US production company Indigenous Media has shot and published a feature-length film in instalments on mobile sharing platform Snapchat. Sickhouse – a vertically shot horror film that follows a group of teens into the woods to explore the titular building – is aimed at the app's majority Gen Z users.
The movie was filmed between April 29 and May 3 2016, with each day's clips published in real time on one of the actors' Snapchat accounts, collecting millions of views. On June 1 2016, the individual snippets will be released alongside additional footage as one vertical film on video platform Vimeo.
With 10 billion daily video views, Snapchat has now taken Instagram's spot as the most important social network for US teens (PiperJaffray, 2016). "Younger audiences are not going to the theatres; they're not watching TV. They spend their time online watching YouTube, Snapchat, etc.," Indigenous Media's Jake Avnet told Mashable. "Since this is where these audiences live, why should we try to force them to go elsewhere?"
Ad spending on original digital video has increased by 114% since 2014 (IAB, 2016). In an increasingly fragmented media landscape, it is key that publishers and marketers use a visual language that resonates on mobile. Indigenous Media's efforts demonstrate how short-form content can still carry a larger message, and sustain its audience beyond the five-second mobile attention span.