A movie game or a movie game: an experiment involving the viewer, director and movie poster

A movie game or a movie game: an experiment involving the viewer, director and movie poster -

In order to figure out what exactly is the Russian interactive cinema, we conducted an anecdote experiment. Somehow we met a television journalist, director and ordinary viewer at the TV (to which the computer is connected). And here is what came of it. (Note: the conversation turned out to be so ridiculous that adding a note “smiles” after each sentence the editors see no reason).

— Sergey, have you ever seen an interactive movie?
Sergey, viewer: Until now, no.

— Imagine what it is?
SZ: Approximately. This is when at some points in the film you have to choose how the plot will develop.

— That is, what did you tune in to: watch a movie or play a cinematic game?
SZ: I'm more likely to play. It will be interesting to make a choice.

— Zhenya, is this a movie or a game?
Evgeny Puzyrevsky, director: I, as a filmmaker, of course, say that this is a film. I made a movie, but all the producers are sure that this is a game.
SZ: But even in the application I see the inscriptions: “new game”, “start the game” …
EP: Yes, but you see it on Steam, this is a gaming platform. We are next in line for the Apple Store, for androids, for mobile phones. Of course, burn in hell everyone who watches movies on the screens of mobile phones, but there "She is angry", most likely, will be perceived as a movie.

— Let's watch it already.
SZ: New game! Need to be saved? And when you make a choice and then looked for a few minutes and realized that it would be better if the other looked, is it possible to rewind and change the choice right away?
EP: No, we refused this.
SZ: But technically possible?
EP: Technically, yes, you can. There is still the possibility, when you looked several times already, to skip the scene. But we refused it too. On the one hand, when you are reviewing for the third or fourth time, some scenes may stir you up, but if you skip them, then you will lose the atmosphere of the movie and your endings will not work emotionally. Therefore, we refused it. On the other hand, I also wanted to add interaction not only in the choice of the plot twist, but also inside the fight. When, for example, the hero is thrown back, he sees a knife and a hammer, and you choose what to take: a knife or a hammer, based on this decision, the next fight is built. But I couldn’t do it according to the production time. Hopefully next time it works out. After the test viewing, we specifically made a disclaimer that you need to watch at least twice to understand the entire film, but people from Russia usually write: “We watched once and didn’t understand anything,” but what is written in capital letters for you is not important.
SZ: I clicked continue because I thought it was a warning like "18+", "take the children away."
EP: By the way, yes, also a good opinion.
SZ: Let's go ?!
EP: Come on. 100507th time I will watch … The thing is that all the producers are not in Russia. In Russia, I live alone. I made a project with people, one of whom I saw once, the other came to shoot, the third I never saw, all on Skype. They are all gamers, and they have Windows. And they tested the version for Windows. And under the Mac I had to. At first they didn’t want to do anything for him, I insisted. And so, for example, we release a test update, the producers say: “Look.” And you are sitting, but you cannot rewind, and you need to check the final frame at the end. Actually, once they asked me to check whether the final frame freezes. And 35 minutes you have to watch.
SZ: And how many versions do you get?
EP: There are four endings.
SZ: Endings, yes. But there, for example, it branches out after 10 minutes, then after 15 … How much does it turn out?
EP: It's hard to say, because in principle, two full-fledged views are enough for almost all new information to pop up. Well, not all, but 70% percent — these are two views, when you already enter the third, there are fewer new ones, 25% percent.
SZ: I had a course in probability theory, after viewing we will calculate how many versions.
EP: By the way, about probability theory: 90% of people come first to one ending in four, and in the second passage to the second ending. But this is with men. Girls generally have a complex brain structure.
Sz: i.e. are we now deciding what my brain is?

— Sex test.
EP: Yes, yes, a sex test! I was really surprised that almost everyone comes to the same ending. Someone tells me that he looked, I reply: "I bet this was the ending." They answer me: "How did you find out?" But now I will not explain why it is so, otherwise it will turn out that I will put pressure on you, and you will click somehow differently.
SZ: Don’t push, please.

