Recently we had an opportunity to speak with
, the Creative Director / CTO at
about LATE SHIFT
Please share with us the backstory of what motivated you to create this app.
As a filmmaker I have always dreamed of letting the audience become part of the story, but for a very long time it was not possible technically. With the advent of touch devices (and digital cinema) I felt the time was right to try this again. We created a beta version of the player and a test filmproject – and the reaction of people was amazing. Everyone loved the experience and wanted to see more. That's what gave us the courage to get on this feature-length project.
What features do you hope to roll out to your app in the future?
Rather than other features we'll be more likely to create new content, i.e. new films for the CtrlMovie format. So we're working on new scripts, and other filmmakers are taking on our tech as well to create their own CtrlMovies.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of the creation of this app?
To us it was a quite a risk as creating this app meant also shooting a feature film – or more like four feature films. It was a big production necessary, and it was daunting at times. Seeing that it is so well received everywhere – by cinema audiences and app users alike, is very rewarding.
What is the coolest or most innovative feature of your app?
People love the fact they don't see any cuts or jitters, that the film is constantly running, while they are taking decisions. That puts them under the same time pressure like the main protagonist, and keeps them totally immersed in the story. There is no game over, there is just this forward momentum, which takes you to one of seven very different endings – the ending you "deserve".
What surprised you most in your journey to create this app?
LATE SHIFT can be played individually on iPads and iPhones, but also collectively at movie theatres (and at home on AppleTV). The reactions of the crowd taking decisions together via majority vote was a very beautiful surprise. It's such an intense feeling, people are not only passively sitting in their seats watching the movie, they're shaping it together as they go along. And that creates a very special kind of buzz. It's better than we ever expected!
Do you have any recommendations or advice for others wanting to create a mobile app?
Pursue your vision and follow your heart.
How did you decide which platforms to release your app on and do you plan on releasing your app to other platforms?
Apart from bringing LATE SHIFT to cinemas and film festivals we wanted to concentrate on the iOS and tvOS platforms, as they are technologically closely related. We're working on bringing the content to as many other platforms as possible. Android, PC and consoles are on our wish-list...
How is your app different than the rest of the market? Which unique need does it fill?
I dare to say our app creates a new market since there is nothing really just like it. There are the TellTale games or Quantum Break, just to name two games, which offer a similar kind of interaction with the story. But these are all games, while LATE SHIFT feels much more like a film. Steven Soderbergh is said to be working on something similar – Mosaic – so we're looking forward to seeing his interpretation of participative movies.
Which other mobile apps or technology have inspired you?
I think our inspiration roots in stuff as low-tech as the good old choose-your-own-adventure books we read as kids or games like The Day of the Tentacle. Our product is more content than technology driven, although of course it was the tech that enabled our breakthrough now...
You can view LATE SHIFT here
For more information, visit: http://itunes.apple.com/app/id886526292