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BBC to offer viewers “bespoke experience” with interactive episode of “Click”

BBC World News’ technology program Click is marking its 1,000th episode with an interactive program using object-based media technology. Launching today (July 5), the episode allows viewers to choose from hundreds ...
July 5, 2019

BBC World News’ technology program Click is marking its 1,000th episode with an interactive program using object-based media technology.

Launching today (July 5), the episode allows viewers to choose from hundreds of thousands of alternate versions as they watch, and it can tailor content based on what it learns about them.

Viewers can learn about self-driving cars and the backlash against them, tech entrepreneurs in Malawi and the history of branching narrative content and choose-your-own-adventure “godfather” Ian Livingstone.

Click, which has been running for nearly 20 years, has a history of experimenting with new production techniques, including 360 video, virtual reality and making shows entirely on mobile phones.

The interactive episode was developed using a content creation tool called StoryFormer, developed by the BBC’s research and development department.

StoryFormer allows production teams to break stories down into their constituent parts, such as audio, individual frames of video or captions, which can then be dynamically personalized and shaped by the preferences of the person watching, as opposed to traditional linear editing.

“This approach has the potential to transform the way content is created and consumed in the future. It offers our viewers a bespoke experience, tailored to their specific interests, preferences and choices,” said Simon Hancock, editor of Click, in a statement. “It is a great example of how the BBC is at the forefront of innovation in broadcasting, as it has been for almost a century, and the future possibilities for object based media in the factual space are incredibly exciting.”

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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