Melvin Gregg, the actor best known for “American Vandal” and the Ben Affleck-led “The Way Back,” is taking his talents to the (very) small screen. He is partnering with Whatifi, a new interactive storytelling app, to write and direct an original film that will exclusively play on the mobile platform.
Gregg’s movie, titled “This Call Will Be Recorded,” is a choose-your-own adventure comedy with 16 different endings. It will be released on the phone app on Sept. 29.
“Having come from a social media background, I understand how important it is for audiences to interact with content,” Gregg said. “From likes to shares to comments, digital media is more than narrative story telling it’s a social experience. Whatifi is designed to be an experience shared with friends. Every turn is as unique as the group of friends you experience it with.”
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He added, “I also saw interactive filmmaking as a challenge that I was excited to explore, it’s like nothing I’ve ever done before. If like myself you’ve ever looked at a film or television show and thought what if this happened, why didn’t they do that instead, then Whatifi is the platform for you.”
Whatifi launched in June with $10 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz and Matrix Partners. The company aims to provide a new way to watch movies on smartphones. Along with “This Call Will Be Recorded,” Whatifi currently offers two other films: “Anatomy of a Decision” and “As Dead as it Gets.”
“Our partnership with Melvin is the first of many that we have planned,” said Whatifi co-founder Jaanus Juss. “Whatifi allows filmmakers to experiment with all genres, from comedy and drama to horror and thrillers. Our approach to filmmaking gives our users complete control on the outcomes, and the possibilities remain endless.”
Bobbie Nelson plays Gregg’s wife in “This Call Will Be Recorded,” which was shot at his Los Angeles residence during the pandemic. The movie had a small crew of three, all of whom were tested for coronavirus before filming began.
“We’re thrilled with the opportunity to work with someone as talented as Melvin Gregg,” said Whatifi co-founder Hardi Meybaum. “Melvin’s style of comedy is the perfect complement to Whatifi’s core experience of watching movies with your friends. We know that Melvin’s fans will relish the opportunity to experience multiple storylines with Melvin as the lead.”