NewTeeVee ran a post over the weekend about choose-your-own adventure videos on YouTube. The creators used the Video Annotation feature allowing them to place a link over a certain part of the video in order to string multiple clips together in a unique sequence. Through careful planning, an engaging, interactive experience can be created just like those old choose-your-own adventure books that were all the rage when you were a kid. Bboy Joker, a stop-motion animation film, is my favorite example of this genre.
I had a similiar idea for a DVD just before I went to college. I failed to act on it however due to the less than stellar experience navigating a DVD menu and the sheer idea of planning a comprehensive story with multiple plot branches. I’m more of a techno wizard than a storyteller. I vaguely remember reading about a professional DVD that pushed the boundaries of DVD interaction by including transparent cut-outs over live video so when you clicked one of them it would take you to a video glossary. I can’t seem to find the link, but it sounded like a ton of work just to author it back in the day.
Adding a bit of interactivity to video is better suited to the Internet, which is considered a lean-forward or engaging experience, as opposed to the traditional TV which is a lean-back or passive experience. While this format isn’t applicable to most of the videos published on the web, for the ones where it does work, it takes the experience to a whole new level.