— While Seryozha is looking, I’ll ask: Zhenya, why do you need this? You are a filmmaker, you have normal short films, they are shown even somewhere. Why did you get involved in this interactive story?
EP: When it was only offered to me, I thought: interactive cinema is some kind of hat. At that time I had an idea that it was like “Mortal Kombat” — until you pressed the selection button, the hero stands and sways from side to side. I have been moving this proposal for a very long time, and then five projects flew off in a row. And I think: fine, what will I do? .. Let, I think, learn what interactive cinema is. Then I realized that it’s cool, that in principle it’s like a movie, there are no such hangs, but it was also one of my conditions, so that there would be no situational pauses. Even if you didn’t press anything, it automatically presses itself and the movie continues. And by the way, we are not the only ones with these hard transitions. There are no rough glues; they are not felt in the music. In other interactive films, when the music falls silent, you understand that there will be gluing together, a choice … But we bother very much for that, I don’t know how many poor programmers were sitting, but in general everything is seamless and perfect. I haven’t read a single comment about this yet …
SZ: Have you studied how many points you have to choose for your timing?
EP: Yes. The thing is that we had a very small budget, and we first wrote for a full meter. I painted there whole trees of plot branches. But when we went to the investors, they all said, like I did in the beginning, that interactive cinema is some kind of hat. Then we decided to make a demo for 5-10 minutes for the sample. But in the end, it’s all that you look at. Great timing only like gamers. Gamers are accustomed to the fact that there is a long story, that they have to come into it and kill a lot of time, repetitions for its passage … Therefore, now their main main claim is that it is meek. But ordinary viewers come in that the film is short. For example, at Netflix's Barmaglot, my friends complained that it was boring for the second time to watch those hours and a half. So we made a bet on replayability so that you could, without getting bored, watch at least two times, create a new plot, but because of this, the timing was reduced to a short meter. It was important to put different subjects. There are other interactive films where there are a lot of empty choices, that is, for example, there is some kind of noise and you have the choice to "call the police or not." If you say no, you go to this noise and you have some kind of events. And if yes, then you go to the phone, but the phone does not work, and you go to noise anyway.

— Well, these are some killers.
EP: Yes, and there are a lot of such fillers. And here, each choice really affects something and sometimes it really changes the course of the plot. Therefore, perhaps we have fewer choice points than in other paintings, but they are more significant.
SZ: And how did you write the script: first thought out the full story and then looked for places to insert a choice?
EP: No, no. I immediately write so that I had one choice in every scene, and I immediately imagine where exactly. But in “She is Angry” at the very beginning there are two choices in a row, because the viewer is just starting and he needs to get a taste. Understand that you generally need to press something. Therefore, there is a long conversational scene.
SZ: Is there always only two choices, or will there be three, for example?
EP: Two. We thought about three, but the attention will be completely scattered. This, incidentally, is also a question about gamers and spectators. Now a lot of streaming from the passage of this film. While I was coming to you, they wrote to me that now seven streams are going at the same time, mainly in Asia and China. And when ordinary people watch the film, it’s not enough for them to choose and press a button for 5 seconds, many do not have time. They need to think, apparently. And when gamers stream, they will not only have time to press, they will still talk, drink tea: they’re used to what they need to do everything so quickly. For me it was also wild: really, the dude is sitting, drinking tea, you need to get up, he calmly walked over, so “this or that”, clicked, went to drink tea again

“You already remembered the Barmaglot, but he, like your movie, was released on the platform.” But what about the "Night Game"? She went to the cinema, totally failed … Didn’t she add any doubt when you got involved in this story?
EP: “The night game” failed exactly in the cinema, and then came out as a game, and the creators are not that a plus, they are now cult. They sold their scheme to a large studio and stayed in chocolate. And, if I’m not mistaken, it was originally an idea as a promo of the Scandinavian film school, so they’re doing well. And my investors, in principle, did not consider “She is angry,” as something other than a game. And for my part, as a filmmaker, I fought with all of these.

— I understand that the question from Captain is obvious, but how many films did you make as a result?
EP: Here, an hour and a half movie turned out, well, about seventeen hours. If films that are not repeated are put together, then an hour is seventeen. In general, to be good, you need at least four times more material than the film itself is. We have 64 files in the movie. We had to beat the same scene twice but with different details: you have a broken shelf in front of you or not.
SZ: By the way, it can give a signal at least in two seconds, so that I can reach my hand. And then did not have time to choose and chose for me. And there are applications on the phone so that you, by connecting to a laptop …

“The Night Game had an app to watch in the cinema.
EP: Yes, and everyone complained about it. We also thought about different options, down to tilting the phone. But then they realized that this would distract from the plot and this would be a game-game.

