Entertain, advertise and empower with Interactive Video
Interactive video and interactive film turn viewers into active participants, and can entertain, advertise or empower. But making a successful interactive film is hard. To do it, you need to think of it as a model of real life, not just a story. An example of an effective interactive film is A-Dapt’s Webby Award-winning Adaptive-Media™ Interview Coach, which was created to empower disadvantaged youth to do job interviews better.
This blog post is about interactive videos and interactive films and how you make them – leading to one example which has been proven to be effective.
Interactive video/film – definition
First, let’s define what we mean by an “interactive film”. Or “interactive video” or “interactive movie” – they all mean the same thing.
An interactive film is one where you can do things or make choices to change what happens in the movie itself. Your interactions should do more than simply pause the film or leave comments. They should make a significant difference to your experience of the film and help it achieve its objectives.
But why bother making interactive films when regular films are easier and cheaper to produce?
By making an interactive film, you’re turning viewers into doers.
But you need a good reason for turning viewers into doers. Why do YOU want your viewers to do something, and why should THEY want to do it?
Three obvious reasons for turning viewers into doers
One reason is to entertain your viewers better. Perhaps you think that interaction adds a new dimension, which viewers couldn’t get from a linear film. Interactive films made as entertainment are the most common type by far. It’s what most people do if they decide to make an interactive film for the first time.
The challenge here is that regular films entertain very well, so it can be hard to justify the extra hassle of adding interactivity. After all, most people watching entertainment on TV or in the cinema don’t want to DO anything. They just want to sit passively and be entertained. So you need to know why your interactive entertainment is better than the linear equivalent.
Another reason is eCommerce. You’re selling or advertising something. And interaction may help you do that better. This is a much better reason than simple entertainment.
EDUCATION OR EMPOWERMENT
Another reason to make interactive films is to empower or educate your viewers. And this is MY focus. I’m an interactive filmmaker. I make interactive films because I want to empower people to be able to do things better.
But whoever you are, there’s one big problem that many filmmakers come to realise with interactive films and it’s this…
Most interactive films don’t work
Of course, many regular films don’t work. But the fail rate for interactive films is higher.
Why is this? One key reason is this:
Most stories are not interactive.
Sitting around the campfire, the storyteller didn’t ASK their listeners what Beowulf or Aladdin did next. The storyteller TOLD them. And it’s the same with films and TV now.
So what’s the solution? If stories aren’t interactive, how do you make an interactive film that works? Just remember this…
Most stories are not interactive. But real life always is.
When I set out to make an interactive film, I don’t think of it as “telling a story“. I try to use film and interactivity to build something that works a bit like a model of real life. I take the emotional power of film and add the extra dimension of interactivity.
An example of Emotion AI Interactive Video
Let’s look at an example of an interactive film (or “Emotion AI Interactive Video” as they call it) which I directed using MorphCast software – The Adaptive-Media™ Interview Coach from A-Dapt.
This is an interactive film which helps troubled young people do job interviews more effectively. Why’s that important? Let;s see…
Job interviews are a big problem for many marginalised young people. Perhaps they’ve been in trouble with the law, or they have learning difficulties. Or social anxiety – then job interviews can be a steel wall that stops them finding a job and getting a better life
NACRO is one of the UK’s top education charities.They work with some of the UK’s most marginalised young people. They wanted to coach young people to do job interviews more effectively – in a non-threatening, scalable way.
So they got together with a brilliant new company called A-Dapt to try to fix this problem.
I have been lucky enough to work as part of the dream team at A-Dapt for a couple of years now. A-Dapt is an Anglo-French company that was co-founded in 2022 by Matthew Mayes and Claudio Piovesana. They were joined shortly after by Jeff Howson and more recently by Vincent Lacourlie and Yves Costa. I’ve worked very happily with A-Dapt on a number of projects and so it was natural that I would collaborate with them to create an interactive job interview trainer and simulator for NACRO.
Working together, we created THE ADAPTIVE-MEDIA™ INTERVIEW COACH. 100% GDPR compliant, its mission is to teach young people how to do job interviews better.
It’s in two parts…
PART ONE: TRAINING WITH AN INTERACTIVE FILM
The first part of the Interview Coach is an interactive film which teaches you what to say in a job interview and how to get ready for one.
It’s an interactive film, but it’s not a “story”. It’s like a personal tutorial where someone shows you how to do job interviews. All the way through, your tutors ask you questions to make sure you understand. It’s coded in Morphcast but most of the interaction is with buttons, not via the camera.
Once your training is done, you move on to the interview simulator…
PART TWO: AI-POWERED INTERVIEW SIMULATOR
The Interview Simulator is designed to help students remember to smile and look at the interviewer while they answer interview questions.
On the screen, they see an interviewer look them in the eye and ask them a typical job interview question. Then they answer. As they speak, Morphcast analyses whether they are “paying attention” to the interviewer. And whether they are looking “positive”.
If not, graphics appear reminding them to make eye contact or smile at the interviewer. If the student is doing well, a graphic will encourage them. The interviewer in the video also changes from being friendly to sounding impressed.
The interviewer asks the student four questions in total. Then the student gets a score, based on their attention and positivity level.
Again – it’s an interactive film, but it’s not a “story”. It’s a model using film and interactivity of a real-life situation: a job interview. Of course, simulating a job interview like this would be quite impossible without Morphcast software.
Does the Interview Coach Interactive Video work?
NACRO tested the Interview Coach with some of their students. The results were outstanding.
After a standard one-hour session:
- engagement increased by 29%
- confidence increased by 41%
- and the quality of answers to interview questions increased by an amazing 56%.
That sort of improvement can be life-changing. It means that job interviews can stop being a barrier. And instead become a gateway – to a better life.
The Interview Coach won the 2022 Webby Award for best Virtual Education.
The Adaptive-Media™ Interview Coach from A-Dapt shows how an interactive film using great technology can empower people and change lives.
Why did we make an interactive film to solve the problem of training disadvantaged youth how to do job interviews? Because we wanted to empower our viewers. And an interactive film powered by MorphCast was the best way to do it.
That’s why – and how – we turned turned viewers into doers.
See the case study film for The Adaptive-Media™ Interview Coach here: : https://youtu.be/Dky4Q911eYU