Alexis Kirke's Many Worlds, the movie that watches its audience, premieres in Plymouth
HOLD on to your popcorn: a film that watches you watching it is premiering in Plymouth.
The reaction of the audience determines what happens next in the movie, Many Worlds.
If the film "thinks" viewers are getting bored, a more exciting scene will follow.
The smart movie will switch to something calmer if the audience gets tense.
City filmmaker Alexis Kirke said the Plymouth audience would see a world first, whatever happens at tomorrow's premiere.
"An experiment was done in an installation in a museum I believe, but I've not seen anyone do it like this with the public in a cinema," he said.
Forget 3D. This breakthrough is about 4S – four sensors.
Alexis wires up four viewers in each audience to monitor their brain waves, heart rate, perspiration and muscle tension.
The information is fed back to select the next scene from pre-shot alternatives.
Many Worlds is creating a buzz around the globe with science and technology website commentators saying city audiences are about to witness the future of cinema.
If the technology took off the bosses of big film studios would never need to worry about making a box office flop. The common practice of test screenings to gauge audience reaction before release – leading to re-edits if moviegoers don't like the original – would be a thing of the past.
But modest Alex does not see himself as a cinema pioneer.
He said: "I am sure there are people in Hollywood looking at this sort of thing already."
He wrote, directed and made the soundtrack for Many Worlds, which runs for 15 minutes.
The film begins with two students arriving at a friend's birthday party to find she has involved them in a strange scientific experiment. How it ends will be up to viewers.
This is Alexis' first venture into film. He works at Plymouth University's Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research.
His previous projects have included an opera in which singers traded for real money and a duet featuring sub-atomic particles.
Last October at the opening of the university's Plymouth Marine Institute he conducted soundWave, using sensors strapped to his body to turn the giant wave tank into a musical instrument.
Many Worlds is being shown tomorrow as part of Algoshorts in the Jill Craigie Cinema, in the Roland Levinsky Building on the university campus.
The afternoon of films is part of the Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival.