Leave it to Tim Burton to figure out a new way to use Twitter.
The “Alice in Wonderland” director is working on a new tale — perhaps the basis for a future script — and enlisting Twitter users to help him write it.
This week, Burton started the storytelling experiment using a crowdsourcing technique he calls Cadavre Exquis (or "Exquisite Corpse"), where each contributor “adds to the story in sequence, building on the last line revealed.”
The story features “Stainboy” — a character that’s appeared in previous Burton works (like "The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories" and short films). Here's the first line (or tweet):
“Stainboy, using his obvious expertise, was called in to investigate mysterious glowing goo on the gallery floor.”
Like Twitter itself, the rules are pretty simple: users are allowed to tweet as often as they like — with the accompanying #BurtonStory hashtag — but only a precious few will be selected each day.
It’s not a completely dark rabbit hole, though. Visitors can read some of the tweets that don’t make it into the unfolding story from a tab on the Cadavre Exquis website.
Burton notes in the rules that “inappropriate submissions” — which would be seemingly hard to come up with, given Burton’s predisposition to the weird — “will be blocked.”
The experiment officially runs November 22-December 6, though it appears the story was soft-launched on Nov. 1.
The project is related to the now-traveling retrospective exhibition of Burton’s work, which opens today in Toronto.