prepared for the worst, and it seems that you have not. I will wait for the movie, but you can definitely bet that there are others unlike me who will not. You can bet that you’ve lost a lot of viewers.”
– Cecelia Grace via Facebook
“Proposed date – Aug. 14, 2011
Real date – God knows when”
– Kob-Kob Bry Abell via Facebook
The film’s producers, Toshiba and Intel, Christina and the other supporting characters went completely silent and as a result many users lost interest. The lack of interest is clearly apparent by the number of views of the final full film which was posted on YouTube 5 days ago but only has 301 views to date. It wasn’t until today, September 6, 2011 that the full video was publicly announced on the other social mediums Facebook and Twitter.
Since the connection between advertising and user interaction was so obvious for many users it became very apparent that they were pawns in what was essentially a large-scale marketing campaign with viral promotion financed by Toshiba and Intel. Despite its pitfalls, there is hope; social film is a relatively new and innovative idea that still has some kinks that need to be worked out and it will get better as more social films are made and more companies began to realize the value in user interaction.
I’ve posted the full film below and would love for you to weigh in:
Did you follow The Inside?
Was it a total waste of time and did you lose interest halfway through?
What would be your alternate ending if you were the director?
Plus you can see my long awaited debut on the silver screen….errr computer screen here.
To receive future articles by Chasma Smith, just click on SUBSCRIBE at top of this page and don’t forget to visit her website here. Do you have a story idea or insider tip? Submit them by clicking the feedback link.