— We return to the technology of shooting: you said that there are no freezes and swaying in the film, but you still forced the actors at such moments … to think. Now the scene was excellent: the hero is behind the screen and decides what to do. Doesn’t it turn out that he is slightly tucked up with respect to the dynamics of a typical feature film?
EP: No, I specifically made these “thoughts” in order to make a choice, that is, the hero, in any case, at the sight of danger thinks: to go or not to go. And you also won’t go right away. The main actress wrote to me when she looked, that she only now understood what she was filming in. She did not understand how all this would be arranged.

— That is, for the artists it was just another film work?
EP: Yes, another film work, but at the same time I had to tell them that in the same scene we act out different emotions. It seems that the dialogue is the same, but the emotions are different, because they depend on what choice was made before and after. It was difficult for the actors to adapt to this.

— Because Russian actors do not have the skills to work in this format, i.e. no such flexibility?
EP: They have a problem that there is no separation. In America, for example, it is clearly divided: you are a movie actor, and you are a serial actor. Because in the series one way of playing, in the movie — another. Everything is mixed with us. Therefore, the actors are very difficult to rebuild. In one project, you came, you were shot from different cameras from all sides, you left, the editor will choose something. And in the cinema, especially in mine, where there are rays of light, you need to stand so that the shadow falls here … For the hero, for example, to appear gloomy, and not a freak. Or, for example, the heroine, if she gets up a little bit wrong, then her nose shadow will close half her face, and this will be Quasimodo. And I have all the actors are beautiful. The actress, by the way, wrote to me that for the first time she was so beautiful. And she has over 40 roles.
SZ: And now, plus 64.
EP: Well done, you didn’t choose the way almost everyone chooses. So, the actors. Our people are used to everything adjusting to them. But they are not under the light or camera. And the big problem is that they’re used to it, as soon as the camera turns away from them, they stop playing, they just throw text on the partners. And therefore, when you start to mount, you do not have material for improvisation, because the actors are standing with stone faces.
SZ: Did the actors see the script at once, with all the options?
EP: Yes, I had a clear outline. Two scenarios for 4 interchanges. There is a plot until a certain moment, then I write “choice”, highlight in red and where this block leads. In one passage there is a kitchen, for which there are two scenarios, and in another there may be no kitchen at all. Therefore, the scheme.

A movie game or a movie game: an experiment involving the viewer, director and movie poster

(There is a murder on the screen)
SZ: Why did he do it like that?
EP: Well, you yourself have chosen. You see, you did not kill this dude in the back room, so he appeared here.
 
— Why did you choose to shoot a thriller?
EP: As the producer said in an interview he recently gave because the director specializes in thrillers, we had no choice. That's all.

— So, director, you specialize in thriller, why did you choose them?
EP: Well, first of all, I’m not a funny person, so I won’t be able to do comedies, melodramas and dramas aren’t mine either, therefore, in what I can, I work in that. I believe that there are people who work in their genres and do it well, so why bother going where you don’t understand anything. For example, Scorsese, who's funny about Scorsese comedies besides Scorsese? Here I am, if I shoot a comedy, I laugh, a couple more people laugh, but I do not shoot for my money, and I have a clear logic that I have to pay for the project, and I will be ashamed if I do not.

— Well, I’ll ask you in a different way, do you really like bloodthirsty, violence, is that all?
EP: No, not that I love it and watch only that: I have a viewing circle from the Maltese Falcon to Lumiere's Workers' Exit from the Factory. I am absolutely omnivorous, I even watched Hachiko with Richard Gere and Brokeback Mountain. But I understand that because I’m also a screenwriter now, I just won’t write it, honestly I can’t. Recently I watched "Parasites", I just love this director, I watched everything completely, and when I watched "Parasites", I really envied why I do not have such a scenario. If I had such a script, I would drop all the thrillers and make such a movie, because the script is beautiful. And because I’m writing the script myself, but I won’t be able to write this, I’m writing what happens — thrillers.
SZ: Take the remake interactive. The movie you love, but make it interactive. For example, I was looking at something and it seemed to you that here, for example, you had to kill this. And in your version you kill.

— Wait, a man just shot his first interactive film.
EP: The producers want to get two or three interactive films a year. They want me to do everything, but I told them that there’s another film and I won’t. I’m just not interested in walking in circles, but I stay with them in the seller as a producer, i.e. someone comes up with an idea and I help develop.

