“Longevity” and “web series” are not two words you often hear in the same sentence. In most cases, web shows have a limited shelf life due to the fact that they (1) don’t have the financial backing to facilitate multiple seasons and (2) are written in a way that favors episodic content over longform, season-long narratives.
This natural inclination towards short-form content is what makes Unlinear.tv’s “Untitled Murder Project 2.0” so interesting. The web show, which premieres October 10, 2013, is a 49-episode interactive murder mystery. Cryptic title? Check. Insane amount of episodes? Check. Interactive, murder-filled mystery? Check, check, and check.
Untitled Murder Project 2.0” operates under a very unique model: Episodes of the web series are organized into five chapters that run across three different parallel timelines. So when an uninvited guests ends up dead at a couples brunch, it’s up to viewers to use these multiple timelines and chapters to uncover who the killer is. Each time line — “Right Now,” “Hours Ago,” and “Weeks Ago” will appear in a menu at the end of each episode. These three separate timelines, once clicked on, will direct viewers to new videos that unlock a deeper narrative experience.
It’s an interesting project that pushes the limits of what can be done with the digital format. Recently, web shows have been testing the waters of interactive narratives, as seen in the recent Fine Bros. “Freaks & Geeks” YouTube game, which offered click-to-view capabilities similar to “Untitled Murder Project 2.0.”
The new series from Unlinear.tv is shot soley using “structured improvisation,” which is another way to say it was written and developed on the actual day of the shoot.
“Untitled Murder Project 2.0” is directed by Alonso Mayo, writer and director of the film “The Story of Luke.” The series will be released in four parts across the month of October.