"An unusual combination of slick, sexy content in a learning tool. The production value is excellent; I'd really like to see this taken to another level where users could create a more complex movie." —juror Lou Kinard
"A unique approach to a common type of interactive. It breathes freshness and mystery into something that's been done a hundred times before." —Todd Purgason
Overview: Anyfilms.net is an elaborate, viewer-controlled mystery movie. In addition to a central experience involving more than 11,000 story lines and 10 endings, the site also allows users to download films by up-and-coming directors.
• Choose your own story navigation
• Create and send a movie capability
• 50 individual film segments
• 400MB total file size
Comments by Chris Bradley, Neil Powell and Josh Rogers:
"Samsung Mobile asked us to create an online experience that would position the company as an innovator in product and content development, as well as a leader in bringing 4G-technology and entertainment-based content to consumers.
"Where do you start when tasked with creating something that's never been attempted before? This is where we found ourselves at the outset of this approximately eight-month-long engagement with PCI and Drill.
"For us, the first step toward creating 'a unique and never-seen-before' online experience was to forget everything we'd ever seen online: technical limitations, browser compatibility issues, usability concerns. The second step was to use 'What if?' as our guiding principle. We 'What iffed?' until something sounded like the start of an idea. Then, we'd write it down. Then, we'd throw away that version and begin again. After repeating the process a couple of times, our ideas began to focus less on 'how' and more on 'what.'
"Anyfilms.net is an online mystery experience where the visitor controls the outcome of the film. Depending on how each visitor configures it, there are 11,000 possible storylines. We imagined that we’d keep people interested, and sharing the site, by never giving them answers, just clues.
"From the start, we partnered with our friends at The Barbarian Group. As they began to develop the complex engine that would run the entire experience it helped refine our concept. It was a giant shared development cycle; everyone involved wore multiple hats and took on new challenges. Traditional roles in the worlds of both film and interactive were tossed out the window and storylines were developed in tandem with underlying technology. Everybody had to forget how things 'had always been done' and instead had to figure out how it would work. With 11,000 permutations, continuity became a huge challenge, as did editorial which had to take into consideration an algorithm that would do the majority of editing on-the-fly, based on user input.
"The site went live on December 24, 2005, at 10:30 p.m. Although we initially focused our efforts toward young, tech-savvy consumers, once word-of-mouth spread, a more general and global audience emerged creating a groundswell of interest in a relatively short amount of time. Anyfilms.net currently enjoys average viewing times of over five minutes and growing numbers of both unique and repeat visitors."