Friday, August 17, 2007

I'm Your Man DVD booklet essay

Here is another piece of writing found with the I'm Your Man DVD, this time from the enclosed booklet. It's very informative and mildly depressing as this was the only ChoicePoint release, despite the cheery outlook. Once again, I've retained the original formatting and odd punctuation. No spelling mistakes to fix this time!

You just bought the first interactive movie ever on DVD. In fact, you own the first interactive movie -- period. And now that you've proved just how forward-thinking you are, maybe we should explain ourselves.

What is A ChoicePoint Film?
Thanks for asking. ChoicePoint Films are the first form of DVD entertainment to pay equal attention to both the movie and game experience. They pull off every stunt that the DVD format is capable of and few have truly used. By taking live-action film and combining it with interactive programming. A ChoicePoint Film lets you construct your own movie from multiple plots. You call the shots!

This stuff just isn't possible with any other home entertainment platform, but it's nowhere near as simple as it sounds. And it certainly didn't happen overnight There's much more to it than that.

-Where'd I'm Your Man Come From?
"Plastics" was The Word in the late 60's. In the early 90's, it looked like The Word
was "Interactivity." Computers and software were no longer the tools of the strictly techno-savvy. Entrepreneurs and artists had them, and they wanted to make something
of the new medium. So, Goth-driven 3D games and Verne-inspired CD-ROMs exploded on computer screens everywhere. E-mail and networked computers paved the way for the World Wide Web. Interfilm Technologies -one of the first to pioneer space in New York's digital neighborhood, Silicon Alley- set out to explore interactivity in ways that are still considered ground-breaking.

The concept of Intertfilm combined the old and the new. It was founded by two guys named Bob Bejan and Bill Franzblau. With an eye to the past they patterned themselves on the film factories of the 20's-the idea being to rapidly produce and distribute films of every genre. The other eye was on the future of technology, so each of these films would be incredibly interactive. Pistol grips mounted on the arms of theater seats would let the audience collectively decide each movie's direction.

“I'm Your Man” was the first product of the Interfilm studio. Produced in the spring of 1992 for just over $200,000, it was filmed in and around Interfilm offices - in one week. In the cast were Kevin Seal (MTV's 120 Minutes), Mark Metcalf (Animal House) and Colleen Quinn (Loving). The script was by Bejan and several future founders of The State comedy troupe. Bejan, a longtime Joe Jackson fan, contacted the musician and convinced him to score the film (for a fee which included computer equipment and training). Movie exhibitors were wildly receptive to the Interfilm proposal and a theater at the Loew's 19th Street Cinema in New York City was quickly outfitted with a prototype Interfilm System. This engineering feat combined video projection, laserdiscs and a computer to deliver frame accurate, on-the-fly response. Its creators, the founders, and inventor Kevin Centanni were awarded a patent.

Upon its release. "I'm Your Man" was an instant media sensation, attracting attention everywhere-from the Wall Street Journal to The Today Show. It played to raucous crowds for weeks. And with "I'm Your Man" as proof of its interactive concept. Interfilm Technologies went public in February 1994, raising millions. The first interactive film
Studio was established.

You Either Get It Or You Don't – How Does The Future Get Left In The Dirt?
This began an incredible period of productivity. Over to 40 theaters across the nation were outfitted with Interfilm Systems. More than 25 scripts were put into development, with contributions from Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) and Paul Malmont (Lovestruck). Interfilm matinees were created and released by producer James Graham. And the next two films, "Ride For Your Life" and "Bombmeister," were produced. Even Hollywood got into the act. Bob Gale, creator of "Back to the Future," embraced the new medium with "Mr. Payback," the first Interfilm to be produced outside the fledgling studio.

They say pioneers are the ones who get shot full of arrows. A year and a half passed after
“I’m Your Man"-an eternity in the evolution of new media. By Interfilm's second debut, the zeitgeist had moved on. The Internet was the thing, and the interactive consumer
was at home, staring into the computer. So, in the spring of 1995, Interfilm Technologies
closed its doors. The era of interactive filmmaking-which had just barely begun-seemed
to be over.

So Now What?
"I’m Your Man" has been re-designed, taking full advantage of the DVD technology. Planet Theory Inc., the producers of "I'm Your Man" and future ChoicePoint Films, have been able to restore the film and its vision of interactive filmmaking that is stil ahead of it's time.

Be sure to watch for the next ChoicePoint Films, No genre is safe from interactivity -
children’s titles, horror, comedy and suspense, to name just a few. This is a concept
whose time as come. Again!