When Hollywood producer Neal Edelstein set out to make Haunting Melissa, a horror film iPad app about a teenage girl that goes missing, he didn’t want it to be just another film. The first directorial production from the producer of Mulholland Drive and The Ring, the film was created the specifically for the iPad.
“The story was designed with the technology in mind,” Edelstein told AppNewser last week over coffee in New York. ”It’s a ghost story that was designed to be watched in the dark with headphones on.”
The film, which was written by Andrew Klavan, isn’t to be watched in one sitting like your usual movie. It’s also not your average series with multiple episodes. Instead app users can experience the story over a six-to-eight week period as different pieces of the story are revealed. As viewers progress, Edelstein’s Hooked Digital Media will add new content to the app that helps advance the story. When a new piece is added to the app, users will get a push notification. The schedule is a mystery, so don’t expect a new episode every Tuesday. It’s unpredictable, explained Edelstein. Clips are also not a standard length. For instance, one clip could be three minutes, another twenty, but each piece will push the story forward, explained Edelstein.
And the story can change over time. After a couple of viewings, you may go back and watch a prior episode only to find that things aren’t how you remembered them. And they aren’t. Edelstein shot different angles and did different cuts of the story, so you may see a ghost in one scene only to re-watch the scene and see that the ghost has disappeared.
The app looks like a film and was shot with pretty standard filmmaking tools. It was shot on a Red EPIC camera and edited in Final Cut Pro. But it also includes a little bit of iPhone and iPad footage.
The app is free and it comes with the first chapter. Additional chapters can be purchased for $.99/$1.99 per episode (SD/HD), or you can buy the whole series for $6.99/$14.99 (SD/HD). There will also be bits and pieces of free content that is revealed as the story progresses. These clips aren’t just extra footage, they are part of the story. Follow this link to check out the trailer.