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Quentin Tarantino in Director’s Choices game
Via Director’s Choices

Direct Quentin Tarantino in Steven Spielberg’s Bandersnatch-esque game

The 1996 video game, Director’s Chair, which enabled players to make their own movie, has been unearthed and adapted for online play

Think back to December 2018, when we all lost our minds over Black Mirror’s choose-your-own-adventure episode, “Bandersnatch”. Now, imagine that but directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Quentin Tarantino. Enter: Director’s Chair.

Originally released in 1996, Director’s Chair was a video game that enabled players to direct their own movie using supplied footage, with Spielberg offering advice on filmmaking. Shot specifically for the game, the footage starred Tarantino as a prisoner on death row, and Jennifer Aniston as his girlfriend, determined to prove his innocence.

Previously deemed lost, the footage has been unearthed and adapted into a choose-your-own-adventure online game, which allows players to decide what the characters should do.

Game developer Paolo Pedercini is behind the reboot, aptly titled Director’s Choices. Speaking about the project in a series of tweets, Pedercini said: “The footage was totally raw, I had to edit all the clips, add sounds and music. I also upscaled the ultra low res videos with an AI tool. Very stupid project, I don’t recommend.”

Pedercini also described the original game as “an awkward but ambitious film-making simulation” which “tried to be a bit too realistic when simulating all the logistical challenges of movie production and left very little room for creativity”, adding that “the player had very limited agency when writing and shooting the film”. 

The film opens with a news reader discussing Tarantino’s character’s crime, before the player is asked to choose between a “manic Tarantino” or a “calm Tarantino”. Obviously I chose a “manic Tarantino”, which then led to the director – dressed in striped prison clothes – yelling at a priest and prison staff. In the next scene, we meet Aniston at a magic show, and are asked to choose between a “creepy magician” or “appropriate magician”. As I have more work to do, I’ll let you guys take it from there.

You can play Director’s Choices here.