Black MirrorLatest News and Opinion
Posted Saturday 1/19/19 at 6:13AM EST
Inside the challenge of making Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
"Bandersnatch forced the Black Mirror team — including executive producer Annabel Jones, creator and writer Charlie Brooker, director David Slade, and actors Will Poulter and Fionn Whitehead — to rethink many of the givens of filming a TV episode," says Jackson McHenry. "They had to find a way to write a script that contains myriad variations big and small, and then communicate each of those variations to the cast and crew. They had to shoot wildly different outcomes while maintaining character continuity and preserving an engaging plot. And, of course, they had to make sure the episode didn’t feel too complicated to actually watch." As Jones puts it, “If we’d have known how difficult it was going to be, we might not have done it.” ALSO: Watch Jimmy Fallon's Bandersnatch spoof.
Posted Thursday 1/17/19 at 6:19PM EST
Netflix says You is on track to be watched by 40 million member households, but should we trust their viewership figures?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The streaming service revealed some viewership data on You, Sex Education, Elite and Bodyguard. Netflix said both You -- which attracted about 1 million viewers on Lifetime -- and Sex Education are each on pace to be watched by 40 million member households within a month. But as The Hollywood Reporter notes, "the numbers for You and Sex Education are projections from Netflix, and they don't correspond directly with Nielsen ratings for traditional TV." Netflix also said Bodyguard was watched by 10 million households, while Elite was viewed by more than 20 million households. As James Poniewozik points out, we don't really know the details of Netflix's viewership numbers. "I'm not saying that streaming services' self-reported numbers are false," tweeted Poniewozik. "They may be 100% right! They may not. They may be true but cherrypicked. They may be true with an asterisk. We don't know--which is the point. But just to be clear: 40 million households watching a TV show--without explanatory context--implies that it is more popular than any TV show since the height of the three-network era before cable. Which, if a Lifetime show did that, congrats! Or maybe there is further context!"
Posted Monday 1/14/19 at 8:28AM EST
Read an oral history of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
Executive producers Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones and actors Fionn Whitehead and Will Poulter discuss the making of the interactive movie in this oral history. In it, Brooker tells Buzzfeed there's one scene that nobody can watch on Netflix. "There's one bit you can't get to, which weirdly somebody somehow managed to find somehow and put on YouTube," says Brooker. "There's one scene that you can't get to, because of something we changed."
Posted Saturday 1/12/19 at 7:05AM EST
Black Mirror creator tells Bandersnatch naysayers to "f*ck off"
Source: HuffPost UK
Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones addressed criticism of their interactive movie -- while dodging a question about Miley Cyrus blabbing about filming an episode. While executive producer Jones says "it's just so satisfying that so many people have engaged with it," creator Brooker says he doesn't care about the haters. "It’s been interesting that you get different reactions from different people, partly based on what they’re expecting, or what they want," he says. "So some people go, ‘oh, I’m shit at this’, and you sort of go, ‘no no, it’s alright, we’ve built in that you’re going to fail’. We’re trying to make you fail a couple of times so that you have to go around and do things again, and that’s sort of baked into the story. There’s also some people that are like ‘I don’t wanna make decisions’, ‘I don’t want to do any of it’... well f*ck off, then. Do something else! And then there’s some people who think ‘oh, it’s too simple as a game’ or ‘games have done this before’ – well this isn’t on a gaming platform, it’s on Netflix. I’m well aware of what a computer game is, thanks."
Posted Friday 1/11/19 at 1:19PM EST
"Choose Your Own Adventure" publisher sues Netflix over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
Chooseco LLC, the Vermont-based publisher of the bestselling interactive book series, alleges that Netflix sought a license to use the “Choose Your Own Adventure” trademark over the last couple of years -- until negotiations fell through. The lawsuit argues Bandersnatch infringes on its trademark, and notes that the interactive movie even references "Choose Your Own Adventure."
Posted Friday 1/11/19 at 1:19PM EST
Stop treating True Detective like a game!
The HBO series didn't pioneer the "gameification" of narrative television, but the polarizing Season 1 finale "revealed one hazard of gamified TV: an unsatisfying conclusion makes everything that came before it feel like a waste of time," says Judy Berman. She adds: "For these viewers, True Detective failed not because of any particular story flaw but because in its final moments, it claimed the right to be an ambiguous work of art–instead of an interactive challenge that fans could win or lose by solving the mystery." The gameification of TV can also be seen in newer shows Westworld and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. "Even if Bandersnatch doesn’t turn out to be the future of television, its mere existence is a sign of times when games of speculation can drown out wider-ranging conversations about shows whose meaning can’t be reduced to a right or wrong answer," she says.
