Image via WIRED
Traditionally, the fourth wall is the invisible barrier between audience and performer. However, up-and-coming transmedia outfit Fourth Wall Studios is producing interactive shorts and web series that are bringing down the wall one imaginary brick at a time—and radically blurring the lines between viewer and actor. So far, they’ve even won an Emmy for doing it.
Five years ago, the World’s Most WIRED TV Creator Sean Stewart launched Fourth Wall with CEO Jim Stewartson and Chief Creative Officer Elan Lee. Today, Stewart’s sci-fi storytelling skills—and geeky penchant for role-playing games—is spurring on the studio’s interactive programming. We think it’s the future of television. In shorts and web series, viewers interact with the plot via cellphones, text messages, and e-mails. For example, in “Dirty Work,” which picked up the aforementioned Emmy for achievement in interactive media, viewers followed a misfit murder-scene cleanup crew and received texts from the crew’s foul-mouthed British boss.
As head writer, Stewart isn’t crafting reality television, it’s more like IRL television that jumps off the screen—and onto your smartphone. In fact, the company is currently developing a forthcoming companion app that will allow characters to walk off the computer or TV screen and onto a smartphone. Talk about getting drawn in.