If Alfred Hitchcock Were Alive Today He Would Be An Internet Marketeer

I am not a Hitchcock obsessive by any stretch. My filmmakers fan obsession is reserved purely for Stanley K. But I do love Hitchcock’s films.


Hitchcock’s films to me are 100% psychological. He is known as the master of ‘pure cinema’ and that reputation comes from his simplicity, his knowledge of the medium and a powerful understanding of audience psychology. I have always wanted to create interactive experiences on a par with the films he made.

Back in the early days of Bellyfeel I did some consulting work with a number of Universities and Colleges. On these jobs, I would ask everyone I met if they knew of any research or theoretical areas where academics or students were studying the psychology of new media storytelling: Interactive, Online, Multiplatform – or even just basic research about audience experience in those areas.
And I was disappointed every time. Occasionally I would get given a cold dead lead that led nowhere but more often than not, I was met with a blank expression.


My thinking was, “We have film theory, a well-established ongoing inquiry into the psychological and sociological impact and effect of cinema and film techniques. Surely someone is looking at the new forms of media and storytelling from a similar perspective.”

Why? Because I wanted to know more about how audiences respond to the new mediums, so that when I was writing, producing and delivering interactive stories, I would be able to take the audience on a better psychological journey. I wanted to create stories that spanned numerous platforms – that played with the audiences hopes and fears on a much deeper level than I was then able to at that time.


But I kept drawing blanks and over time, I made my mind up to find other ways to get the knowledge I needed. I didn’t make much progress until one day in 2012.

You’ll never guess what I found… more tomorrow!

About the author

I run Bellyfeel which gives me the opportunity to develop innovations in media, education and entertainment, plus exploring the future of storytelling. More here...
3 Responses
  1. Nice post. I think you’re on to something, but I think Hitchcock would still have been a film maker. The traditional cinematic experience is fundamentally passive. Film makers like Scorsese and Gilliam are often caught slamming the idea of their movies being watched on computers, iPads or mobile devices. They have a desire to not only fill the screen but to capture the periphery vision of the viewer as well. The want absolute immersion and control. Hitchcock was obsessive about this. He wanted to control the viewers every emotion and lead them by the nose to wherever he wanted. On the other hand, transmedia, by its very nature, encourages the producer to allow the participant enough freedom to make their own decisions. Transmedia often begins to assert its influence not from centre stage, like traditional media, but from the periphery.

    It is interesting that so little research has been done in this field. I suggest this is because, realistically, only the producers and developers of transmedia are able to implement the necessary analytical frameworks to collect the data.

    Unless transmedia producers and their clients are willing to invest time and money in rigorously collecting, collating, analysing and sharing user interaction / behaviour data, it will be difficult for third party researchers to come to any definative conclusions about how the viewers react or do not react to the transmedia experience. I guess it was the same in the early days of cinema.

Leave a Reply