Posted Wednesday 1/09/19 at 9:32PM EST
Black Mirror producers try to appease concerns that Netflix is storing Bandersnatch viewer data
The interactive nature of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch has sparked concerns that it is a data mining tool that gives Netflix specific information that could become its "secret marketing weapon." Creator Charlie Brooker says of the concerns: "I’m sure they will know who has chosen what and it will be interesting to see who chooses what and why they choose it. Well, we don’t know why they choose it — I don’t think they can see into anyone’s soul...I mean, I think it would only really be of use to people coming up with more interactive stories. Because this is all quite experimental, as you say, in terms of, you know, obviously interactive films have been around for a while, but on the Netflix platform this is fairly new. I can’t imagine at the moment there would be much information that would be much more useful than helping you sort of bear it in mind the next time you’re writing an interactive story. Because people are approaching this for different reasons, aren’t they?"
Posted Saturday 1/05/19 at 3:04AM EST
The Sopranos and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch premiered 20 years apart, but they're oddly complementary
Source: The New York Times
January 10 will mark the 20th anniversary of The Sopranos premiere. The groundbreaking HBO series and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch are "products of two different TV eras," says James Poniewozik. "The former lets the viewer direct the story (sort of) through a series of choices. The latter was the work of a creator who resisted catering to his audience and ended his series on a big, fat question mark. But as different as the two works are, they’re oddly complementary. Each is an example of the tension between two ways of seeing fiction. Is a story a puzzle to be solved or a mystery to be pondered?" ALSO: Mysterious Black Mirror posters pop up in Birmingham, England.
Posted Thursday 1/03/19 at 5:07AM EST
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch's Will Poulter takes a Twitter break following abuse from online trolls
“In light of my recent experiences I am choosing to take a step back, of sorts, from Twitter,” Poulter wrote in a statement posted to Twitter, calling his decision "an alternative path" rather than an end to his social media presence. “There are positives to enjoy and inevitable negatives that are best avoided,” he write. “It’s a balance I have struggled with for a while now and in the interest of my mental health I feel the time has come to change my relationship with social media.”
Posted Wednesday 1/02/19 at 10:27AM EST
Black Mirror creator is done with interactivity after Bandersnatch, is looking forward to more optimistic episodes
Source: The New York Times
“Run away. It’s harder than you think," Charlie Brooker said of making the interactive Bandersnatch movie that dropped last week. He says of Season 5: “We’re doing more optimistic episodes and stories, rather than just dystopian and negative ones," adding that "we want to keep the show interesting for us." ALSO: Bandersnatch was so complex it might delay Season 5.
Posted Wednesday 12/19/18 at 11:11PM EST
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is going to be "A Netflix Film"
A Reddit user discovered a page devoted to Black Mirror: Bandersnatch that is separate from Black Mirror's regular Netflix page. Above the title is the label "A Netflix Film." Netflix hasn't revealed when the new Black Mirror will drop, although rumor is that it will be released on Dec. 28.
Posted Friday 12/14/18 at 1:29PM EST
TV Academy sets the minimum TV movie length to 75 minutes to discourage anthology series
TV series have won the Emmy award for Outstanding Primetime TV Movie for the past three years: Sherlock's "Abominable Bride" and Black Mirror's "San Junipero" and "USS Callister." Of the three, only "San Junipero" would be unaffected by the new guidelines.
Posted Wednesday 12/12/18 at 1:45PM EST
Miley Cyrus confirms she's appearing on Black Mirror
One day after her older sister spilled the beans, Cyrus confirmed to Howard Stern this morning that she'll return to acting on the acclaimed Netflix series. Cyrus told Stern she was worried about mentioning the series' name because she hadn't cleared it with Netflix or producers. (Netflix and Black Mirror producers have yet to confirm the guest appearance.) "I'm really actually excited for everyone to watch the 'headshaking project' we said yes to (before)," she said cryptically, according to Billboard. "The minute I say I never want to do something again, all of a sudden, there I am." Cyrus said returning to acting on Black Mirror was a revelation. "I hate everything, but it was the first time I've left somewhere feeling really proud of my work...but you know if I like it that might mean it's horrible," she said. Cyrus will next be performing on SNL's Christmas show with Mark Ronson this weekend.
Posted Tuesday 12/11/18 at 10:14PM EST
Miley Cyrus will appear on Black Mirror, says her sister
Source: Just Jared
Cyrus' older sister, Brandi Cyrus, said in a recent podcast interview that Cyrus will appear in the Netflix series, but wouldn't divulge any other details. Black Mirror producers have yet to confirm the guest appearance.
Posted Monday 12/03/18 at 1:18PM EST
Did Netflix leak and delete Black Mirror's Season 5 premiere date?
A verified Netflix Twitter account tweeted then deleted that "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" is scheduled to premiere on Dec. 28, which would be a year after Season 4 dropped. Even though the release date isn't confirmed, Black Mirror fans have already begun speculating on what "Bandersnatch" means.