I had the idea back in college, and I’m dropping it here because I’ve been absent-mindedly looking at those bare-bone digital video cameras. You know the ones, that have that small screen, a big red record button and a pop-out USB hookup?

I don’t want one of the damned things, but I’m was marveling how far digital video capture has come. From a camcorder that had more in common with a bazooka than a camera to these tiny little suppository-like things in just over two decades. It is staggering, really.

Anyway, the idea was to make a movie digital experience that let the user chose the character they wanted to follow.

At the start, the user would be presented with a grid-like interface. In each pane of the grid, you’d have a movie playing. This movie would follow one, and only one, character through the narrative of the movie. The user could click on whichever panel they wanted, and it would expand to near full screen. The other movies would still be visible, but not dominant. From there, the user can swap off from character to character by clicking on their panel.

I think I was half-out of my mind from lack of sleep when I first thought up the idea, because as an example of story, I came up with something about zombie cheerleaders and a voodoo witch doctor causing it all. In this example, the grid would have the witch doctor, a squad of cheerleaders, probably the sheriff-type character, and a jock or two. As the story progressed, you’d end up with cameras attached to a group of zombies and people fleeing from those zombies. And probably a few that were just shots of a dead body.

Camera positioning would be tricky, since I’d want to do the whole thing in an extended, if not single, take. It might be interesting to do all of it with first person cameras, and then require the user to swap between cameras to see what people looked like.

Of course, there is no real point or use to this. You’d lose a lot of tension in your story by having so many things going on at once, and there would be a lot of boring nothing for some of the characters until their moment in the sun (or aortal blood spray). But watch a zombie chase from the perspective of the zombie and the victim appealed to me.

Tossing this here to remind me to do something with it if I ever win the lottery and need something to spend my time on.