New ‘Many Worlds’ film self-edits in real time according to viewer’s emotions

This experimental audience-dictated flick will not be your average day at the movies.  Changing direction based on the emotional reactions of viewers, ‘Many Worlds’ by Alexis Kirke uses ‘arousal analysis’ to tailor the story line to your desires as you watch.

Created at Plymouth University in the UK, ‘Many Worlds’, is a film about two students who planned to celebrate a friend’s birthday party but wind up in a world of trouble after getting entangled in some sort of spooky, scientific experiment.  Things could go very well or very, very badly.  The project seeks to fully immerse the viewer into the plot, rather than hand them a ready-made sequence of events, like we have come to expect.  Purist film buffs and lazy audience members looking for an escape rather than an interaction may find the whole idea tedious but the concept of being able to watch what you really want as opposed to squirming through gore or cringing through sickly romance scenes may appeal to some.

Still in its preliminary stages, the arousal analysis for this project involves volunteers who will be attached to either a heart rate monitor, a brainwave tracker, a perspiration measure or a muscle tension gauge.  Their emotionally-induced physical reactions will then be used to change the course of the movie, which has four different endings depending on the feedback.  It’s not exactly a democratic vote but the makers of the film believe it’s the first step to measuring general audience reactions and developing the story line accordingly.  One day they hope to do this on a larger scale, using a camera that watches the audience and averages out their responses. Clearly allowances will have to be made depending on the genre, or this could spell the end for scary movies…


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