— It turns out like Bekmambetov’s from his desktop flour, when he just took the technology, launched it and let me, different directors, shoot in each of the genres.
EP: Yes, that’s how we are ready to do, we are ready to do comedy, we are ready to do horror, we are ready to make expensive films, if there is money. Or, you know, some trash trash, shot for a penny. I really like the movie “Lucky for the Dead”, it’s been shot for five hundred thousand rubles. He is beautiful, he is beautiful with his cheapness. If there is a budget, I’m even ready to call this director, to say: “Come up with something interactive in the same trash style for three pennies.” Fail — not scary, because the budget is small. In these projects, I’m ready to act as a producer, but as a director I’m not interested in stomping on the spot, i.e. I will make the next film, I will correct all the errors that have been made here. There I have a very interesting move that will be in the new project. But the third film itself is unlikely. It took us three months from the beginning of writing the script to the last word “shot” on the set, i.e. the whole scenario, all the preparations and all the shooting, i.e. it's three months. Naturally, we did not realize everything that we wanted. For example, a commonplace thing, now you looked at the scene of a shootout, we did it already on the last shift, we had to leave, we made landings for shots. I’m always a supporter of exaggeration: if there is blood, then there should be a lot of it, but not to fill everything, but to let the viewer understand that this is a movie, it’s not real, so that there is no depression from the fact that everyone killed each other. Those. if the fountain from the neck hits, then it must hit. So that the viewer understands, even though we show the washcloth, that this is still a fairy tale, it is not real. In the shootout scene, we charged three times as much blood as they usually charge, because the heroine’s coat is thick. And we have everything from one take, we don’t have a duplicate coat, because there was no money for it. And in the end, we had to act like this: they made a landing, they shot, they took off their coats, they gave them to a man, a person lays down a second landing for fifteen minutes, we all wait, and time is money, and, of course, we couldn’t take two takes, and we had to draw all this blood.
СЗ: Ну это не заметно было.
ЕП: Потому что хорошо дорисовано.

— Ты мне вот, что скажи, я плохой кинокритик, я знаю только «Ночную игру» и «Бармаглота», это третий интерактивный фильм, который я смотрю. И у меня уже вырабатывается стереотип, что в интерактивном кино, по сути, работает только триллер?
ЕП: Нет, во-первых, хоррор есть. Вообще хоррор — это золотой жанр для интерактивного кино, потому что, когда мы смотрим ужастик, там что-то скрипит в подвале, а кто-то пошёл, а ты думаешь: «Ну зачем ты туда пошёл?». А так у тебя выбор, идти или не идти. А вот с комедией, не знают, будет ли работать.

— Всё-таки, мне кажется, даже с потребительской точки зрения триллер удачнее, т.к. у ужасов аудитория должна быть своя, я ужасы не включу, я не люблю всё это, и уж тем более я не буду выбирать «спуститься в подвал», потому что я знаю, что там будет какое-нибудь «бу!».
ЕП: У нас были моменты стандартные, типа «спуститься в подвал или нет», и если ты выбираешь «спуститься в подвал», то с тобой ничего не происходит. Those. я специально такие обманки делал, которые мы решили пока не включать. Поэтому другие жанры возможны, но эти два более предпочтительны, как мне кажется, потому что, нажимая, ты участвуешь в сюжете. А когда ты смотришь комедию, ты хочешь расслабиться, а не сидеть тыкать «успеть на свадьбу к жениху или нет».
A movie game or a movie game: an experiment involving the viewer, director and movie poster
— Мне кажется, сам момент выбора добавляет эффект триллера. У тебя уже есть по комментариям срез? Понимаешь оценки?
ЕП: Наш фильм не похож на российский. Все русские говорят, что это сериал для НТВ, все нерусские говорят, что это ни разу не российское кино. Мы априори не воспринимаем российское как хорошее, мы привыкли. Поэтому всегда негатив, и актеры не нравятся, и играют плохо и т.д. Причем самое забавное, что у нас два главных актера дублированы другими актерами, которые озвучивают американское кино. Например, у главной героини голос Скарлетт Йоханссон, и когда в трейлере люди это услышали, у них сразу пошел диссонанс, не успели запаять, т.к. не поняли, что это русское, подумали, что это очередной дубляж.
СЗ: Слушай, ну цветокоррекция совсем не телевизионная. А вот и финал.

— У тебя в фильме не все концовки позитивные, в смысле добро побеждает зло?
ЕП: Однозначного добра нет, т.к. добро побеждает кулаками, а это в принципе не добро. Есть мрачные, где побеждают плохие, есть, где все умирают, но типа добро победило — выходит, она такая двояко мрачная.

