Angry Birds at the movie theater: the usages and abuses of mobile phones
Posted on 2 5 April 201 6 by Admin
American movie theater chain AMC Entertainment recently announced it was thinking about allowing the use of smart phones in some of its movie theatres. A viral social media backlash quickly forced what read like an apology.
With your suggestions in hand, there will be NO TEXTING ALLOWED in any of the auditoriums at AMC Theatres tweeted CEO Adam Aron. Not today, not tomorrow and not in the foreseeable future.
What if texting was part of the movie theater experience? What if there were Bullet Screens, for instance, which provided audience members in Australia the opportunity to compose SMS comments directly on the screen in the style of Q&A as the movie plays?
Bullet screens have been a cult hit in Niconico, Japan (where the idea began) for a long time. Beijing and Shanghai movie theaters have actually likewise offered filmgoers this option since 2013.
More than passive consumers of content, audience members at a bullet screen cinema end up being manufacturers of the screen narrative. Japanese exhibitors say bullet screen sessions have actually become their most popular.
Clearly, bullet screens would only work for some films (popular cheesy ones, such as Grease, state, or action blockbusters). But flash screenings that motivate an outpouring of feeling could be a perfect use of this innovation for instance films played in the wake of a celebrity s death. Prince’s Purple Rain maybe?
Bullet screens offer new ways of considering mobile use in the movie theater. They are different from the current issue of filmgoers using their phones arbitrarily at a movie theater screening, which brings us back to the AMC controversy.
Was the American chain chastised a little too harshly for simply voicing a concept? At no point did they reveal mobile friendly screenings as a brand-new policy. Nor did they even mean to carry out such ideas into every screening. Rather, the idea was to allow texting at select screenings for particular films.
Would it be such a bad thing if serial testers during movies decided to segregate themselves with other likeminded testers? Excellent riddance, I hear some state.
And let’s not forget that the movie theater has constantly been a hub of social activity. In the early days of silent movies, spectators frequently viewed with your home lights on. Audience members were encouraged to boo and cheer at the screen.
Should we expect today to be any different? Not so long earlier, filmgoers could smoke in their movie theater seats. And what about the sound of people snacking on loud foods like crisps and popcorn? (English film buff, Mike Shotton, is currently running a useless campaign to prohibit consuming in cinemas.).
One appeal of bullet screens is that they allow audiences to shift in between screens as they do when viewing a movie on a TV or mobile screen. Rather than the 2nd screen being a distraction, it requires audiences to engage and comment on the film while in the (stream of awareness) moment.
The central argument versus bullet screens and the reason why filmmakers are not endorsing them is that their narratives were not produced with the concept of bullet remarks appearing as the film plays.
Still, the children’s film Angry Birds (2016), presently playing in Australia, might be an action towards filmmakers thinking more seriously about mobiles being a central part of the film experience.
As the credits roll, fans (well moms and dads of fans) are asked to open their Angry Birds app and point the electronic camera of their mobile phone at the screen to scan the code for the pinball-inspired game Angry Birds Action! It can be used mobile phones (well, parents' phones) for hours of cross-promotional fun.
This is an integrated product tie in. But the larger question is how and when such ideas will go to the next stage and enter into a movie s plot practically in a choose-your-own-adventure sense?
Whereas bullet screens and Angry Birds Action! offer intriguing examples of how mobiles can boost the movie experience for its filmgoers, the general, uncontrolled use of mobiles at the movie theater not does anything however distract and annoy other filmgoers.
There appears to be a place for mobiles at the cinema, however let’s believe seriously about when and where that location is (and is not).
Angry Birds is now playing. Please wear t forget to leave your phones ON. For all other films: Please turn your phones OFF. For now, anyway.