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Social Network-Directed Film Shows Audience ‘Much Smarter’ Than Expected

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Director D.J. Caruso (credit: Jason Merrit/Getty Images)

Director D.J. Caruso (credit: Jason Merrit/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books from childhood in which the reader determined the outcome of the story by deciding how to react to a given situation?

A veteran Hollywood director looks to take that audience participation model to the Internet generation with a new “social” film called “Inside”.

Director DJ Caruso told KNX 1070 the movie, which stars Emmy Rossum as the kidnapped Christina Perasso, looks to capitalize on the now-ubiquitous social networking community.


“People check their Twitter account everyday, people go to their Facebook everyday,” said Caruso. “How do we integrate that?”

The plot centers on a girl who ends up trapped in a locked room with no memory of how she got there or where she was before — and nothing but a laptop to pass the time.

“Ultimately, the only thing that she has with access to the outside world is her computer, and whoever is keeping her captive has allowed her to have Internet access every once in a while,” said Caruso.

Perasso logs on to various social networking sites to send out SOS messages and connect with friends in order to figure out where she is and who might be able to help her.

Viewers actually participate in re-writing the film as it goes, including offering Perasso tips such as ripping off the wallpaper to see if any stamp or marking would give clues as to her location.

As a screenwriter himself, Caruso says the success of this film has shown Hollywood there are new ways to do things which really do work — and that moviegoers might not be as shallow as studio heads may think.

“It made me sort of proud in a way that the audience is much smarter than we ever give them credit for and that the Hollywood executives give them credit for,” Caruso said.

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