• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Introducing Snapchat, the new frontier in storytelling

Most people know Snapchat as the social network for watching people you only slightly care about play around with filters you really don’t care about. While that may be all some people see, young innovators are recognising it as a platform to tell stories. Because, heck, that’s what the feature is called, right?

The first ever Snapchat movie premiered in June last year.

Sickhouse was sadistically conceived by Hannah Macpherson, who saw an opportunity to merge creation and distribution methods in one foul swoop. Pairing up with YouTuber Andrea Russett, Macpherson used the social media starlet’s Snapchat account to slowly lure her audience into a thriller that was released over five days.

But if you’re looking for something a little fluffier, you’re sure to find that too. The Gay Women Channel on YouTube released a coming-of-age lesbian romcom that had their followers excitedly awaiting the daily updates over the span of a month with no fear of major character death.

Cracked Screen, the latest Snapchat-inspired flick, will debut on 10 February

More recently (and a sure sign that this mode of storytelling isn’t disappearing anytime soon) is the acclaimed Cracked Screen directed by Trim Lamba. The short film follows the life a young woman looking for a job whose life takes a dark turn.

According to MashableCracked Screen has been invited to play around London, and it will also be online as Vimeo’s Short of the Week.

Stories told through social media cleverly manipulate the way audiences understand the medium. Its ingenuity stems from the way we know social media is an exaggerated reflection of our lives, yet we still understand that there is a base of reality buried in what we see. What Sickhouse did really well was take a social media star — someone who performs her life for a living — and thrust that to the extreme with no warning. Macpherson took what is usually a gentle push and pull with reality and catapulted it straight into the abyss of supernatural horror.

Or, you know, you could just stick to lipsyncing your favourite songs with a voice changing filter.

Snapchat has had a recent history of partnering with media titles and film makers, including the likes of Turner and more recently BBC and its Planet Earth II series.

Both Sickhouse and This is Taylor are available to purchase on Vimeo now, and Cracked Screen is available from 10 February.

Author | Julia Breakey

Julia Breakey
Julia is a UCT film graduate with a passion for dogs, media, and dog-centric media. If she's not gushing about the new television show that you need to watch, she's rewatching The Good Place (which you need to watch). More

More in Snapchat, TV & Movies

Snapchat IPO: 6 more things you should know

Read More »