In late 2018, Netflix's Bandersnatch created a lot of discussion when it comes to interactive movies and whether will will see more of them in the future. After all, Bandersnatch was conceived to be an interactive movie from the start. Black Mirror, a series that loves to explore how far technology can go, needed to give an interactive movie story a shot.
Reactions to the film have been mixed. Some people have praised it for its callback to past choices by the viewer and also having an interesting story related to the interaction with the viewer. Others have found the film to be too full of gimmicks.
A lot of interesting developments went into this unique film. So here are some facts we found.
10 Has 250 Segments In Total
Based on your choices in the movie, you see different segments. These can be small differences such as the protagonist eating a different cereal or choosing to listen to a different song or huge special segments such as the protagonist dueling this therapist in combat or murdering his dad. These 250 segments of story were laid out in a 170 page script. That's a lot! Imagine looking at all these segments created by choices in a flowchart, that must have been overwhelming for the creators.
9 Script Was Written On Twine
Twine is to go-to software for writers who want to create a nonlinear story based on alternate universes and choices. While that may sound niche, it is actually very popular for video game writers. The software is free, but does take a while to learn since the writing alone can get complicated.
The creators eventually switched from Twine to Branch Manager, which was created by Netflix. According to WIRED, Branch Manager would sometimes crash due to how complicated the script was so the software constantly had to be de-bugged.
8 Choice Percentages
Like some video games, Netflix released some of the statistics of viewer choices. After all, these games are like mini sociological and psychological experiments with the kinds of data the creators can collect.
What they discovered is that more people favored Frosties than Sugar Puffs, which 60 percent picking Frosties. Hilariously, Netflix revealed that British viewers were less likely to waste tea by throwing it while the rest of the world were more likely to do so. For some bigger decisions, 73 percent of the viewers chose to accept the Tuckersoft job. They also revealed that out of the five endings you can get, the one the least people got was the one where the protagonist goes on the train with his mom.
7 Not Netflix's First Interactive Film
While Bandersnatch is not the first interactive movie on Netflix, is it the first one made for adults.
Before it though, we had films like Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile. These stories had less segments and endings but it was Netflix's gateway to move towards films like Bandersnatch. For example, Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale had two endings and 13 different story-line choices.
6 Netflix Was Sued For Using "Choose Your Own Adventure"
Chooseco, a Vermont based children's book publisher, sued Netflix over the use of "Choose your own adventure" in Bandersnatch. Chooseco is known for it's books that use the formula of making choices for the protagonist and following the pages each decisions dictates. So Chooseco trademarked the phrase, "Choose your own adventure."
Part of the lawsuit read, “Netflix intentionally and willfully used Chooseco’s famous mark in order to benefit from the positive associations with — and nostalgia for — the brand by adults who read the series as youngsters."
5 Has Inaccessible Scenes
We have actually written about this fact before. With so many branches and segments involved, some of the creators are not even sure how to access some of the possible scenes. Apparently some of the paths they created are so narrow that the creators believe they will never be accessed. Director David Slade even mentioned that there is a scene he remembers filming that they themselves cannot figure out how to access.
There is even disagreement among the Bandersnatch team as to how many endings there are. As we've written previously, producer Annabel Jones thinks the film as five definitive endings, while producer and writer Charlie Brooker has said are more and producer Russell McLean believes that they to up to 10 or even 12.
4 The Whole Film Was Shot In 7 Weeks
Seven weeks is a very short time to film a movie, but Bandersnatch managed the feat. Actor interview with RadioTimes. "We were getting through so much stuff that often there wasn’t time to stop and think," he said.revealed a lot of what the filming process was like in an
He also mentioned the uniqueness of filming a movie where his character had different paths in the same scene. “So you’ll say something, and then there’ll be a pause, and the camera keeps rolling, and you’ll say something else, and the camera keeps rolling, and you say a third option, the camera keeps rolling – and that’s because you’re accommodating all of the different choices."
3 Some Scenes Never Made It To The Final Version
Like most films, Bandersnatch had to be edited down. Due to that, there are some endings and possibilities fans will never get to see. However, some of the ideas that didn't make it have been mentioned by the film's creators. One such idea involved after you made Stefan kill his dad. When you choose cereal again, there is blood spatter across the choices.
They also originally planned for you to have to memorize the therapist's phone number, like a difficult riddle you would have to solve yourself in order to make the choice to call her. However, they decided that would be too difficult for the viewer so they included a flashback of the numbers instead.
2 Was Filmed In Croydon, London
This fact may not be too surprising. However, it had the challenge of only filming in what would exist in the 1980s, since that is when Bandersnatch takes place. So for filming, the crew picked vintage stores. They set some scenes in St. George's Walk and transformed the street to be completely 1980s. That means their filming set included a Dixons, Turtle's, Woolsworths, and of course a Blockbuster video store.
1 Was Based On A Real Unreleased 80s Game
Bandersnatch was loosely based on a real-life video game that was never released which was also called Bandersnatch. The unreleased game was created by a British video games developer from Liverpool called Imagine Software. Their downfall was financial trouble after taking on a couple big projects. One of these big projects was Bandersnatch.
To learn more about the downfall of the company and the game, there is a documentary called The Rise and Fall of Imagine Software.