‘Inside‘, an ambitious interactive film project sponsored by Intel and Toshiba, featuring director D.J. Caruso (Disturbia) and starring Emmy Rossum (of HBO’s Shameless) launched yesterday with it’s first installment. The first clip opens with Rossum’s character Christina waking up in a strange sealed-off room. Within that room is a Intel-powered Toshiba laptop (not surprising) with intermittent access to an untraceable web connection.
Eventually Christina uses the shiny new laptop and dicey connection to ask for help from her friends through her Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts. Viewers are invited to help Christina solve the clues to her location and the reason she’s been confined to the room. The contributions of viewers that best fit the storyline will be included in upcoming installments and will help shape events within the series.
On the first day, Christina’s Facebook wall featured posts from dozens of viewers as they debated the significance of a receipt and torn pieces of a Chinese food menu. One interesting clue came from a closeup of a piece of torn wallpaper featuring the name of the manufacturer. That clue led to the Acorn Wallpaper Company website, where viewers learned that these were Chinese-made wallpapers that were only imported through Los Angeles. Was this a clue to Christina’s location?
Viewers could also get involved as actors. An open-casting call ran from July 11-20 inviting viewers to audition via their webcam. The selected viewer will be featured as a character in a future installment. The Producers have made a good effort to keep the the production’s website and social accounts separate from those of the main character. Keeping the fourth wall intact even on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube can be a challenge especially with the character responding to viewers.