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Live commenting: New experiment with watching movies

CCTV.com

08-18-2014 19:36 BJT

Movie-goers in some Chinese cities have been having a different kind of movie experience, one in which they can use mobile devices to post their comments that appear live on the cinema screen.

Audience members can make live public comments on any aspect of the movie, from the plot, to the dubbing to the appearance of the characters.

The film Legend of Qin, an animation series became famous on the Internet and has a large fan base, has featured live commenting. More than 50 showings in Beijing and Shanghai included live commenting, and the attendance rate for each show was about 80 percent.

Interactive theater: New experiment with watching movies

Interactive theater: New experiment with watching movies

"We are exploring how the response from the audience can affect the movie itself. For example, we can conduct live polls and even alter the development of the plot based on responses we receive from audiences. We are, in fact, putting the director and viewer on equal terms and I think many of the opinions of the viewers are very helpful for film makers," said Shen Leping, director of Legend of Qin.

Of the viewers who have attended these kinds of showings, 80 percent are under 24 years of age.

"I first heard about live commenting film screenings on Weibo, I think this is great," one viewer said. 

But others are not as enthusiastic. 

"I think it's kind of distracting to see all the comments flying across the screen. It really diverts your attention from the plot."

"The words fly by so quickly it makes me dizzy, I don't like it."

Movie-goers may be divided, but some analysts believe that live commenting is placing higher demands on the infrastructure of cinemas. 

"There's always the danger of the feature of live commenting overshadowing the movie itself. I think live commenting is more suitable for comedies and animations. If you were to make cheeky remarks about more serious works such as movies that tell a tragic story or historical works, it would seem inappropriate," movie commentator Yu Xing said. 

Interactive theater: New experiment with watching movies

Interactive theater: New experiment with watching movies

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