— Возвращаемся к иностранным комментариям, а там что?
ЕП: В основном, т.к. пишут игровые пользователи, им не хватает длины, но по визуал нет ни одного плохого комментария, даже если критикуют по какой-то причине, всегда говорят, что визуал хороший и актеры хорошие.
СЗ: Отвечаешь им на комментарии?
ЕП: Я туда не лезу, а продюсеры что-то там отвечают, но мы всегда в диалоге. Например, китайцы нам написали, что плохие субтитры, мы переделали. Наши говорят, что НТВ стрёмное, тут мы чем поможем? Музыка крутая очень у нас.

— Зритель, как тебе?
СЗ: Прикольно, я в нескольких местах поменял бы выбор развития сюжета.
КИ: Т.е. я правильно понимаю, что ключевая задача, которую ставил режиссер, что ты хочешь посмотреть этот фильм ещё раз, переделав выбор, она выполнена?
СЗ: Да, я так понимаю, есть линия, где выживает главная героиня.

— Тут должна быть ремарка: «Режиссер тает…»
ЕП: (смеётся) Вернусь ещё к вопросу разницы мужского и женского восприятия. Штука в том, что женщины, все кто смотрели, все понимают всё с первого просмотра, какой бы ни был вариант. Единицы из женщин не понимают. Мужчины все минимум два раза смотрят. Я честно удивился. Мужчины в начале, когда есть выбор «действовать по плану или идти в обход», выбирают «идти по плану». Девушки выбирают «идти в обход».
СЗ: Мне кажется, что наоборот интереснее идти не по плану.
ЕП: Я тоже так думал. А потом сел играть в интерактивную игру, и там, например, выбор «спуститься в подвал или нет», а я уже переживаю за персонажа, и, нет-нет, в подвале убьют, я туда не пойду! А если герой бесит, то тогда «идти в подвал». Это хороший эффект, тебе жалко, что с героями что-то может произойти. Это интересное наблюдение, и я теперь его буду в новом фильме использовать, обманывать зрителя.

— Меня, когда я смотрела «Ночную игру», жутко бесил тот зал, в котором я смотрела, аудитория: выбирали всё время что-то менее кровавое, ну т.е. никогда не убить, никогда не зарезать. И вот это меня бесило в том смысле, что я нажимала «да, давайте замочим вот этого чувака», а массовое голосование всё равно выбирало «нет, мы никого не мочим». И тут вопрос такой: что чаще всего выбирают при первом просмотре у тебя, более кровавое или менее?
ЕП: Менее кровавое, хотя у нас есть момент с мачете, где герой вставляет в рот мачете врагу и даётся выбор «убить или нет», и если ты не убьешь, то противник даёт важную информацию, которая дальше аукается тебе. И вот здесь наоборот. Я думал, не будут убивать, чтобы послушать, а все наоборот «убит, убить». Но опять же это из серии, когда убивают кого-то лишнего, а когда это связано с главным героем, все такие «не-не-не».
СЗ: Получается, что этот фильм лучше смотреть в одиночку, чтобы не было разногласий?
ЕП: Да, как я уже это сказал, а «Коммерсант» сделали это заголовком: интерактивное кино как порно — его лучше смотреть в одиночестве. Потому что, когда вдвоем, это уже не то, когда ты сидишь нажимаешь — это твой выбор, а когда с кем-то, ты уже отвлекаешься. Правильно ты говоришь, в зале ты хочешь одно, а выбирают другое, и из-за этого ты не любишь интерактивное кино.
СЗ: Мне ещё понравилось, что отсутствует привязка к стране. И ещё думаю, что было оптимальное количество выборов, чтобы и сцену посмотреть, и быть вовлеченным.

— Хочешь ли ты кому-то это порекомендовать и кому?
СЗ: Я бы, наверное, порекомендовал одному геймеру и одному коллеге с работы, который любит и смотрит кино, чтобы сравнить мнения.
ЕП: Это, кстати, хорошо, т.к. два совершенно разных полюса. Поэтому я и жду, когда выйдет киношной, не на игровой платформе. Хотя там уже предвзято. Когда вышел трейлер, я читаю анонс, что русские заявляют, что они сняли ответ «Черному зеркалу». И в последний съёмочный день ко мне подходят и говорят, что «Чёрное зеркало» вышло интерактивное, я подумал: «Ну всё, теперь мне все будут говорить, что я спёр у Нетфликса». Так что мне очень часто в русских комментариях пишут: «Что, ничего своего придумать не можете, у Нетфликса спёрли?», а я уже фильм снял к тому моменту, когда он вышел, в последний съёмочный день мне об этом сказали. Так что, нет, не спёрли.

Автор: Вероника Скурихина

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