By now, you may think you have Netflix’s Black Mirror movie Bandersnatch all figured out. You’ve played through endings that included chopping up your dad’s body, taking the wrong (right?) train, and fighting your psychiatrist. However, while you may be an expert in making sure that Stefan (Fionn Whitehead) creates a five-star videogame, a new Netflix featurette proves that we have no idea how complicated creating this very unique film actually was.
Though Bandersnatch’s interactive quality seems like it was made for Black Mirror, the creators were only approached to do their own “choose your own adventure” program after Netflix shows like the far more kid-friendly Puss In Boots tested out the concept.
“I think we only wanted to do [an interactive episode] if we thought we were adding another layer thematically,” said producer Annabel Jones of being asked by the streaming giant to create an interactive program. “We didn’t want it to feel like it was just a gimmick.”
Once creator Charlie Brooker got onboard with the idea to tell an interactive story about a man creating a video game, everyone’s job became more complicated, from the director to the script supervisor to the editor.
“It’s the biggest editing challenge of my career,” said Bandersnatch editor Tony Kearns in the featurette. “There’s so many options so it’s not as straightforward as viewing the cut from beginning to end. There are so many flows that it could take some time.”
Though most people only spend 90 minutes to two and a half hours working through Bandersnatch, it is reported that there is around five total hours of content.
“Because there’s different timelines to stories, action gets repeated, but it gets repeated either slightly differently or it’s part of a sequence where the beginning of it is different or the end of it is different,” explained script supervisor Marilyn Kirby.
If you thought it was hard to make sure that Stefan doesn’t kill anybody, well, creating Bandersnatch was about a million times more difficult. Fortunately, all we have to do now is sit back, relax, and enjoy the complete control we have over Stefan’s life.
Check out the featurette below: