When Quibi launched in April, it had two big selling points: high quality short-form video content for phones and Turnstyle, the quintessence of technology. Aside from the fact that none of the titles Quibi launched really took advantage of Turnstyle technology, which allows for two completely different experiences when transitioning from portrait to landscape. And very few of Quibi’s originals were good.
Wireless is the first Quibi original to achieve both goals – it’s not only good, it’s also improved by Turnstyle. The series, produced by Steven Soderbergh, follows a college student, Andy (played by Tye Sheridan), after being stranded in the mountains of Colorado while trying to get to a New Years Eve party. The first three chapters I saw built a series that is similar to other survival horror films. The sun is disappearing, it is freezing cold and no one is there for miles ̵
When looking at Wireless In landscape format it is a regular cinema experience. In portrait orientation, Andy’s iPhone screen becomes a storyteller. Everything that appears on the screen becomes what the audience sees. Google Maps, FaceTime, Tinder, Siri, Instagram, Safari, and more tell the story that Andy can’t do alone. There are several different types of prompts that tell you when to turn their phones to experience the series as it was designed.
The first are small icons that appear on the screen that indicate when the phone is flipped. These are the most obvious, but there are also sounds that every iPhone owner will recognize that act as cues to flip the phone over. The clack of typing on a keyboard and app notifications are also signals that the real story is on Andy’s phone, and you should watch them in portrait orientation. For a concept that could have seemed extremely tricky, it works Wireless. The result (so far) is a fun, interactive show that seems to demonstrate what Quibi was trying to do a few months ago.
There is only one problem: if you shake the phone too hard, you will run into some errors in the app. In one case, the app seemed to lock itself automatically in landscape mode, which forced me to update. On another occasion, the app exited unexpectedly. There was another case where the show stopped playing and I had to start the app again. Hey, mistakes happen, but Rob Post, Quibi’s chief technology officer, said so The edge These are hiccups. He’s run into bugs in both Quibi and other apps where “you have to shake it somehow to change the orientation”. Hiccups in an app that doesn’t require constant turning can be one thing – but quibi and Wireless In particular, they were created with the constant change between landscape and portrait format.
“We have optimized the system for Turnstyle over the past six months,” says Post. “We are working directly with some device manufacturers to address some of these issues. Often it is with the sensors in the phone. ”
It’s also not that someone can just go for the Chromecast. Or they can, but they will lose what makes Wireless worth seeing. Casting on a TV is fine for shows that don’t require constant rotation, but for Wireless, Not being able to turn takes away from what it is working on. Wireless depends on the audience knowing what Andy is doing – it’s harder if you don’t follow his life in real time on his phone. Quibi will try to get people streaming on their televisions to see things like Wireless on her phone, said Post.
“When it comes to new innovations that we’re going to add to the platform that gives storytellers a new way to share their stories, porting those things to the devices in the living room will be a challenge.” Post admitted, adding that “in some cases, with future improvements and innovations, it may not all carry over to the living room”.
Post’s comments seem to suggest that there will be some instances of Quibi subscribers in the future Got to You are watching a show or movie on your phone and you cannot cast content on your TV. Still, it is an acceptance of giving up control over how people will see something Wireless Director Zach Wechter knows well. To create Wireless, Wechter has essentially made two feature films – one completely in landscape format and one in portrait format. There are certain moments that are meant to be experienced in landscape mode and others that are best seen to be a screen capture from his phone, but Wechter knows he cannot control them. Everyone has a different “level of comfort with their cell phones,” he said The edgeand that means that “no unique experience will be the same”.
Still, Wechter hopes people will watch Wireless on their cell phones and flip it a few times. Wireless is a story about our connection to our cell phones, how the tiny stones in our pockets become a lifeline. If you don’t watch part of the series in portrait orientation, the authenticity and intimacy that Wechter tried to find is compromised.
“We are all very familiar with these screens and images from apps, text messages and perspectives from a phone camera,” says Wechter. “We look at these screens for hours. Authenticity was probably the word we used the most on set. If the speed of the SMS bubbles moves too fast, people will catch them and break reality. “