This is a fascinating project. While The mockup is interesting, although I think my DVD player has trouble with it - I'll try it on something else. Some of your goals in the essay are even more interesting.Testing out - empirically - how interactive the DVD format can be is a great idea, and it certainly justifies the project in itself. There are other aspects of this that I find even more compelling, though. By making a college student's life into a DVD you're trying to draw some sort of subtle lines from Hollywood to the way people imagine themselves, if that makes sense - I like that. The notion of a music choice not strictly as a private thing, but as a soundtrack to the film in which we are starring, is very nice.Here's a question which is nagging at me, though. If the DVD format has this considerable potential for interactivity, why isn't that much used? Or is it in places and ways that I, at least, don't think about?I like this as a creative project, but there's also the potential for a critical essay on why it isn't used more interactively.Has the DVD format troubled what you call the deterministic film at all? Why or why not?I'm reminded of the fact that David Lynch refuses to use chapters in DVDs of his work (I don't know whether this is perfectly consistent or not, but it's incredibly annoying when watching his work on DVD). It's strange that he of all filmmakers would be the one to most strenuously resist even the small degree of interactivity that normal use of DVDs gives us.I'm sorry if all of that pulled in different directions - that's the nature of my response, more than of your project, which actually seems pretty focused.
I really like this project.However, something that I think you could address that you haven't thought of yet is the viability of doing this with a major film. At each point, our paths grow exponentially, so with N decisions we have to shoot 2^N chapters. This works well with the short story, but in a two hour film, how many choices can be done feasibly? It already costs quite a bit of money to make a film, but to then exponentially increase it? Sounds pretty rough. But even if we just make one choice, do we have some sort of disconnect because we make some of the choices and not others? Is it weird when sometimes the character does what we want and other times does not?
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