Second Screen interaction in the cinema: Experimenting with transmedia narratives and commercialising user participation

James Blake
2017 unpublished
In its relatively short life, second screen interaction has evolved into a variety of forms of viewer engagement. The practice of using two screens concurrently has become common in domestic TV viewing but remains a relatively specialist and niche experience in movie theatres. For this paper, three case studies explore the motivations and challenges involved in such projects. The film Late Shift (Weber, 2016) pulls together conventional cinematic narrative techniques and combines them with the
more » ... nteractivity of Full Motion Video games. An earlier film, App (Boermans, 2015) innovated with the second screen as a vehicle for transmedia content to enhance an affective response within the horror genre. The release of the film Angry Birds (Rovio, 2016) involved a symbiotic second screen play-along element which began in advance of the screening and continued after the movie concluded. This study also analyses other interactive projects within this context, including Disney's short-lived 'Second Screen Live' that accompanied the release of The Little Mermaid (Disney, 1993) and commercial platforms including CiniMe and TimePlay. Mobile devices are being used as platforms for interactive gameplay, social participation and commercial opportunities. However, this landscape has implications on the culture of audience etiquette and the notion of user agency within an environment of immersive storytelling.